TEMECULA – D’Vine Path, a nonprofit program for adults with autism, developmental delays or learning disabilities, recently celebrated their anniversary. Providing vocational and life skills training in agriculture, hospitality and the arts, the D’Vine Path program operates on Batali Ranch property, a commercial vineyard and agriculture business located in Fallbrook. D’Vine Path and Batali Ranch are collaboratively dedicated to providing hands-on training, educating and creating meaningful opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.
Given the large number of wineries, vineyards and hotels located in the Fallbrook area and neighboring North County San Diego and Riverside counties, the program provides students with relevant life and vocational skills from professional, expert guest speakers and a sensitivity-trained staff. Students attend the two-year program which focuses on self-advocacy and empowerment to help overcome barriers and to promote a healthy and more balance lifestyle. The program is designed to reinforce job skills in any industry to encourage employment success after completion.
As D’Vine Path embraces the new year of 2020, they reflected on all accomplished during their first year of operation in 2019, beginning with the issuance of their nonprofit employer identification number and tax exemption letter from the IRS.
Shortly thereafter, the Department of Apprenticeship Standards approved D’Vine Path’s on-the-job training program and viticulture apprenticeship curriculum, recognizing D’Vine Path as the California’s first approved program of their kind.
Halfway through 2019, the students succeeded at their first paid catering job for Mainly Mozart, featuring Temple Grandin, an American professor of animal science at Colorado State University and autism representative.
Next, the collaborative Batali Ranch Vineyard celebrated its first successful “Vine to Wine” student bottling and label creation with D’Vine Path. In celebration of their first successful harvest, D’Vine Path held their first fundraiser soiree, which was catered by D’Vine Path’s students.
After eight months of hard work and dedication, D’Vine Path’s first class graduated, receiving a certificate of completion as well as individual awards for the special gifts each student brought to the program. Family and loved ones supported the students by attending the graduation ceremony with Ranai Browne from the Department of Apprenticeship Standards. Five of the first D’Vine Path students were able to secure employment upon graduation.
To ensure lasting success, D’Vine Path has started a Thursday Social Group designed to provide the resources and guidance the students need to take ownership of their social lives after they have successfully completed the program.
D’Vine Path is geared up for 2020 and the new students are already off to a great start, learning from program collaborators in agriculture, hospitality and the arts. This new program is sponsored through the San Diego Regional Center, who offers funding and financial support. Anyone who is interested in joining this dedicated team of students, volunteers and supporters may visit D’Vine Path’s website or contact D’Vine Path via telephone (949) 233-6515.
Please visit the website www.dvinepath.org to sign up for their newsletter to watch students grow as great as their vines.
Submitted by D’Vine Path.