My daughter has been an athlete with the Elite Stars for 3 years now. She looks forward to her time there and never wants to miss a practice. Elite Stars families, Patty, and all the peer coaches really are an extension of our own family. This is so much more than an Athletic organization. There are yearly event happenings that everyone anticipates, like the annual swim party at the coaches house, the Christmas party that has everyone in the house dancing until the place is forced to shut us down. My daughter has many opportunities for growth with the Elite Stars, she travels with her team where she is taught independence and self reliance. The are so many facets to this program and I can't be more grateful that we are able to give my daughter this experience. I would highly recommend anyone that is raising a child with special needs to give Elite Stars a try. It's been said, once an Elite Star, always an Elite Star!
Patty Hermann and the entire Elite Stars staff continue to set the bar high for these challenged athletes and yet show compassion and caring while encouraging them to reach their goals. Our athletes grow as athletes and individuals, learning to be more independent adults along the way.
Elite Stars is a terrific organization. My daughter has benefited tremendously since joining the team 3 years ago. I am very impressed with the variety of athletic opportunities for special needs children and young adults. My daughter is involved with the dance and cheer teams and she has blossomed as a result of her participation. Recently, my other daughter has been volunteering as a peer coach with Elite Stars. Elite Stars is an organization that is part of our family.
Patty Hermann's Elite Stars is an incredible organization. Our daughter Diana has been dancing competitively for 4 years now. Diana loves the competitions and talks about the Elite Stars summer camp every year. The Elite Stars coaches continually push the athletes to achieve then push again. My wife and I are shocked with what our daughter can do physically. We never imagined the balance and dexterity she has attained.
Elite Stars not only has competitive dance but gymnastics, ice skating and cheer leading. Diana has made many new friends with coaches and athletes. At the 5 day summer camp (NO Parents Allowed) athletes from all sports and coaches stay at a local hotel, working out every day, then doing various things in the evening, from concerts in the park, to visiting swim parks or special nights to restaurants. This year they went to a Chicago Bandits softball game at night and spent hours with the team during the day.
This organization has been wonderful for Diana. It has filled a void for Diana since graduating high school 8 years ago. She looks forward to her lessons, new routines, meeting new athletes and coaches and is constantly mapping out the competitions once they are announced. Diana keeps up her own calendar to remind us when it is time for class, competitions and especially camp.
We are extremely lucky to live where our daughter can participate with Elite Stars.
John Filler & Jeanne Vivirto
Patty D'Avolio Herman has founded Elite STARS, it's a foundation for Special Needs Children, they learn gymnastics, cheerleading, swimming, baseball, many activities. Patty and her group also take the children out of town to compete against other teams, her cheerleading group has won many awards, Patty gets so many people including her family involved in her many activities to support her passion. She puts on an annual golf outings as well to raise funds, puts in many many hours for her kids. She should be on Channel 7 for "Someone You Should Know".
My daughter has been in Elite Stars for two years. She absolutely loves it. The coaches and volunteers are wonderful. She learns what it is to be part of a team and work together. And work hard they do! She has learned good food choices, discipline and most of all self esteem. If you put your mind to it you can do anything.
This organization enables their strengths not their disabilities. We are lucky to have such organization.
As a volunteer coach with the Elite Stars I have experienced a lot of life changing lessons that I might not have learned without the help of this wonderful foundation. Patty is an inspiration to many and continues to support and encourage athletes, no matter their difference to branch out, try their best, and always move forward. Just watching what she does with these children makes you love her even more. Without her fire and passion the Elite Stars wouldn't be the same. Although the althletes we work with have special needs, never once have we treated them as if they do. We push them just as hard as we would any other child and that's what makes us different from the rest. Every single athlete loves being around everyone apart of the Elite Stars. It's more of a family than a team. The athletes are more excited for the accomplishments of their peers than for their own achievements and that's what makes it a joy to work with the Stars. Being apart of the Stars has impacted me more than anything. The attitudes of the athletes are impeccable. No matter the obstacle, big or small, nothing is impossible to them and when they do fail, they get back up and just keep on going. These athletes are an inspiration to not just me but anyone who has had the opportunity to be apart of the foundation. I have never been apart of such a loving and accepting community and without the stars I would be lost. This foundation deserves an endless amount of support wether it be donations, attendance to their events or just a simple word to help inform more people of what we do. The Elite Stars deserves recognition for their amazing talent and warm hearts. Nothing beats waking up at 8 am on a Saturday morning to walk into the gym and see the athletes bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to work.
