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31 Reviews
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September 1, 2011

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September 1, 2011

I joined SAFE, the student wing of PEN three years ago. This was an opportunity to butt in on the third person dialogue surrounding people with learning disabilities. I've been given the opportunity to educate and empower students, families, and professionals about the strengths and challenges of LD/ADHD people through:
-Panels
-Videos
-Events
-Radio/TV interviews

PEN is extraordinary collaborator and I've had the opportunity to network and collaborate with other like minded people and organizations. I see the impact of our work when I'm recognized thanked by strangers everywhere imaginable: public meetings, city streets, parties, and traffic stops. PEN is on the forefront of the giving empowering our silenced people to stand up, speak out, form communities, and advocate for the tools we need for success.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

taking the penultimate step of personal empowerment by empowering others

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make a serious effort to improve public relations. PEN can do little to reach those who don't know about it.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 1, 2011

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September 1, 2011

This organization is exceptional at community building! They foster open dialog, self advocacy, opportunities for the general public to learn and understand more about learning differences. Youth that have been involved in this organization tend to be more confident, proud and active in their community! WAY TO GO!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

feeling like I am part of a community and a large one at that

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would have them higher someone to be in charge of fundrasing. That way they could become bigger.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

Before PEN, the discovery that your child "can't keep up" or "needs special help" left parents frighten, anxious about the future for their child. Information and guidance was rare. What was abundant was panic about how to understand the problems, find and implement solutions, and get schools and teachers to understand and help. I know, because in 1993 I was that parent. I worked with the founder of PEN in the early days. And today I still volunteer at events and share the strategies, successes and failures my daughter has experienced.
I feel that PEN's most important function is providing a platform to receive, assemble, present and distribute information to parents, teachers, tutors, learning specialists, occupational & physical therapists, and medical & scientific researchers. I know this sounds like an extraordinarily long list of participants, but in fact PEN is an extraordinary organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through lecture & presentations, especially at the annual EdRev, I've learned how anxiety and over-stimulation can interfere with learning, for children and adults, which has helped 2 family members.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have a legislative/political committee to promote change through the California legislature that would initiate and advocate on relevant legislation and prepare & support witnesses that testify in committee hearings.

February 24, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 24, 2011

From the beginning, PEN has been an organization dedicated to bringing students with learning differnces, their parents and educators together to discover the BEST PRACTICES for the students' success.
Their service and contribution to the Bay Area education commuity is profound! As an
elemebrtaty school principal, I have benefited from their workshops, services and have directed a number of parents to them for support and information on how to best help their child prosper!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen PEN effectively work with parents of children wth leanring differnces and with educators.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None.

February 20, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 20, 2011

PEN is directed by empathetic and knowledgeable individuals that successfully educate parents and teaching professionals in their quest for solutions to remediate and support learning disabilities and ADHD. They respond to all the inquiries and requests to find solutions, whether they be learning strategies, school placement, emotional support, or many varied resources. They are selfless individuals that all work countless hours to provide the help a student and the family would need.
They provide extremely reasonably priced lectures and conferences and help to change the concept of disability to an advantage in life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

AS a professional, I have received the benefit of educational resources and mentoring programs at my school. They have enriched my life with informative professionals that enhance my skills to perform better as an educational therapist.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would suggest that it outreaches beyond the Bay Area.

February 19, 2011

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February 19, 2011

I have been with PEN as a volunteer since the beginning.

The constant focus at PEN is always questioning what is best for the kids to succeed and how can students, educators and parents gain the knowledge and insight to help attain that success.

PEN is not a "we will get everyone
into college" type of group. Success is not a fixed goal, it is whatever it is for that particular child. PEN is helping kids get through, over or around barriers that block them from their full potential, whatever that may be.

PEN is there to help the kids do what needs to be done but NOT do it for them because, at the end of the day, they need to be able to advocate for themselves and make use of tools and coping strategies.

There is no ego from the adults that work/volunteer for PEN. To quote a line I often use, "Lest we forget, our primary duty is to support the kids".

My youngest is 20 so you might think that my commitment to PEN has waned. Quite the contrary, I am just as committed now as I was at the beginning (7 or so years ago) to making sure the children, parents and educators that are coming up the ranks behind us gain the same insights.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

With many organizations, you can point to a school, crisis center or something and say, "We did that". PEN is more like a tugboat pushing against a large cruise ship or a river creating a canyon. The changes we introduce are slow and you don't always see anything measurable. But over time, you see a change in the kids, parents and educators that you come into contact with. PEN is more like that one teacher that somehow made a difference to you and is unknown to anyone else.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more things like GuideStar to help get the word out and increase our funding base so we can expand our sphere in influence. Create a better social web presence. Have more presentations/talks that explain the science of the brain so that it has less of a mysterious/esoteric/stigma quality to it.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Have planning meetings in the evening.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I continue to gain new insights virtually every time I do something with one of the events.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Very good.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 15, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 15, 2011

PEN is an amazing resource for both parents and professionals in the Bay Area. I often refer families to the various PEN presentations and attend many myself. PEN has provided a much needed service for our community and I look forward to sharing in future events.
-Educational Therapist,
Berkeley

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've attended many of the presentations over the last two years, and have shared new knowledge gained from these experiences with colleagues and fellow teachers.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Schedule meetings later in the morning in order for those in East Bay to miss the heavy commuter traffic entering the City.

February 15, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 15, 2011

My name is David Flink and I am the Executive Director of a national mentoring program for students with learning disabilities. Hence, through my work I connect with many different organizations across America and I can say first hand that the work that PEN does in empowering families touched by LD/ADHD is second to none. They do an amazing job providing invaluable resources to the bay area from their one of kind EdRev conference to the numerous free or reduced cost lecture series to their support of student through their SAFE program. If only more communities in America had PEN, the inclusion of people with LD/ADHD in all aspects of our society would be more universally achieved!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching the effect of their work totally and profoundly shape the bay area community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to allow them to grow more quickly as their work is so incredibly important!

February 15, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 15, 2011

I am a mother of a boy with learning differences. PEN has been invaluable. Their topics and lectures are fantastic and I have attended many. It's so great to have a community of people who understand what you are going through.
I wish PEN could expand into every state!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

lectures attended

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand them!

February 15, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 15, 2011

The Parents Education Network is an excellent resource for all professionals in learning-related fields in the Bay Area. They sponsor wonderful talks, focussing mainly on learning difficulties, from which I have learned a great deal at a reasonable cost. They have a branch for teachers which strikes me as a much-needed resource, as many teacher-training programs don't offer sufficient background on students with learning disabilities. They also offer talks from experts in the growing field of brain knowledge. To those of us in education, the more research-based information we can get, the more we are empowered to help our charges, many of whom cannot help themselves. PEN is on the first ranks of helping us achieve this.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have attended many talks and referred clients to the other services PEN offers, such as their big educational fair. In general, the talks give me specific ideas of how to improve my own practice by introducing me to other professionals, such as speech and language therapists, or by learning about the latest research in how the brain works.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would raise more money to expand to the East Bay. There are many people over here who can't always find the time to go to San Francisco.

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