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The Next Step Fund, Inc.
February 17, 2011

I am a parent of two young people with a life threatening illness. I have watched my kids, and many others, reach the difficult age when it becomes harder and harder to access resources as well as positive social experiences. As a a result of our frustration with this lack, my daughter and I became advocates on behalf of Youth with special health needs on a national level. I was fortunate to find Next Step and promptly volunteered. Both of my daughters and I were involved with the Care program and we were overwhelmed with how well this organization "gets it"! Young people with special health needs and their families came together in a recreational environment and had FUN while gaining knowledge about resources, and tips for transitioning from a pediatric health model to an adult one, as well as other helpful information. Families and youth gained strength from one another and lifelong friendships were formed. Everyone left the event with useful action steps to improve the quality of his/her life. And there were many self-esteem building actvities in the schedule which, for this population, is invaluable! I personally facilitated a discussion for the parents around resources such as Vocational Rehabilitation, Social Security, Insurance, and housing. I learned a lot myself about how things differ from state to state. I also thought it was amazing that so many activities were available that gave participants an opportunity to develop their personal strengths. I am glad that a program like Next Step exists and will continue to support and make referrals to this fine organization!

The Great!

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

Although my daughter and I were there to faciliate groups and inform participants on various subjects realted to transition, I learned a great deal as well. I was also grateful to be a part of a positive experience for youth with special health needs and their families because, in my work, there is a lot of negative.

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MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I personally facilitated a discussion for the parents around resources such as Vocational Rehabilitation, Social Security, Insurance, and housing. .

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