I have been a peer coach for Elite Stars for a few years now. I think that this organization does an amazing thing for all the athletes involved. I help coach the figure skating team, when i am home from college, and seeing the improvement in each and everyone of those skaters is a truly amazing feeling, which is one of the reason I love to coach. I think that this organization, no matter what team you are on, does truly remarkable things for their athletes. It not only creates friendships between the athletes, but it also builds confidence in them. These athletes know that when they go to practice for Elite Stars that they are going to a safe place that accepts them for who they are.
I am proud to be a fan of the Elite Stars! What a wonderful organization! My sister has been involved with dance and workout sessions! She lovessss it! I enjoy going to the dance competitions and supporting all of the athletes who have practiced so hard. :-) LET'S GO STARS!
After 28 years in the field of servicing individuals with special needs I continue to be amazed with what has been accomplished with the Elite Stars program. Superior in all aspects of training, coaching, facilities and development, our program continues to soar attracting athletes from over 26 different suburbs. I am elated to have developed and created a program that continues to defy the perception that athletes with special needs cannot be competitively treated and trained like others. The Stars continue to grow in sport, spirit and splendor each day. I am blessed to be surrounded by the countries best athletes and coaches. Go Stars!!
WHY STARS ATHLETICS?
STARS Athletics is proud to offer a unique program for individuals with special needs from 4 years of age and up. Specialized training designed especially for individuals with developmental and physical limitations. Designed by a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Personal Trainer and United States Association of Gymnastics Professional, UCA Cheer Professional and ISI/UFSA Skating Professional, the STARS program promises to develop athletes both physically and mentally while maximizing the fun!
Recreational programs promise fun, fitness, socialization and a learning opportunity for families to gain an understanding of healthy lifestyles and the opportunities available to those individuals with special needs. The competitive programs are one-of-a-kind programs that offer elite coaching, great facilities and year-round training and competition opportunities to athletes with special needs. Athletes receive superior certified coaching support and have the opportunity to take part in the outstanding peer coach program, outings, clinics, camps, special events, trips and meets and competitions (locally & across the USA).
STARS Athletics is home to several Special Olympic World Champions, numerous State and District Champions and many other titles in the sport of special needs gymnastics, cheerleading and figure skating. Superior and above the rest, the STARS are the elite for athletes with special needs. Founder Patty Hermann serves on the Special Olympic International Committee representing the USA in the sport of special needs gymnastics.
INDIVIDUAL GOALS. WORLD CLASS RESULTS
The goal of the program is to train athletes in both USAG/UCA/ISI skills and Special Olympic routines; therefore, empowering all athletes to reach their highest possible potential both physically and mentally. Education, training, diet, nutrition, fitness, wellness and community involvement are all a part of this unique training program that works to develop athletes as a whole person. STARS Athletics is about more than just gymnastics, cheerleading and figure skating, it’s about getting more, doing more and being more.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
STARS Athletics specializes in this inclusive training track for a population which is currently not training and/or competing in USAG/UCA/ISI/UFSA skills and events. High intensive “normal” competitive training experiences with extended social opportunities in a “non-segregated” atmosphere is the priority. Certified and trained adult coaches, top notch training environments, trained and highly skilled peer coaches and professionally trained dance instructors are part of the foundation which makes this the place “where champions come to train.” Parents and family members are invited and encouraged to take part in the STARS Parents Club, assist with competitions, and participate in special events and fundraisers.
ARE YOU READY TO MAXIMIZE YOUR POTENTIAL?
Great facilities, fun social environment, certified adult coaches, skilled peer coaches, skilled dance instructors, special events, community shows, outings, specialty clinics, camps, parties, competition opportunities, both local and across the USA, and being a part of a superior sport family. STARS Athletics invites you to join our family where the only thing “special” in our programs is what we offer and the way we do things.
For additional information please contact:
Patty Hermann, CEO & Founder
firstname.lastname@example.org or elitestars.org
Elite Stars is a fantastic! This is our first experience with Elite Stars and we were very pleased with the level of support, and commitment from the dance teachers. This is a great opportunity for your child to meet new friends and to enjoy competitive dance. It's so exciting to see the expression on your childs face when competing and engaging within this program.
My 15 year old son has been an Elite Stars Gymnast in this program for 2 years. He absolutely loves it. The expectation levels are high and the athletes rise to meet the challenges set forth for them. It's a place where individuals with special needs can be appreciated and accepted. I highly recommend this program!
