Molly R. from Rainbow Acres at Special Olympics event

We meet up with Molly in Palmer Community Center at Rainbow Acres during the vibrant lunch hour. Over a plate of chicken and super salad, we chat about what it takes to welcome change, welcome new friends, and welcome ourselves on a deeper level.

RA: Thank you for talking with us today, Molly. Tell us how long you have been at Rainbow Acres and a little about yourself.

MR: I have been at Rainbow Acres for five years. I am in my twenties, and I am from Durango, Colorado. I have family there and in New York. 

I really like music. I really like to work out and to eat healthy. I like to read and to watch movies on Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.

RA: What styles of music do you like?

MR: Pop, ‘80s, ‘70s, and sometimes ‘60s. Sometimes classical, depending on what it is. No rap.

RA: What do you enjoy reading? 

MR: Fantasy. Supernatural stories. Vampires and werewolves.

RA: Do you have a favorite book or character?

MR: Not really at the moment, because I like to read different series at the time, and I always forget which one is my favorite. 

RA: You mentioned you like to eat healthy. What is the healthy food you like the most?

MR: Salad. With avocado.

RA: And if you have the option of unhealthy food, what are you going to choose?

MR: Pasta. Any type of pasta.

RA: Do you consider yourself a person of faith?

MR: Maybe. I haven’t before, but I’ve been going through hard times in my life and I want to just start talking [to God]. To have someone else there to talk to.

RA: Thank you for sharing so much about yourself. If it’s okay, let’s go back to when you first came to Rainbow. What was the hardest part of that move for you?

MR: Change. The hard thing about coming to Rainbow was being away from my mom and my brothers. Moving away from home.

RA: Was this your first experience living so far from home?

MR: Yeah. It was really hard to be this far from home.

RA: You have two brothers, but you moved into a house with nine almost instant sisters. How was that experience for you? 

MR: At first it was tough, but once I got used to them, I love them. I was in Frese House, now I’m in Nash. We have disagreements, but it’s like with my brothers, even when we don’t get along, we stay friends. 

RA: As you adjusted, what made you feel welcomed? 

MR: Everyone welcomed me here. They included me in many things like activities and classes, and I made friends.

RA: You’ve undergone a lot of positive change since you first came. You’ve learned a lot of new skills, and new approaches to life. Which is your favorite change? 

MR: I think the number one change that really helped me improve a lot was probably doing voice lessons with Courtney. Once I started doing voice lessons, plus going up on stage, I felt more confident in doing other things that I normally don’t do. Now, I look for the chance to do things I don’t usually do.

RA: That’s fantastic, Molly. It has been fun watching you embrace change. In your life — or in yourself — what are you most proud of?

MR: I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m learning about myself and also the things in my classes. I’m learning more about my family, too. And I’m proud of my confidence. 

RA: When you think about your life, and you look ahead over the next couple years, do you have any goals or dreams?

MR: My dream is — I really want to work with more singing. I like musicals. I really like doing that type of stuff. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll do something with animals.

RA: You’ve recently been a big help to a new Rancher. Can you share more about your part in welcoming her to Rainbow Acres?

MR: When she first came, I wanted to give her space. When she started branching out, I wanted to help her fit in because I felt the same way when I first come here. I just really wanted to make a difference and help someone out. We clicked pretty quickly. I’m still helping her and it’s really nice.

RA: And you’ve developed a friendship.

MR: Yes.

RA: Imagine there’s someone out there right now who is thinking about coming to Rainbow. What would you want them to know?

MR: That this is a great place where everybody is unique in their own way. Once you get started, and get used to this place, you will love it. You will learn new skills. You will make really great friends here. There are lots of nice staff and caregivers.

RA: Thank you for spending this time with us and sharing so much about yourself. We are all cheering you on as you continue to grow. Before we finish, what is one thing about yourself that others might not know but you wish they did?

MR: That I like to dance. Normally, I’m a singer. That’s what people know I do. But once I started doing Zumba and dancing on my own, I don’t think other people know how much I enjoy it.