Expressions Club

Expressions ClubFor traumatic brain injury and stroke survivors, consider joining the Expressions Club if:

  • You’re interested in connecting with other survivors and the community.
  • You’d like to give back and have fun!
  • You’d like to share your successes and challenges with others.
  • You have a new or old artistic skill that you’d like to showcase.

The Expressions Club is run by its members and meets weekly for 2 hours. Please contact the Expressions Club coordinator if interested: Deanna Cho, LGSW at 202-877-1966 or [email protected]

About Us:

Inspired by the Clubhouse Model, the Expressions Club provides a supportive and empowering environment for traumatic brain injury and stroke survivors. Members meet on a weekly basis to discuss happenings in their life, share challenges, and practice problem solving. Additionally, in a structured and cooperative environment, members participate in various member-chosen activities geared toward:

  • Increasing opportunities for socialization,
  • Improving members’ social skills by working together,
  • Promoting and strengthening community relationships,
  • Enhancing and maintaining problem-solving skills, and
  • Promoting independence and inclusion.



Facilitator reflection

Last Club Meeting for 2015

On 12/17/15 Expressions Club members met for the last time in 2015. Besides saying our goodbyes for the year, club members agreed to share about their experiences as survivors and as members of the Expressions Club through the NPR Storycorps app!

Check out what they said!

We look forward to re-starting the Expressions Club in February 2016. If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact the facilitator, Deanna Cho at 202-877-1966.


Club Member Biographies

Barbara B.

I grew up as a baby boomer in a small coastal city in eastern North Carolina with my parents and four sisters. My father came from a very large family, but my mother's family was small. They provided a strict and nurturing home for five girls. My father was more of a quiet disciplinarian, while my mother provided the daily structure when he was at work.

For about six years of my youth and adolescence my material grandmother lived with us during her latter years. Prior to that, we spent many summer months traveling to my grandmother's and grandfather's farm until their latter years.

The family was structured around school activities, church, homework, chores, and helping senior neighbors. My mother was quick to volunteer us - and my father - to help people with needed repairs and with other forms of help. One person in particular was the elderly sister of a neighbor (across the street from us). The neighbor and her husband (who was a WWI veteran) attended church on Saturdays. So every weekend we girls took turns sitting with her sister who was paralyzed from a stroke on the left side. We enjoyed this more than our Saturday chores of course.

-Written by Barbara B.

Gerald B.
Brief Biography

Gerald was born on October 25, 1970 in Teaneck, New Jersey.  He is the eldest son of Alan and Frenzella B.  At the age of 9, his Father remarried Cynthia Parker –B.  He has four brothers and sisters under the care of Minister Frenzella T. B.  He also has one sister under the care of Dr.’s Alan and Cynthia Parker-B.  Both parents hold Doctoral degrees in Christian Theology.  Gerald has multiple nephews and nieces.  Additionally, he has a God-son and God grand-son.  He received his Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from St. Leo University in Florida.  In 2014, Gerald received an aortic dissection due to being overweight (275) and eating unhealthy while living in South Carolina.  After which, he almost died twice and abstained a brain injury to the right frontal lobe of his brain.  The brain injury affected his speech, memory and movement on the left side of his body.  Prior to his aortic dissection, he was working to finish his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and then planned to move on to complete his MBA.  After completion of his MBA, he then will work on his Doctoral degree in Christian Theology.  His plan is to finish all his educational pursuits before he turns 50.  Gerald is an ordained Elder in the Christian faith which allows him to officially be able to serve as a Pastor of a church.

-Written by Gerald B.

Joshua S.G.

My name is Joshua. I am 43, was born on Nantucket, and miss it. I am now wheelchair bound as a result of an anoxic brain injury following an overdose. I live with my grandmother and mom at home. I like soft music and long rolls on the beach. I’m an Aries. I’ve lived in New York, New Mexico, and Boston. Now, I live in Washington D.C., it’s my least favorite place I have lived in. I also lived in the Jemez mountains with my girlfriend, we both moved to San Francisco together after that. I’ve been to Colombia South America as my mother is from there, it’s beautiful. In addition to Colombia I have also visited New Zealand and Fiji. I want to go to Europe and visit Ireland. I have a brother that is one and a half years older. I also have an 18 year old daughter. I like movies and live music. I do not smoke or drink. I’m going to school to be a drug counselor. I feel imminently qualified to try and help other people to stay clean. The course is long and I have to pass an exam to get my certificate. A lot of people have dropped out already. In truth it’s a little intimidating as a lot of the other people are already working. That is all I have to say about that. I’m also trying to walk one day  perhaps with a walker. Oh I have been clean 7 years.

-Written by Joshua St. Germain

Lena B.

Was born in Fayetville, VA, which is near the border of North Carolina. She had 6 brothers and 3 sisters, so that’s 9 siblings altogether. They lived on a farm that had 41 acres of land. They grew cotton, corn, tobacco; they had chickens, hogs, cows, and goats too.  She and the family didn’t have to buy too many groceries because they were able to eat all of the things that they grew.

Lena’s mother and father wanted her to have an opportunity doing something other than farming so they sent her to middle school in D.C., where she lived with her aunts. She never left D.C. after that!

Lena says that some people don’t like having a big family, but she really enjoys having a big family. She has some siblings and family members living in D.C. and with all of them checking in on her she’s kept quite busy.

Lena survived a stroke approximately 10 years ago. She says that people look at you differently after stroke and that life after stroke is different.  

-Written by Clubhouse facilitator

Lena B. on Gardening

Lena likes gardening. She used to have an outdoor garden. Now she has plants in pots on the front porch and on the ground. When she sees plants that are falling apart, she can work with them to nurture and bring them back to life again. She often breaks off a leaf and replants it to grow a new plant. Some are flowering plants, but some are larger trees with brown flowers. Her windows also have plants growing in them, some in water and others in flower pots. Lena also likes cooking and making salads. She makes large dinners on weekends for her family.

-Written by club member.