Break the Barriers hosts annual H.O.P.E Showcase

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno non-profit is celebrating the success of its students, while helping others understand the challenges they face.

They hosted a special showcase at The Well's Fig Garden campus Saturday.

Rashida Gay has been part of Break the Barriers H.O.P.E program for a year now.

"Today I'm celebrating all the hard work I've been doing at Break the Barriers," said Gay. "It's been a long year."

H.O.P.E stands for Helping Open Possibilities with Exercise. It specializes in supporting those with neurological conditions.

"I've been doing a lot of exercising and walking without a walker, " said Gay. "It's easy with a device or, I should say, easier with a device. Without a walker, it's challenging, but I've been doing hard work and exercising trying to get stronger."

Participants had a chance to showcase their progress Saturday.

"They're here to show us what they've been working on or working through," said Volunteer McKenna Gilman. "Maybe someone who's a stroke victim that was told, you'll never walk again and here, they are going to show us how they can walk."

Guests at the event also had a chance to try activities designed to give them a better understanding of the challenges their loved ones face every day.

"I was taking my son around to see how it is to have various disabilities at each station out here so he can see how it feels," added Gay, "to let him know it's not easy it's challenging at times."

"Everyone wants to learn and walk in the shoes of someone else and hopefully to continue opening doors," said co-founder of Break the Barriers, Deby Hergenrader.

About 30 participants are enrolled in the program, and dozens of people came out to the showcase to give their support.

"I'm just thinking how much I'm going to learn and grow," added Gilman. "The things I'm not even aware of or mindful of that I'm going to grow in that way too."
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