Updated: May 2, 2022
Congratulations to Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) Corona office Division Manager and Site Coordinator Maria Salcedo for 10 years of dedicated service to our clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). With more than 20 years of experience serving individuals with IDD, Maria was influential in getting our Corona office off the ground in 2016. A resident of Corona, Maria’s passion for working in the human services field is evident in the growth of the Corona office which is now serving nearly 90 clients and continues to grow. She shared with us what keeps her inspired and more!
Q. What interested you about working at TMI?
A. A little over 10 years ago, I came across the job posting for the Division Manager position for the Temecula office. I had not heard of Toward Maximum Independence, so I did a little research and viewed the website prior to submitting my resume. What interested me the most is TMI's belief that everyone deserves to have the opportunity for real work for real pay, regardless of their disability. What I can honestly say about TMI is that they truly value their employees. The clients definitely come first but recognizing their employees for all of their hard work is just as important.
Q. What is your favorite part about working at TMI?
A. One of the best parts is the work environment that the ladies and I at the Corona office have created. We are all supportive and treat each other like family.
Q. What challenges do you and/or our clients face?
A. The main challenge we face most of the time is the limited opportunities available for our clients; meaning resources that will allow them to volunteer to work on their skills that may eventually result in paid employment.
Q. How have you handled the challenges?
A. We face these challenges by staying involved in our community which helps to educate others about our purpose and the value that we bring to the community.
Q. How have you assisted TMI clients during the pandemic?
A. The pandemic has made it even more challenging, but our goal is to keep our clients productive and motivated to face each day with positivity.
Q. How does making a difference in the lives of our clients make you feel?
A. It gives me a sense of purpose. In a way, it is a feeling of validation that I have made an impact on other people's lives.
Q. What are your hopes for the future of individuals with developmental disabilities?
A. My hope is for all individuals with developmental disabilities to be given the opportunity to reach their full potential and to have all of the support that they need to be successful.
Q. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A. My free time is always time well spent with my family which means a lot of cooking is done, which I do enjoy. This was an influence by my most admired person, my late mom. She was the most selfless woman who always put others first, especially her children. I have fond memories of growing up and watching her surrounded by her friends in our kitchen while they cooked together as a social gathering.
Q. Words to Live By?
A. "Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” - Sean Patrick Flanery. It helps me to keep a good perspective in life.
We are certainly thankful for you, Maria, and thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to make a lasting impact in the lives of our clients!
TMI's Corona office employment programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities include Integrated Work and Tailored Day Services. Our innovative programs seek to assist our clients with finding employment if they desire and/or help them integrate into the community by volunteering at local businesses. We assist our clients with being contributing members of society. The programs are funded by Inland Regional Center (IRC).
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 and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.