New Endeavors for the BRIDGES Program Coming Soon

The HDS Foundation has consistently supported the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs in Broward County Schools. For the 2019-2020 school year, the Foundation is hoping to continue its work in Broward County, but also to expand their support to include Miami-Dade County.

The BRIDGES program first partnered with Cypress Bay High School in the 2015-2016 school year. Since this partnership, the program has been able to expand the activities that the students participate in. Not only does this program facilitate weekly field trips for the students, but it also has given each student their own checking account. Participating in these outings and utilizing their checking accounts enables the students to work on their daily life skills such as budgeting and independent functioning.

“The BRIDGES program has been extremely successful at Cypress Bay High School. I have been privileged to be able to attend many of the field trips and participate in various functions with the students of Cypress Bay. Over the course of just one school year, I can see substantial differences and improvements in the quality of the social skills of these students. They learn so much from participating,” said Carla Otiniano, Program Manager of the HDS Foundation. She continued, “I am looking forward to next school year and expanding our BRIDGES program and expanding the commitment of the HDS Foundation. I know how impactful this program is, and I am excited to see the progress that the students will make.”

If you would like more information on the HDS Foundation and how you can get involved, visit us online at or e-mail




On Friday, February 8, 2019, the HDS Foundation was honored to attend the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention (FISP) 14th Annual Gala FISPY Awards. Miss Bryan, Producer of the DJ Laz Morning Show, was the evening’s MC.  In attendance were Presidents Harry Rosen and Jackie Rosen; all board members of FISP; the Mayor of Pembroke Pines, Frank C. Ortis; Commissioners from the city of Pembroke Pines; and various other guests from the community. Through education and resources, in addition to the FISPY Gala, FISP sheds a light on those who are affected by suicide and those who struggle with mental illness. 

At the event, the FISPY Mental Health Advocates Awards were given to Journalist Michael Mayo, HOPE Sunshine Club student Jason Tache’, and Memorial Hospital. The evening included a wonderful dinner and great musical entertainment. 

Carla Otiniano, Program Manager of the HDS Foundation, sat next to a mother who lost a loved one to suicide. The mother thanked the HDS Foundation for continuing support of FISP and she explained that this organization has helped her family tremendously. She candidly shared her experience and thanked FISP for helping her family in her time of need. Her two daughters dealt with this tragedy differently, but neither one dealt with the pain immediately. Rather, it affected them later in their life did and as a mother it was difficult to understand their pain and help them. With assistance from FISP, she was able to handle this sadness in a productive manner. 

For information on how you can contribute to FISP, visit them online at 

HDS Foundation was honored to be a part of this insightful gathering and will proudly continue their support. For more information on the HDS Foundation, visit us online at or email Carla Otiniano, Program Manager, at 

January 2019 Events with BRIDGES Cypress Bay 

January 2019 Events with BRIDGES Cypress Bay 

2019 started off with a bang for the BRIDGES program at Cypress Bay High School. Field trips and activities where the students could practice such daily life skills as budgeting and social skills kept the class entertained. A benefit of the BRIDGES program for the students is this program addresses skills that many people often take for granted, such as:

  • Budgeting/Banking 
  • Resources 
  • Independent Functioning 
  • Development 
  • Education and 
  • Social Skills 

The first trip of the year to practice these life skills was to Lucille’s Café, which we detailed in a previous blog post. This was quickly followed with a field trip to Vista Park. Pablo Rodriguez led the activities which were focused on team building. Later in January, the class went to Peace Mound Park for scavenger hunt activity. Here the students were partnered and had to search for clues on the park trail and answer questions. This activity also fostered team building and learning to work together. The last field trip of January was a trip to Bank of America followed by lunch at Mission BBQ. At Bank of America, students used the outdoor ATM to deposit cash into their checking accounts. Once everyone had replenished their accounts, they headed to Mission BBQ where they not only enjoyed lunch, but they got to participate in singing the National Anthem along with the employees. The manager visited the class where everyone was complimented and invited to come back for job training. All in all, it was a busy January and the BRIDGES program at Cypress Bay High School is looking forward to more fun outings throughout the year. 

If you would like more information on the HDS Foundation, and how your donations can help fund great programs such as BRIDGES, contact Carla Otiniano, Program Manager via email at or call 954-217-9597 ext 259. 

Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day

Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day

On Friday, February 1st, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties both held their yearly “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day”. This yearly event is sponsored by the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation, who encourage students aged 8 to 18 to participate by visiting the workplace of a parent, guardian, adult relative, or adult family friend. The day promotes making a correlation how academics as a student relates to entering the workforce as an adult, and also helps students to begin thinking about their future goals. HDS Companies was proud to partake in this activity by inviting everyone to bring their children and invited students to the Weston office for the day.

After arriving in the office, each of the kids sat with their parent or guardian to learn about various jobs at HDS. The eHousingPlus department set up stations for the kids to rotate through in order to teach them about the various roles in that department. Other kids learned about programming and business skills during their shadowing.

At noon it was time for lunch, when all of the kids and parents gathered in the lunchroom for a pizza party. Afterwards, it was time for the visiting students to learn more about HDS. Everyone gathered in the conference room where presentations were given. eHousingPlus and Digital Docs were the first to present, followed by Software and Product Development, which led into the Business and Marketing Department, and concluded with the IT Department presenting.

Once the students had seen the different jobs that were important at HDS, it was time for the kids to tell the HDS employees what they wanted to be when they got older. Each child was given a poster board, magazine pictures, and stick-on letters which they used to create inventive vision boards. From doctor to gardener to veterinarian, and more, the kids all expressively showed what they want to be once they reach adulthood. The completed vision boards were all hung in the front of the office for everyone to view and admire.

After the vision boards were completed, the students stayed in the conference room to watch a movie. Popcorn was handed out to each student, at which point one child exclaimed, “This is the best job ever!” Once the movie ended, all the students went back to finish the day with their guardians. The day was a great success, and HDS will be thrilled to host the next “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day”.

To learn more about the HDS Companies, visit

ASDY-Tech Team: Miguel

ASDY-Tech Team: Miguel

ASDY-TECH is a NEW (Jobs-related) Program initiated by The HDS Foundation, Inc.  This program focuses on providing training and potential employment to young adults who are on the Autism Spectrum.  ASDY-TECH (coined after the Autism Spectrum Disorder Young adults), has been designed as a micro-enterprise entity of The HDS Foundation, Inc, and focuses on small technical projects that can be scaled to address the employment needs of this population, while meeting the requirements of different businesses and persons. 

Every Thursday, for the remainder of January, the HDS Foundation would like to introduce you to our great team members and what they do at ASDY Tech. 

Miguel told us, “My experience at HDS has been really great so far. Files come in from either FedEx or UPS and we start opening them. Afterwards, they must be counted. How many files are there? Then we start prepping and verifying. Once finished, I give the file to the person who is scanning (subject to jamming) and finally hand it to the uploader. Sometimes the loan search may fail. But it’s a lot of fun!”