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Independence First, Inc.
October 6, 2010

Independence First as President Lee says it's top three in the nation for Center of Independent Living (CIL's) Independence First has amazing services and they want people to get highly involved. They are an organization that always makes sure your on top of your game to helping out people with disabilities. But also they make the staff and volunteers feel very good about themselves when there are often times award ceremonies. My story in how I got involved with independence first was word of mouth. I was at my IEP meeting for my Junior year in high school which was a few years ago. Where a representative from WI FACETS told me about this youth leadership submit that was offered through WI FACETS and also Independence First. I went to this submit and gave a week of my time and I really took a lot out of it. I thought that my whole life in having high functioning autism that if I get social security I could live off of it the rest of my life. Even though in reality I found out I couldn't when everything in life in so expensive when we went through a simulation of having SSI or SSDI and expenses. Then there were some youth leaders through WI FACETS and Independence First in where I got promoted to be on both boards. One being on the Independence First board of directors and the other being through WI FACETS Youth Information Training and Resource Center (YITRC) When I am on the board of Independence First. They really have helped me a lot to be a lot successful today then I was yesterday. Without them I probably wouldn't be where I am at today in helping out people with disabilities but also advocating strongly while I strive for independence as a whole.

The Great!

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

1. Advocacy because they work so hard in trying to get a lot of people to stand up for themselves. 2. Independence in where they try their best to help out people with disabilities to live independently.

Ways to make it better...

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

Make sure that everyones calls are being answered. At times I've heard from friends of mine in where they had trouble getting ahold of someone because Independence First tends to overachieve in helping out people with disablities so they get busy. :)

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the award ceremonies and the youth leadership submit

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

diverse and great at many disability related areas of issues and concerns

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

stretch and expand itself a whole lot more in where they could extend services to help out people with disabilities. Maybe they could even provide people aide like if there is a disability related expense that the gov isn't paying for.

Ways to make it better...

a couple of my friends would liked to have a return call. At times since independence first can get a bit busy. Often times one or two ppl could get overlooked when it comes to returning the calls.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Budgeting. Independence First is such a huge organization that any wrong move and it could lose some of it's grant money. Independence First needs a lot of support, sponsors and grants when it's such as big disability service organization.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Independence First at least in my eyes I see it pretty flawless. Give or take sometimes a staff member seems to be very busy so I wish that a particular staff member would have given me more time to talk to her instead of trying to speed me up.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I help lead independence first to make it a stronger organization.