Sitting in the first SRV workshop was like looking into a mirror for Elizabeth Albuquerque (Liz).
“… my belief system, of how every human being deserves respect, dignity and a purpose in life …. was right there staring back at me.” Creating meaningful and valuable social roles for each person is the basis of a happy, productive individual, leading to a happier and more productive community. It was important for Liz, to facilitate Alyx, her daughter, into making a difference, however small, by being a contributor in the community, a giver rather than being a taker at all times.

But where does one begin? While belief is important, where does the action begin and how. Firstly, a PATH (Planning Alternatives for Tomorrow with Hope) was conducted. When the PATH for Alyx was being done, what stood out was the vision that the people saw in that PATH were Alyx’s choices, her dreams, her ambitions, her interests, and her friends and supporters. For the first time she was at the center of her life’s choices and goals. Conservatism Corollary tells us that we need to prevent wounds, reduce them and compensate for them by bending over backwards. So the PATH that Alyx chose for herself was more unconventional and highly valued (more to the right of the bell curve).

The first thing that was done was to ensure that there were no more wounds. No more treating her as an eternal child. She was to be firmly in the driver’s seat, deciding for herself. Then came the part of her being made strong in the valued roles she already had, and having strong heavy hitter roles she wanted to make her a contributor in the community.

This gave birth to Pumpkin Patch – [email protected] Alyx is the owner and creative director of it. She is very much in the role of an entrepreneur. When you visit the pumpkin patch, Alyx is the one who takes you around, shows you the place and takes pride in all that she has accomplished. She has support, but she is definitely in the driving seat. While she does have some support it is gently in the background, supporting and undergirding her.

“SRV and PATH were brought into our lives at a time when we were looking for focus and direction in Alyx’s life. And therein was the birth of Pumpkin Patch — [email protected],” said Elizabeth Albuquerque.