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Empowerment and Options, LLC

Maria M. Sadler, Executive Director

Maria

I live in Los Angeles, CA and I have worked in the health care field for over 25 years. I was born in Puerto Rico, at the early age of six (6) my parents migrated to Newark, New Jersey where I was raised and attended school.

In July of 1977, I moved to California because I read so much about the weather and how beautiful the state was. It was difficult leaving my job at New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry, where I taught Medical Spanish to doctors, nurses and medical students.

When I arrived in Los Angeles, I worked in the hospital community until 1991 but I was lucky enough to find a job at Westside Regional Center in Culver City, CA, a state sponsored agency providing services for the intellectually disabled. I worked there for nine years and found this job one of the most rewarding jobs I had ever had.

This position led me to form my own independent living agency in the Los Angeles areas. I employed service direct support professionals and trained them to go out into the community and help individuals with intellectual disabilities live independently. I love this field of work and feel I have become so much more sensitive and compassionate to the needs of others.

I had a niece in Puerto Rico that was profoundly intellectually challenged and I could not help her, I find gratification in doing and helping those individuals who have these very special needs.

The core of my program is to build independence, which I do with one-on-one instruction, taking the individuals grocery shopping, helping them with money management, cooking skills, banking, health, safety and hygiene, and help them lead a more happy, productive, healthy, fulfilling life. One of the most important things I do is to mobility train individuals so that they can become familiar with the different bus routes throughout Los Angeles County.