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Our Founders'

Brenda and Heather.JPG

Brenda Ornelas

(with Heather, the namesake and inspiration for the Skool)


Discover the heartwarming story behind Heathers' Old Skool Village, where every individual with special needs finds a place to belong and thrive. Brenda Ornelas, the Founder and Executive Director, was inspired to teach by her cousin, Rhonda Gail Coston, who had Down Syndrome. Brenda's dedication to her cousin led her to a 28-year career as a Special Education Teacher, where she touched countless lives. Witnessing her students' longing for purpose and connection, even after graduation, fueled Brenda's passion to create a haven like Heathers' Old Skool Village. Join us in embracing diversity, inclusion, and fostering a supportive community where every young adult with special needs can discover their unique role in life.


Brenda formatted the structure and organization of the facility after the quaint one-room schoolhouses of yesteryears, where students of different ages and abilities collaborated in their quest for knowledge and personal development. At Heathers' Old Skool Village, a variety of extraordinary employees and volunteers contribute to the program's success including parents, educators, artisans, local entrepreneurs, social advocates, clergy, and community leaders. The collective effort of this dynamic and exceptional village is what makes Heathers' Old Skool Village a thriving hub of support and achievement for all its participants.

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