Pathfinder, Inc., a nationally recognized nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the development and implementation of individualized strategies designed to enable citizens with developmental disabilities, and/or behavioral health needs, total access to community life.
Pathfinder provides an array of services for the disabled. Services are provided for those citizens, of Arkansas, with developmental disabilities. Our objective is for each participant to become a self-supporting, productive member of society.
An Equal Opportunity Employer to include women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities.
Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement:
It is our policy to employ, retain, evaluate, promote, discipline, and otherwise treat any and all employees and job applicants without regard to any individual's race, color, religion, sex, marital status, age, medical condition, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.
The Grinch made an appearance at our Thomas Flake Center (IWAC) last week! All the clients were super excited!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Pathfinder Offices, Workshops and Preschools will be closed Friday, Dec. 24th in observance of Christmas and Friday, Dec. 31st in observance of New Years. Wishing everyone a joyous Holiday!
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mrs. Joan Zumwalt.
Joan R. Zumwalt
APRIL 7, 1934 - DECEMBER 18, 2021
Joan R. Zumwalt of Jacksonville, AR, passed away peacefully in her home on Saturday, December 18, 2021. In 2000, she moved into the newly constructed home (that she loved) and would often inform her children that she wanted to be in it until the very end. To nobody's surprise, she did what she said she was going to do. Born to John and Mossie Tyler on April 7, 1934 in Stanford, Kentucky, Joan was the youngest of five siblings. Joan attended Purdue University and later earned her communication license. In 1963, Joan moved to Jacksonville to start a radio station with the late Ben Rice. Soon after, she became a single parent supporting her three children and her mother. It was at this time that she opened a collection agency. Being a hard worker and extremely determined, her successful collection agency allowed her to provide for her family's needs and many of their wants. In the early 70's, Phyllis Padgett-Voss approached Joan about the need for a center to help disabled people. Joan got to work and found a $12,000 grant and a donated two-room office. Pathfinder, Inc. was opened. The grant was used to compensate Phyllis and buy supplies. Joan understood the need for these services and found another grant that was a three-to-one match, meaning, if she could raise $25,000, the grant would supply another $75,000. Friends and community members told her that she would never be able to do it. Going business to business, Joan raised the $25,000 within three days! That's when friends knew that once she set her mind to something, it was going to get done! Joan and her husband, Col McLyle Zumwalt, continued their passion of providing services to special needs children and adults as they both served on the Pathfinder Board from day one. At Joan's death, she was still the Chairperson of the Board at Pathfinder, Inc. and greatly involved in its continued success. Pathfinder has grown from a two room office, with six disabled chilren and one teacher, to the largest centrally located employer north of the Arkansas river. Another passion of Col Zumwalt's and Joan was the military. Having served 30 years in uniform, “Zumie” (as she called him) and Joan provided funding to start the Jacksonville Museum of Military History. Her tenacity and determination later led to the mounting of a fighter jet and military helicopter on the grounds of the Museum. Also in the 70's, Joan purchased a small liquor store at the Pulaski - Lonoke county line. With hard work and a great business mind, Joan grew Ace Liquor in both size and volume. Until she sold the store to her good friend Nick Pierce in 2012, Joan could be found at Ace from early morning until early evening almost daily. Snow and ice didn't even keep her home! Joan's involvement in business and community was evident as she served on many boards and executive positions including Centennial Bank, Jacksonville Utility Commission, Jacksonville United Methodist Church, United Way of Pulaski County, Jacksonville Historical Society, Better Business Bureau of Arkansas and was Charter President of the Jacksonville Medical Auxilary. Joan also served as a charter member of Foxwood (now Southern Oaks) Country Club in Jacksonville. At her death, she was co-owner of the club along with her dear friend, Harold Gwatney. Joan's two favorite hobbies were gardening and genealogy. Her Master Gardener skills were most evident in her own, beautiful yard. Her gardening and landscaping skills were also put to use at Pathfinder's administrative facility, Jacksonville City Hall, Jacksonville. Community Center and other community agencies. Joan was also very involved with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and received the National Conservation Medal from the National Society of the DAR for her community beautification efforts. Having accomplished so much in life, she would be quick to tell you that her best work was giving birth to, and raising, three wonderful children; Greg, Lisa Jo and Kelli Jo. Being a single mom most of their childhood, Joan worked hard assuring that their needs were met. Of great importance to her was making sure that they (and later their children) received their post-secondary education degrees. At her nudging ... which could be strong at times ... Greg went on to receive his doctorate. His beautifully framed diploma has hung proudly in Joan's office ever since. Joan was pre-deceased by her husband of 27 years, Col. McLyle Zumwalt as well as siblings Hope Jacobs, John Tyler and Gene Tyler. She is survived by her children, Greg Jones (Doris), Lisa Bamburg (Mary Alice) and Kelli Zumwalt (Sarah); grandchildren, Josh Jones (Lisa), Kindra Shafer (Dave), Tyler Jones (Jessica), Elise Taylor (Trint) and Joel Bamburg; great-grandchildren Peyton, Grant and Logan; sister Barbara Randall; a host of nieces and nephews; and the man she loved dearly, Rev. Wendell Dorman. Visitation (First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville) will be Wednesday, December 22, at 10:00am followed by an 11:00am celebration of Joan's life. Joan requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Pathfinder, Inc. and the Jacksonville Museum of Military History. Joan was once quoted in a newspaper article as saying, “Granddad said, 'You should always give more than you take,' and I try to do that.” Mom, you more than exceeded in that effort!
