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Group of 5 people stand in a field around a large trophy
Celebrating Waterbury Women's Flag Football championship win.

When the Assistant Coach of the Waterbury Women's Flag Football League personally invited the residents of 206th Street to attend the team’s championship game, the response was a definite yes. Assistant Coach Eric Heyliger happens to be the father of Erika Heyliger, a DSP at 206th Street.

“He just fell in love with their vibrant energy and personalities, so he invited them to the football game,” Heyliger explained. “It was really, really nice that we got to make it to the very last game of the season, and they won the championship! So that was pretty cool.”

The 206th Street crew had been trying to get to a game in all season, but their busy schedules made it difficult to fit in the trip to Connecticut. Earlier in the fall, the group went on an advocacy trip to Albany and up to Massachusetts to The Big E Fair. For Heyliger, ensuring the housemates have access to these opportunities is an essential part of her job.

“Getting a sense of belonging where you go, especially in a fun, safe environment, that’s a goal I strive for as a Direct Support Professional,” said Heyliger.

The group is already looking forward to cheering on the Waterbury team again in their 2024 season.

“We’ve been invited back by the head coach and members of the team,” Heyliger said. “They were very appreciative that we traveled all the way from the Bronx. The team members were super elated, like, ‘Wow, you guys took the time to come all the way to our game’ so it was definitely a mutual exchange of appreciation and just a fun-filled environment.”