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TMI Clients with IDD and their Staff Set the Bar for Outstanding Performance

Both groups with coaches and kitchen staff. Elizabeth is between Bobby and David wearing a black shirt and blue apron.
Both groups with coaches and Senior Center kitchen staff (Elizabeth is wearing a black shirt and blue apron)

Danny, David and Ezequiel have been volunteering at the Moreno Valley Senior Center since January of 2013 with the assistance of their Toward Maximum Independence (TMI), a nonprofit serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), Integrated Work Job Coach Isidro Mendoza. While Eric, Gibraan and Robert “Bobby” have been volunteering there since July 2017 with their TMI Job Coach Marina Pineda. Both groups are essential to the Senior Center and take pride in the service they provide to the seniors.

Danny happy to be assisting
Danny happy to be assisting

The groups volunteer at the Senior Center Monday through Thursday. Their main role is to assist in the serving of hot plates to 80 – 90 seniors! Bobby and Ezequiel have gained an ample amount of knowledge, confidence and experience by going behind the counter and serving the hot meals. With the help of their Job Coaches, they have both become independent in putting on their hair nets, gloves and aprons after thoroughly washing their hands in preparation for serving the food on each plate. Eric, Danny, David, and Gibraan run the front of the house by passing out each plate to the seniors and taking their drink order all while wearing a smile on their face!

Bobby and Ezequiel serving the hot food
Bobby and Ezequiel serving the hot food

“It is such a treat to see them work so hard and love what they do,” said TMI Division Manager Bianca Romero. “They have come a long way and although some days are still filled with differences between their personalities, when they are serving the food they come together to make sure that they are providing the best service. They are respectful to all the seniors and to the kitchen staff who are so gracious and give them the opportunity to make a difference. These are such hard working groups along with their Job Coaches who deserve to be praised and recognized for their hard work!”

“Each group is missed when they are not here. We couldn’t do the work without them and their Coaches. They help us so much! We are so happy to have them every day!” – Elizabeth, Senior Center Kitchen Manager

We are very proud of these awesome TMI teams! Keep up the great work everyone!

Thank you to the Moreno Valley Senior Center for partnering with us to give our clients an opportunity to learn new skills while giving back to the community. We are extremely happy to see our clients succeeding while doing something that they love!

(Thank you to Bianca Romero for contributing to this story.)


The TMI Integrated Work day program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities is designed to meet the employment and community integration needs of individuals who are over the age of 18 and are Regional Center clients. These services are funded by local Regional Centers with dollars from the State Department of Developmental Services at a 1:3 staff to client ratio.

Although paid work is the desired outcome for all of our clients, many are working as volunteers at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. In addition, clients have the opportunity to access resources in the community such as libraries, fitness centers, restaurants, etc.

If you are interested in having outstanding team members join your organization, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!


Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 2000. In 2020, we launched Disabled Veteran Employment Services. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.


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