"From Snow, snow, snow to Ho! Ho! Ho! the preschool had a truly fabulous Christmas!!!!
December 15 Briarwood ICF/IID held their annual Christmas Party!
Thank you to The University of Arkansas at Pulaski Tech Phi Theta Kappa for thier donation of 85 stuffed animals for the children!
A huge thank you to Donna Eaks, Vanessa Ellison, Cheryl Werner and all of First Arkansas Bank & Trust in Jacksonville for the turkey donations!
Pathfinder Preschool received a monetary donation from Ron McDonald and the Sertoma Club 12/7/2021! Thank-you so much!!!
We want to thank everyone for all their support this Holiday season and throughout the year!
Pickens ADDT Talent Show 2021!
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
Preschool Pumpkin patch and Haloween Party
The 2021 50th Anniversary Prom was a smash!
Gordon Tubbs and Gateway residents get ready for Prom night!
50th Celebration was a HUGE success!!!
Everyone had a great time
1971 to 2021
Pathfinder, Inc. was incorporated in August of 1971. The initial enrollment for that year was 6 students in a preschool program. As awareness of the services available in the Jacksonville area increased, Pathfinder was approached by a group of concerned parents to make services available to their adult disabled dependents. Read More
Jonesboro ADDT had special visitors today! They were here to make sure that we are staying safe but we got to see their cool truck and get some pics too!
ICF Residents visit Camp Solgohachia!
Our ICF residents attended Camp Solgohachia this month. Camp Solgohachia is located on a 325 acre mountain top in Solgohachia, Arkansas. The camp reached out to Pathfinder to invite our ICF residents to experience the activities offered. Each ICF spent a day at the camp where they were able to enjoy swimming, fishing, go-karts, music, and more. This was an extra special occasion as the outing was the first day trip/overnight trip that our ICF residents were able to attend since the start of COVID in March 2020. The residents had a great time!
Community Helping Community
On Saturday April 10 and Saturday April 17, Pathfinder Preschool was graced with the volunteer work of University of Arkansas- Pulaski Technical College's Phi Theta Kappa. They heard that our garden was in need of repair and repalnting due to the struggles through our Covid year. Phi Theta Kappa advisors, Jessica Wise and Amanda Kennedy, led their team in rolling up their sleeves and grinding away in the mud to clean up, and replant our gardens. Delana Crutti, Phi Theta Kappa officer, grew vegetables and fruit in her greenhouse and donated all that was planted. The garden is beaming with squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, watermelon, pumpkins, peppers, grape vines and more. Flowers, bird houses, a bird bath and ferns were donated by other students of the organization. The Phi Theta Kappa team were joined by myself and three of my staff, Ms Mirian, Ms Amada and Ms Desiree who gave their time and muscle to assist in the garden revival. In addition, two of Central Arkansas Christian School's students, Ava and Joshua Wise, used the garden opportunity as a way to "give to the community" during their school's "Caring About Community” campaign. Ava and Joshua said, “This was our best day ever" as they took great pride in their hard work. In addition to the clean up and planting, 100 bags of mulch was spread!
