Buda's Brightside provides ample growth opportunities for area's special needs population

MAIN PHOTO: Buda's Brightside CEO and Director Christina Trevino founded the facility as a nonprofit in July 2020. (Photos by Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper
MAIN PHOTO: Buda's Brightside CEO and Director Christina Trevino founded the facility as a nonprofit in July 2020. (Photos by Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper

MAIN PHOTO: Buda's Brightside CEO and Director Christina Trevino founded the facility as a nonprofit in July 2020. (Photos by Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper

Image description
Image description
Image description
Image description
At any given time during operating hours at Buda’s Brightside, attendees may be tending to a garden, working on addition or subtraction, playing retro Atari video games or dancing with friends and staff to Selena’s Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, among other music.

Located on Goforth Road in west Buda, the nonprofit is not a school, but for people with special needs it facilitates growth through numerous methods of social interaction and activities.

Christina Trevino, CEO and director at Buda’s Brightside, said those who attend Buda’s Brightside aren’t referred to clients or students, but as “friends.”

“We’re all about having fun and learning in a fun way,” Trevino said. “Everything in here is going to seem like a game and playing, and that’s recreational therapy. There are so many ways to learn through that.”

The program has been active since 2006, but it did not become a nonprofit until July 2020. Prior to that, it was called Terry’s Day-Hab. Trevino said she had been working there since 2014 before taking over as CEO and creating the nonprofit last year.

Sponsorship and sometimes even participation come from a laundry list of local entities and businesses, including the Kyle Rotary Club, First Lockhart Bank, the Buda Area Artist Collective and HK Yoga.

As one example, Trevino said the nearby restaurant Mudbugs – A Cajun Joint purchases herbs grown by the friends at the garden in the backyard at Buda’s Brightside for inclusion in their menu items.

Activities facilitated by Buda’s Brightside include painting, gardening, video games, movies, work skill training and outings to various local businesses.

Many of the friends at Buda’s Brightside learn new skills under what is called a personal development plan.

“They have goals under that plan, and one of those goals for a lot of our friends is waiting,” Trevino said. “That’s a part of life, and it can be frustrating, so we practice it every day.”

Friends at Buda’s Brightside are within a broad spectrum of ability, from high functioning and verbal to nonverbal and low functioning.

Trevino said one factor that could affect admittance at the facility involves how aggressive someone might be, but even then, she said more often than not her staff can work with that person.

Perspective friends who attend Buda’s Brightside are eligible through benefits provided by Medicaid, and Trevino said she works insurance providers and caretakers to set schedules and attend to other details for attendees.

“I’m here to be of service to the individual and the family,” she said. “My program is flexible. I’m really big on making their worlds bigger, not smaller.”

Buda’s Brightside

205 Goforth Road, Buda


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/A7xgt4X3crsi5uiB8
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.


The Kyle City Council approved a map for an update to its transportation master plan during a meeting July 6. (Courtesy Fotolia)
New Kyle transportation plan seeks to keep pace with city’s relentless growth

The plan outlines an increase of I-35 crossings from three to five.

Hays County health officials are urging members of the community to get vaccinated to avoid hospitalization and serious illness. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Hays County reports 2 COVID-19-related fatalities as cases continue to climb

Hays County reported two deaths and 470 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend.

Photo of a doctor with a pregnant woman
Austin health experts warn delta variant could pose higher risk for pregnant women

Maternal medicine doctors across Central Texas have seen increasing numbers of pregnant women coming to the hospital with breathing issues and pregnancy complications as a result of COVID-19.

Wayback Burgers makes cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
6 eateries open or coming to Cedar Park, Leander; Trudy's North Star reopens in Northwest Austin and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, including Tiff's Treats opening in Hutto.

student writing on paper
Texas Legislature allows parents to opt for students to repeat grade levels or courses

Senate Bill 1697 is effective for the 2021-22 school year.

Photo of medical professions in a hospital
Health officials warn ICU space is critically low as Travis County sees its 900th COVID-19 death

As the delta variant drives transmission rates up, local hospital systems warn that ICUs are strained.

At Blue Gecko, a Texas Taco comes with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese and bacon. (Courtesy Blue Gecko)
New taco spot opens in Four Points; roadwork for Austin's Zilker Eagle continues and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, including news on when Lou Neff Road will open in Central Austin.

The Oaks at Slaughter development will have several new businesses opening by the end of 2021. (Deeda Lovett/Community Impact Newspaper)
Shopping coming to Congress Ave.; Pflugerville preps tract near Living Spaces and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area, including news on four businesses coming to Hutto.

Round Rock ISD released enrollment information for its virtual learning program July 29. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Round Rock ISD releases virtual learning enrollment information

Round Rock ISD released enrollment information for its fall 2021 virtual learning program July 29.

Public schools cannot require students, teachers, parents, and other staff members or visitors to wear masks after June 4, Gov. Greg Abbott declared in an executive order issued May 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Leander ISD 'highly recommends' masks; tax-free weekend tips and more Austin-area news

Read the latest business and education news from the Central Texas area.

School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

Mayor Pro Tem Rick Koch announces that a Costco will be opening in Kyle, surrounded by Mayor Travis Mitchell, City Manager Scott Sellers and other council members. (Eric Weilbacher/Community Impact Newspaper)
Mayor Mitchell expresses optimism on infrastructure progress at Kyle State of the City luncheon

Mayor Travis Mitchell spoke of the challenges Kyle faced during the pandemic, the February freeze and its current housing and infrastructure challenges.