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‘Believe and Achieve’ helps adults with special needs

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 7:44 PM CDT
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - A new adult care center in Merrill is helping adults with special needs learn to live independently.

It’s called Believe and Achieve Learning and Recreational Center. There they teach skills that will benefit adults with special needs while making it fun.

Gina Krause is the owner of Believe and Achieve Learning and Recreational Center. Before that, she was a special education aid at Merrill High School. She opened the center in the fall because she saw a need.

“It’s enjoyable and it makes it great to come to work,” Krause said. “I worked with most of the kids that I have here and I would see them leaving and wondering what they were gonna do and how their life would be and I always kind of wanted to be a part of that.”

At Believe and Achieve, they teach social and life skills that these adults need in the real world. This includes things like making meals, volunteering, shopping, and other daily chores.

“We’re focusing more on just maintaining what they already know and keeping them out in the community, and keeping them busy and making their days good,” Krause said.

The adults also do various projects like painting birdhouses, drawing, and other outdoor activities.

“I’m just so grateful it’s here,” parent Julie Davis said.

Davis’s son, Chase, has autism and said being confined mostly at home during the pandemic made it hard for him to be involved in things until Believe and Achieve came along.

“I came to tour it and I knew right away that this was a safe clean environment for Chase,” Davis said.

Chase comes to the center twice a week. His mom said it’s helping him grow to be a better person with more responsibility.

“It’s extremely important that they’re out and about and moving and they’re exercising and doing chores,” Davis said.

While the state licensed facility only has room for eight adults, Krause hopes this dream continues to grow even bigger while keeping everyone happy.

“They seem to enjoy it, I think they’re having a good time and they’re always wanting to come back so that’s a good sign,” Krause said.

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