It was amazing and overwhelming to see the love, joy and giving Phi Theta Kappa brought to our school. They were positive, energetic and have decided to take our school garden on as an every spring event. Saying thank you doesn't seem like enough for the blessings this amazing group brought to us. Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society that promotes academic excellence and excellence is what they demonstrated in this project. We were honored to present Phi Theta Kappa with a leaf to attach to our garden wall of donations. My staff and I were truly inspired. In fact, Mr. Lucas was so inspired by the dedication of this team that he put together our new house for the children all by himself this past week. Thank you, UAPTC's Phi Theta Kappa for showing us all what is accomplished when communities help communities!!!
Children's Week 2021
Children's Week (April 12-16) 2021
consisted of "Making Amazing Things Happen (MATH)"
We celebrated with the Math Olympics. The children began the week with a torch run where they also picked up quilt pieces to be decorated by every child and staff in the building. Throughout the week they participated and competed in math games. The week ended on Friday with a run through the finish line for all participants where each class brought their completed quilt pieces, which will be sewn together to make our Pathfinder Preschool quilt. The quilt will represent the unity we all have in working together to provide the best for our clients. Each child received a trophy and a math skills ribbon. They ended the day celebrating with cupcakes! The children had a wonderful time making amazing things happen with math.
From Jonesboro Adult Development Center
Jonesboro ADC has started a Monthly Service Challenge. The March challenge was to collect soda can tabs for Ronald McDonald House at St. Judes.
Every month this year we are challenging our clients to participate in a service project. We had a contest between all the clients for the most collected and then we challenged EastArk Enterprises to a contest as well, with the winner earning an ice cream party!
EastArk beat us but everyone did great! (Next time West Memphis!!) Thanks for sharing, Kim!!!
EastArk Enterprises accepted the challenge from Jonesboro ADC and won the ice cream party! They collected 15lbs of soda tabs. Morgan brought the most in and she received a $20 prize. All soda tabs will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House at St. Judes. Good job, EastArk Enterprises!!! 👍👍👍 Thanks for sharing, Heather!
Recognition and Kindness
In October 2020, a person assigned to my caseload passed away. The person left behind a parakeet (named Pretty Boy) that had nowhere to go. I remembered that the residents at Plaza Group Home had a parakeet (named Silver) in their care. So, I asked the residential manager, Anita Washington, if they had room for one more parakeet. Anita said she would have to discuss it with the residents at Plaza because the residents would be the ones responsible for the bird's care. Anita later informed me that the residents uniformly agreed to take on the responsibility of caring for another parakeet. Whenever I visit the Plaza Group Home, it brings me such joy to hear Pretty Boy and Silver singing to each other. I wanted to share this story because Pretty Boy had nowhere to go when his owner passed away; he was a homeless bird. I envision the previous owner looking down and smiling as Pretty Boy continues to sing his songs. Thanks to all at the Plaza Group Home for exemplifying service.
Glory Pearsall, Care Coordinator - 1/27/2021
To start off every thing was looking good! Then in March the pandemic! What a mess. We had to postpone our new Summer Day Accademy :-(
Postponed to 2022
POSTPONED until 2022!
Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Pathfinder will postpone the initial session of the Summer Day Academy until May of 2022. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
If you have any questions, please contact your local facility or call our Administration Office at 501 982-0528.
If that wasn't enough, we had to lay-off several employees!
Doom and gloom seemed to be heading our way, but we are so very blessed that our supporters came through with flying colors! So many to thank for donating masks when all this first started!!! Then we had great support from several local businesses and groups that donated helpful supplies to keep us up and running!!! Thank-you SUPPORTERS ONE AND ALL!!!
Thank you to all who donated masks!
Click the image for more!
Jacksonville High School donated fresh fruits and vegetables to distribute to the clients today. Everybody will get a bag to take home and any extras will be taken to Whit Davis, McCreight Homes and Gordon Tubbs! Thank-you JHS!!!
Donations - Thank-you!
The Moose Lodge in Sherwood and the Haskel Dollar General Store #11439 donated bins of books for our Preschool classrooms. They also brought bins of books and socks for our adults! We are so thankful to have contributors like you who make this trying time seem not so trying! Thank-you Moose Lodge and Haskell Dollar General!