The Elite Stars Organization is like no other! High expectations, opportunity, athleticism, competition, fun, fitness, enjoyment, acceptance, friendship and passion are just a few things that are gained by a special needs athlete participating in this extraordinary program. The highlight of the week for my 14 year old son who has Down syndrome is his Elite Stars gymnastics program!
Nate is always trying to keep up with his typically developing peers. This program allows him to shine and feel like a real superstar!
Elite stars special athletes expects of special needs athletics the same commitment, effort, progress, team attitude, striving for personal best, etc. That any athletic organization would expect of its athletes. As a parent of a teenager with Down Syndrome its an absolute pleasure to see this organization expect of my daughter what they would of "normal" athlete. The commitment and time invested by their volunteer coaches is absolutely amazing as well.
I enjoy helping the athletes at elite strive to be the best they can and to Acheive their personal and team goals. They are extremely dedicated competitors and we are all proud of them!
Elite stars has given so much to the young adults with disabilities in our area. They have competitive dance, cheer, gymnastics and skating. My daughter is in dance and it has given her so much confidence and she is so proud to be a part of it.
The Elite Stars program is fantastic. They provided programs for individuals with special needs far beyond traditional programs. The Stars are nationally known. The coaches expect and provide a high level of professionalism from all involved in the program. Their coaching is beyond compare, as is proved time and time again if you've ever seen them preform. I get tears in my eyes and am in awe every time they are on stage.
My daughter with special needs started dancing with the Elite Stars last fall and it has been a wonderful experience ! We had been unable to find this kind of high acheiving dance team before. This has given her the chance to make new friends and be part of a great team! She loves going to dance and is always dancing around the house, she feels proud to be a part of the dance team!
I started off volunteering for Elite Stars in high school in 2008. I would attend practices weekly and competitions. Now that I am away at school, I am unable to attend the weekly practices but I still attend the 5 day summer camp in July where I am the head coach for the balance beam. Through this organization I have met so many outstanding people, including other volunteers, family and parents and of course the athletes. This is a program I intend to continue being a part of as long as I can. And I could not imagine not being apart of it. Everyone genuinely cares for one another and each coach is dedicated beyond compare, willing to put in time to get our athletes to national and international competition. I love this team and everything about it. Patty Hermann is the most inspirational person in my life and I am so happy I get to be apart of her life-changing program. Not only does it change the lives of the athletes and families but everyone else involved as well.
The Elite Stars is a fantastic program! As a parent of a peer volunteer, I can honestly say that it's not just the athletes who benefit from this program. As far as I can see - it's a win-win for all who are involved in the organization. Every year I look forward to the summer camp performance - to watch the coaches and the athletes in action is a feeling like no other.
The Elite Stars is an amazing organization! Our daughter has participated in the Elite Stars Gymnastics and Cheerleading teams for the past 6 years and then also their Dance Team since it's inception 3 years ago. The Elite Stars is phenomenal and our daughter loves it! They provide exceptional and high caliber training for all the teams. The Elite Stars coaches set the bar high and challenge each and every kid to be the best that they can be. Our son is also a peer coach for the gymnastics team, for the past 2 years. Even though he has a sibling with a disability, peer coaching for the Elite Stars has been a learning experience and one that will help him tremendously in his future. We can't say enough about the Elite Stars teams and how they've helped our family in many ways.
I have followed this club for years and have witnessed the joy and success that every member finds through their participation. Every athlete is valued and contributes. Every athlete grows through their efforts.
I started coaching for STARS a couple years ago and I can honestly say that it has been one of the best experiences thus far in my life. Working with children with disabilities has opened my eyes to many amazing things and caused me realize how fortunate I am. The children I've coached are just like any other person and truly do have the kindest of hearts! It is such an amazing feeling knowing that these children look up to you in so many ways not only as a coach but a friend as well. Patty Hermann is also such an inspiring woman and devotes so much of her life to this program that means so much to so many families and volunteers. This organization means the world a lot of its athletes!
Coaching for this program has been eye opening. These children look up to us and it feels amazing knowing we can help our athletes go above and beyond. Elite stars is a one of a kind program. Where else can you find people who are willing to treat these kids as athletes. Regardless of their disability, we give them the chance to train and compete in the way that they want to. This program is amazing and I don't know what my life would be without volunteering with them,
I am an athletic trainer at The Academy of Athletic Advancement, where the Elite Stars come to improve their power, agility and overall fitness. Being involved with such a great program has been truly rewarding. The level of competitiveness each athlete brings to the gym is inspiring and creates a fun environment to be around. The Stars continue to make leaps and bounds at The Academy and I encourage any athletes with special needs to consider the Elite Stars.
