Success Stories

martha-5 spacer stephanie spacer  damien
From Feeling Helpless
to a Harvard Graduate
Mastering the Arts
while
Erasing Stigmas of Autism
How Music Boosted His Academics
& Family Bond
Martha Rivera – Arts Alumni Stephanie Diaz – Flute, Opera & Harp Damien – Drum Therapy
Martha, 22-years-old, started attending music and art classes at OCCTAC when she was only nine years old. Martha always wanted to learn how to play different musical instruments, yet classes were either not available or far too expensive. Stephanie Diaz is one of the most inspiring people you will ever come across. Stephanie came to the center when she was just 6 years old. She was diagnosed early on with severe autism and had all the typical symptoms when she first came to OCCTAC. Damien has been in drum therapy and rhythm classes for a little over a year. He used to struggle with reading notes and playing music. As time passed Damien would get very frustrated struggling with these things yet he did not give up.
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 jacqueline  karla  vz3
Overcoming Limitations
through Dance
Making Her Educational Dreams
a Reality
With a Little Guidance,
This Youth Fought Through
 Jacqueline Nava – Flamenco Student Karina Aguilar – WIA Student ‘V.Z.’ – WrapAround Tutoring
Autism sometimes loses to Dance and Jacqueline Nava is a perfect example of that. Moved by her strong response to rhythm and music, a vehicle was found for Jacqueline to foster her self‐expression and creativity through OCCTAC Dance. Karina Aguilar, a participant in the 2012-2013 WIA program, was the first student to join the program that year due to her acceptance through the Dream Act. She was able to take advantage of all the supportive services provided to her. A student in the OCCTAC Wraparound program who is called V.Z. in this case study, for anonymity purposes, was placed in group home care at 15 years of age. She became part of the Wraparound program at 16 years old.
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 samantha  richie  wia-students
From Shy and Unsure to
‘OC Register Artist of the Week’
Now One of our Art Instructors,
He Earned his HS Diploma at OCCTAC
Creating Productive Futures
through Staff & Student Collaboration
Samantha Guerrero – Music Ensemble Richie Velazquez – WIA Student  WIA Graduates
OCCTAC music ensemble student, Samantha “Sam” Guerrero, started the ensemble class as a shy, quiet, piano student who was unsure of her talents. After a few months, she emerged as one of the most consistent, reliable players in   the class. In 2013, Richie, 23, achieved his high school diploma, which is something that he never thought he could accomplish. After graduating from high school, Richie started working full-time at retail store as well as part-time as an Arts instructor at OCCTAC. The OCCTAC WIA program provides youth with the opportunity to acquire skills to successfully transition into the workforce, further their education, and reach their true work potential. This is a key force in OCCTAC’s mission of empowering young adults.
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 dancers  cesar  mom
Discipline and Hard Work Shows
with These Young Dancers
Youth with Special Needs Gains
Skill & Confidence through Piano
A Very Grateful
Mom Indeed
Rosa’s Dancers Cesar Galvan – Special Needs Piano
Karla Cardena & Her Children
Milena is a student who started in the winter of 2014 and has been excelling in the ballet work. She always shows that she wants to get better and takes any corrections or suggestions well. She has been sticking with the program for a while now. Cesar Galvan started at OCCTAC taking piano classes with Ms. Jenny. Cesar was born with a physical disability and was later diagnosed with mild autism. When he first started taking piano he was shy and insecure of his physical disability. The OC Children’s Therapeutic Art Center has been a great blessing for my family and I. When my son was starting pre-school, he was very shy and has some issues with stuttering.  I had heard good things about OCCTAC and decided to give it a try.
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 anthony2  smallkarladiegojacqueline  clemente-small
I can now be successful in
ALL Areas of my life!
From Art Students to
Critical Thinkers
It’s Never Too Late for the
Journey to Greatness
Anthony Sandoval – WIA & Family Wellness Karla, Diego, & Jaqueline – Visual Arts & WIA
 Clemente Salgado – Suzuki Violin
OCCTAC has done so much for me. It has helped me gain the confidence I need to be successful in all areas of life. The staff at the OCCTAC WIA program inspired me to work hard and think about my future at all times so I decided to show them the same love… Jose Lozano’s art students, Karla, Diego, and Jaqueline, achieved a vast amount of artistic and lifelong lessons while taking his classes. Jose Lozano is a well-known artist, known for his distinctive style and Chicano art; yet at OCCTAC, he is known as a mentor and friend. When Cynthia Faisst, Suzuki Violin Instructor at OCCTAC, met Clemente, she could tell that he had a lot of drive and unmet potential for a young musician who was frustrated by his lack of access to musical resources and to a violin teacher with the right training.
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 aranza-small  victor-small
 A Vital Piece of My Childhood & Adulthood
 The Passion to Become Great was Always In Him
 Aranza Bravo – ARTS Alumni  Victor Angel – WIA Graduate
“OCCTAC has been a vital piece of my childhood and I’m forever grateful for what it provided me and my community. I started at the center as an ordinary student with various interests in visual arts. I became very enthusiastic to develop skills in drawing and painting…” Victor came to OCCTAC for the simple reason that he is a motivated young man who liked what OCCTAC had to offer him as far as job-training, educational success, and the Arts. Victor in an amazing youth who always knew he wasn’t limited to what others thought he would accomplish in life.
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