Building for Future Innovations.

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC) is celebrating 50 years of serving individuals with developmental disabilities by building for future innovations. Established in 1966 in a two-room building on a four-acre parcel, the Center is now launching its 50th Golden Anniversary Campaign in an effort to meet the needs of the over 400 students attending the day program and training center.

Between 1980 and 2004, there were over seven significant facility expansions on the campus that enabled the Center to increase enrollment to 235 students. The additions of an aquatics center, organic garden, senior program, four new buildings and Sophie’s Art Gallery in downtown El Cajon provided for an enhanced curriculum and space to serve more students. Today, SMSC offers nine programs serving 400+ students from 22 to 80+ years of age, and is focused on building for the next 50 years.

As with the general population, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center students grow and learn throughout their lifetime based on their experiences. It is the daily experiences through innovative programs the Center provides that enriches each student’s life and helps them live up to their full potential.

Activities offered at SMSC:

Aquatics & Fitness – Community Outings – Culinary Arts Training – Dance & Music – Discussion Groups – Performing Arts Program – Reading – Sophie’s Gallery Art – Sophie’s Organic Garden – Speech Therapy – Swim Team – Vocational Training – Volunteering in the Community – Yoga

With an expanding student body and a campus with 50 years of history, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center announces their “Building for Future Innovations” campaign. Five facility improvement projects have been identified as being of the highest priority for the Center. Highlights of the full project include:

New Locker Room Facility and Improvements to the Aquatics Center

The Aquatics Center and Locker Room facilities were built in 1987 and designed to accommodate 100 recreational swimmers. Today, nearly 200 SMSC students stay healthy and strong by swimming. Special Olympics, The Arthritis Foundation and Multiple Sclerosis Society use the pool for weekly aquatics classes. The pool also serves 130 additional community individuals with and without disabilities via public swim lessons and recreational use. In total, the pool serves five times the number originally intended!

Dedicated Senior Center

The Senior Program began in the year 2000 with 30 students. There are now 72 students, making up 17% of SMSC’s total enrollment. The new Senior Center will allow for increased census creating a space for current students to transition and stay with St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center.

We all need a place where we belong, where our talents and skills are nurtured and encouraged, where we can make friends, share our skills, and find that our lives have meaning and purpose. For more than 400 individuals with developmental disabilities, that place is St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center. To discover more or to join their Building for Future Innovations” campaign visit