When Gary was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, the implications of his illness didn’t hold much meaning for him. “It was just a word to me,” says Gary, “I didn’t understand what it meant for me or my life.” But the effects of his illness soon became apparent. Working as an engineer, the pressure and stress of his job made it difficult to manage his illness and perform his work. After he lost his job and then his home, Gary moved in with his parents. “I felt constrained and that there was no hope for my future,” he says. Then a friend told Gary about JFSA’s PLAN membership program. “PLAN changed my life for the better,” explains Gary. He participates in many of the social and recreational activities, such as nature hikes, bike rides, volleyball and softball, and movie nights. Membership in PLAN gives Gary an opportunity to meet new people and build a stronger connection to the community. He also credits his experience in CET (Cognitive Enhancement Therapy) for his ability to form friendships and feel more at ease in social situations. “Life is more fun now,” says Gary with a smile. His positive outlook also led to his employment with PLAN as a Program Assistant, providing guidance and support for other PLAN members. For other families facing a difficult diagnosis, Gary offers this advice: “There is a light at the end of the tunnel. PLAN can help you get there.”