As the year progressed we submitted to a different kind of "normal". Doing our best to keep everyone safe while continuing to provide services to our consumers. In July, as in prior years, there was a Preschool Graduation! Although it was somewhat different than in years past it was totally awesome!
Preschool Graduation 2020
And as the true spirit of Pathfinder shone through all the negativity, we showed our true selves when in August our neighbors needed a helping hand and we were there!
We are so proud of these smiling faces that selflessly got up in the early morning hours on Saturday, August 15 to come to the rescue of our Jacksonville neighbors. The Jacksonville Towers Senior residential center experienced a power outage that resulted in having to move the residents to other locations. Pathfinder was contacted by the Jacksonville Police Department and five of our great staff jumped to help. Over sixty residents were transported to a nearby hotel. A big thank you goes to Geneva Hopkins, Victor Henderson, Peggy Smiley, Kaisa Alexander and Juliet Gilliam. You make Pathfinder very proud!
We also want to recognize the generosity of Linda Curtis, who has taken two of the seniors from the Towers into her home. She too came to the rescue in the early morning hours without hesitation. This is a huge undertaking, but no surprise to any of us who know Linda. We are so very proud!
PoloPiaz CEO Dave Brunori and PoloPiaz Plant Manager Steve Nichols recently went to visit with members of Pathfinder, the nationally recognized, Jacksonville, AR-based nonprofit organization. They are dedicated to the development and implementation of individualized strategies designed to enable citizens with developmental disabilities, and/or behavioral health needs total access to community life.
Pathfinder supports the production department of PoloPiaz in the labeling of one-gallon cans and five-gallon pails, as well as other sizes as necessary. Pathfinder and PoloPiaz have partnered for almost 30 years, going back to the early 1990's!
PoloPiaz is very fortunate to be working with Pathfinder. It is a great way to help local people be employed that may otherwise not get jobs, the work is of the highest quality, and it is a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives of others. "I was humbled and saw firsthand how important the relationship we have with this group of amazing people is, the interaction is way above just labeling cans. More companies should reach out to similar organizations in their local area and get involved.", said Brunori. Added Nichols, "Pathfinder does a wonderful job labeling all of our many gallon cans and five-gallon pails that are used in production and manufacturing of our products for resale and are very appreciative to have a job and share in our partnership." The entire Pathfinder team was given t-shirts to commemorate the visit. For more information, visit www.poloplaz.com and www.pathfinderinc.org.
Summer turned to fall with no relief in site as far as the pandemic! Throughout the year thus far we have been very fortunate to have stayed open for our consumers with only a few closings.
Despite the lockdown of our residential facilities, they still made sure to have a little fun!
October Fun at Dogwood!
Lindsey (our colorful clown) set up a carnival for Dogwood ICF in Jonesboro today. Residents enjoyed dressing up for Halloween, eating food, and playing games. Plus they all got prizes! From the looks of things, Lindsey also has a secret talent in balloon animals.
The Holidays through a pandemic! So many wonderful neighbors and friends supported us to insure our consumers had the best Christmas possible! Words can't describe the feelings of love and gratitude that we feel for all the awesome supporters!
Thank-you, Jacksonville Sertoma Club!!!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Snow much fun at the Preschool!!!
This Christmas was made possible by: 2nd Baptist Church, Stitchers Mending Hearts, Michelle John, Vickie and Scote Cole, Jane and John Cole, Sandy Bidwell and Lisa Smith. Because of all of you each child received a stuffed animal, amazing handmade hooded towels, pillows and puppet washcloths.
May you be blessed with the love you have shown us today!!!
Ms Debbie and the Preschool Gang!!! Merry Christmas!
A Very Briarwood Christmas!
Briarwood had their Christmas party on December 17th so that all could enjoy the fun! The residents got up early and had a special holiday breakfast. Later they enjoyed munching on homemade cookies and fudge that the staff had made. Chips and dips plus a meat and cheese tray were totally devoured while washing it all down with eggnog and soft drinks. Everything was so good there was hardly any left. "Munch, munch" Anticipation was rising as the opening of the gifts drew closer. The smiles and excitement made for a joyous time. Each resident was thrilled with their gifts! After the party, the staff and residents cleaned up the mess then the residents took their goodies to their rooms. Later they enjoyed pizza and watched some Christmas movies. So much work and preparation goes into making a party then you blink and it's all over! All in all a fantastic day!