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.