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Monday, Dec 4, 2023

‘Campus of Life’ Opens Second Building in San Marcos

TERI, Incorporated, an Oceanside-headquartered nonprofit that serves individuals with developmental disabilities, is one step closer to completing its first-of-its-kind campus.

Late last month, TERI, which stands for Training, Education & Resources Institute, opened a second building, the Tom & Mary Tomlinson Vocational Center. The space , built by Escondido-based PRAVA Construction Services, is one of eight that will make up the Charles R. Cono Teri Campus of Life project, located in San Marcos. Set on 20 acres, the innovative, facility aims to help children and adults with special needs by providing quality programs.

The Tom & Mary Tomlinson Vocational Center will provide vocational training to individuals with disabilities, said Cheryl Kilmer, CEO of TERI, founded in 1980 and with 2,500 employees. It will also serve as a space for meetings, clubs and events for the general public and community members, she said. Additionally, it features a retail shop called Sheri’s – A Unique Boutique and a cafe dubbed Common Grounds Cafe and Coffee Bar.


The Vocational Center is the second building of eight additional Centers to be built onsite, said Kilmer. The first to go up as part of the project was TERI’s Therapeutic Equestrian Center, which was completed in 2015. The Therapeutic Equestrian program helps students faced with both physical and developmental disabilities grow in both physical and social skills, according to the organization.

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Holistic Needs

So far, the nonprofit has raised over $23 million to finish the project, said Kilmer, with much more fundraising to go. An additional two buildings are already in the permitting process, she said, and should be constructed in the next year. The goal is to complete Campus of Life in the next three years, Kilmer said.

“To create a facility that is unique in the world and meets the holistic needs of developmentally disabled children and adults is humbling and exciting to say the least,” said Kilmer. “TERI’s Campus of Life outreach will extend far beyond those whose lives are directly enriched with its creation. Those individuals will then in turn share that impact with others, and those with others, shining a light on abilities awareness, cultivating kindness, and believing in the individual potential within each of us.”

Added Kim Jacklin, chief development officer of TERI, “TERI has helped thousands of individuals over 41 years. Not only those with disabilities, but families, caregivers and communities at large.” The goal with Campus of Life is to continue to impact those that are mentally disabled to enrich their lives so that those individuals can be as independent and self-reliant as possible, she said.

Training, Education & Resources

Founded in 1980, TERI’s mission is to change the way the world views and helps children and adults touched by special needs, said Kilmer. TERI currently offers 20 model programs and services serving over 850 individuals and families, she said. This includes 12 residential homes located throughout the county; two K-12 schools, one in Oceanside and another in San Marcos; fitness and wellness programs; an organic farm that also sells organic microgreens to restaurants and chefs around the country; and adult enrichment and vocational training, among other programs and service models.


“We plan to relocate the current programs and to have a top quality location that provides training and education as well as life experiences in a broad array of areas of interest,” said Kilmer, adding that both private schools will also be moved to the Campus. “We’ve also designed this so the venue is prepared to allow people to come in from other locations around the world and participate in our training.

TERI, Incorporated


CEO: Cheryl Kilmer

HEADQUARTERS: Oceanside, soon to be San Marcos

BUSINESS: Nonprofit that meets the needs of developmentally disabled children and adults.


WEBSITE: www.teriinc.org

NOTABLE: TERI sells organic microgreens to roughly 20 restaurants from its own farm.

CONTACT: Development@teriinc.org


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