Karol A. Scotta
Founder, CEO, Ex-director
I originally grew up in Allen Park, Michigan (A suburb of Detroit). I came out to California in 1984 and began working at Tierra Del Sol in Sunland, CA as a Communication Instructor. While at Tierra, I coordinated a program where participants who were in self-contained classrooms could participate in the bigger program that offered 5 classes a day. In 1988, I became a house parent and lived with 6 gentlemen in Culver City. I quickly became Administrator of the home and then Director of the Agency. I left in 1992 to work for Personal Empowerment. This agency provided Independent Living Skills and Supported Living skills to it’s participants. While I was there, I developed my own consulting company and worked to help residential providers open and run their homes, effectively. I taught various classes for Westside Regional Center and at Price Plus Learning Center. I also administrated a children’s residential home and became certified to teach Crisis Prevention Intervention. In 1995, I started as the Executive Director for Integrated Occupational Specialists, a day support program. I took over this program as the owner in 1999 and it has evolved into Options for Life. I love my work!
I was born and raised in Long beach, California. I began working in this field in 1995 where I started with a site based day program. I worked there for 3 years until I moved on to work for a level 4 residential home, it was then that I began to really hone in on my skills and realize that I was definitely meant to do this work. It appeared that I was very good at working with individuals with severe behavioral challenges therefore I was moved to the supported living department of this agency. After a couple of years of providing support and working with some challenging individuals, I was promoted to supervise the entire supported living department. After about 15 years with that agency, I moved on to Options for Life. Upon my employment in late 2008 I was hired as a program specialist, providing input wherever necessary as well as completing service plans for the participants of the program. Through OFL, I have been able to work closely with Westside Regional Center, facilitating their social networking and roommate social groups. After working diligently at OFL for 1 ½ years I was promoted to one of the Program Director positions in which I feel my talents are being utilized to the fullest. I am also a certified Crisis Prevention Intervention Instructor.
I truly love and believe I was meant to work and provide service to people with disabilities. It is truly a joy and the most rewarding job.
My name is Kakisha Beland and I am one of the Program Directors at Options for Life.
I first started working for Options for Life in 2004 as a vocational counselor however I left in 2005 to have my second child. I returned in 2007 as a Class B driver and vocational counselor. After being here for over a year, I was promoted in 2008 to Options for Life first supervisor. In 2010 I was promoted again to one of the Program Director positions.
Being a part of the OFL team has helped me grow in so many ways. I love to support those who have the passion to learn new and different things.
I was born in Los Angeles California in 1969. In 1975 my family and I moved to my father's home state of New Orleans, Louisiana. We moved back to California in 1979 and a few years later I obtained a work permit and got my first job at Taco Bell. In 1989 I obtained my certificate to become a certified fork lift driver and operator. Two years later In 1991 I met a nice lady at church named Jaime who helped me get a job working with persons with disabilities. After starting at OPS (Only a Place to Start) I met Karol Scotta. Ms. Scotta employed me and five other individuals at Options and Choices. There I was in charge of van maintenance, job developing and I helped create and facilitate jobs for our participants to wash company vans in which they would be paid.
As the years have progressed this same agency now called Options for Life continues to flourish and provide opportunities for people with disabilities. I am now one of three Program Directors and feel happy to be a part of a Great team!