Community Opportunities Life Skills Teacher Tim Gilman helps Robert prepare a meal.

Tim Gilman is a Life Skills Teacher (LST) at Community Opportunities and supports individuals with developmental disabilities who receive residential services. 

Those receiving services live a typical life because of people like Tim. He and his co-workers are first and foremost teachers. Skills are taught daily, naturally, as life occurs. Whether it is learning to order a pizza for delivery, separating one’s laundry, brushing one’s teeth or budgeting a paycheck – an LST supports and teaches those skills.

“In this job I have built wonderful relationships with the individuals I support and they are a lot of fun. I came here with no experience with individuals with developmental disabilities, and have learned so much,” Gilman said describing his position at Community Opportunities. “I have a background in data entry, was looking for a new job, and this position is close to home, so I took a chance. I really did not know if I could do this job because I had never done this kind of work. But, the training was excellent and I have learned so much, not only about this job, but about people with disabilities.

“The guys I support are just like everyone else.” 

A LST must have a willingness to work hard, but have fun too. They need to have compassion for others, be a team player, a self-starter and creative is how Tim described a good LST candidate.

When asked one of the best things he likes about his position, Tim discussed the success of others. 

“I have seen growth with many of those I support,” Gilman said. “There is one gentleman in particular who has made great strides in his patience and social skills. I would like to think maybe I had a part in that,” 

Now with five-and-a-half years of experience, Tim is a leader on his team. He not only continues supporting individuals, but also trains new LSTs to do the work he does. 

Last year, for his outstanding performance, Tim earned the Direct Support Professional of the Quarter.

If you would like additional information regarding Community Opportunities’ employment opportunities or services, please call (636) 462-7695.