The Elite Stars program is an amazing organization. I currently run the fitness portion of the program. These athletes continue to inspire me with their courage, strength, and determination. We provide them with an environment in which they are not defined by their disability. They learn about success, failure, hard work, and what it takes to be a champion. I am proud to be a part of this organization and would recommend it to any athlete with special needs.
The Elite Stars Program has benefitted me more than I can even describe. I came into the program thinking that I would be doing most of the teaching but in reality I learn so many valuable things from these athletes. I am so blessed to be in the STARS family. The athletes have taught me life lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. From being involved in this program, I have officially decided that I will major in Special Education. I have recruited people to join me in this life changing experience whether they would be participating or coaching. I have been involved in this program since I was 7 and now I'm 17. I have grown up with these kids and they are way more than just the kids I coach they are my favorite people, friends, and teachers.
My daughter is 30 years old and has been with Patty Hermann's programs for 20 years. It has improved her physically and taught her self-discipline. Patty keeps expanding the program with new opportunities. My daughter loves doing the aaaway exercise program. She feels good about herself and the program has taught her what good health is and how to maintain it. I can't tell you how proud I am when she gets out on the ice in a beautiful costume to do her skating routines. We have heard many positive comments from strangers at competitions about what our athletes have accomplished. This is the best program for children and young adults with special needs. It is also a good way to make new friends!
The Elite Stars program is fantastic & services individuals with special needs beyond the scope of traditional services for folks aspiring to get more for their children with special needs. The Stars are nationally known for their high level of training, coaching & skill development. The program enriches & educates all involved-coaches, administrators, athletes, volunteers & families. The continued growth of the program proves it's worth as the Stars are invited across the USA to participate to show others what is capable when given the platform to train & excel. This program is the best in the country.
My daughter began participating with Elite Stars this summer. She has Down Syndrome but unlike the stereotypical person with DS, she is very shy. Since she has been in the program, she has blossomed and come out of her shell. Her teachers at school keep telling us how different she is this year; outgoing and participating much more. She absolutely loves the peer coaches and her coaches. She is making friends; something she's never shown much interest in before. One of our goals with her is to treat her like we treat our other two "typical" children. The coaches and peer coaches set high expectations for the athletes and they rise to the occasion! We are looking forward to many years with Elite Stars.
The Elite Special Athletes Foundation has really helped the down syndrome community in Chicago. It's a great organization.
I am the sister of one of the young athletes that has been part of Elite for more than four years. In that time, she has grown into a confident and beaming young lady. This is thanks to the multifaceted approach of the Elite Stars program. The organization does not simply focus on training the body - it trains the mind as well. All staff members and coaches believe that one is not bound by their physical limitations. Participants can achieve strength, physical endurance, and flexibility while at the same time honing their socialization skills, learning how to work as part of a team in competitions, and shaping their problem-solving abilities. That is what being a true athlete is all about! Elite understands this when providing all-inclusive and fun athletic activities for our wonderful special needs family members.
My wife and I are the parents of two young adults wit Down Syndrome. Both of our children have been active participants in the Elite Special Athletes programs for many years. And when we say active, we mean active. Both of our children currently participate and compete with the Cheerleading team, the Dance team, and in Gymnastics. Coach Patty Hermann has created a unique program for children and young adults with disabilities which recognizes the potential in every individual, and the tremendous achievements that are possible if we both nurture and challenge our young people with disabilities. Our children look foward to every practice, every event, every competition, and every one of the tremendous parties that Elite sponsors. It is truly wonderful for our young people, some of whom when they started could barely walk a straight line and now are winning gold medals. The philosophy of Elite is that every individual should be allowed and encouraged to do their best, and this is especially evident in the various team competitions. Our young people compete righ along side other teams with much higher level of talent and ability, yet it is always, always the Elite Stars which recieve a standing ovation from the crowd.
My daughter has Smith-Magenis Syndrome and has participated in the Elite Stars programs for five years. She absolutely loves every minute of it and has grown so much both athletically and socially. Patty Hermann has developed outstanding programs in gymnastics, cheer, ice skating, and dance. The coaches and peer coaches are the best! She has had fantastic experiences traveling out-of-state with the team to National and World competitions. Thanks, Patty, for all you do for our athletes!!!
I began coaching for the Elite Stars program 9 years ago at the age of 11. This has truly been a life changing experience and has shaped the person I am today. I cannot thank the Parents and Patty Hermann enough for giving me the opportunity to work with these wonderful athletes. Through coaching STARS I have learned so many qualities that I posses. I will continue to use these as I begin my journey of becoming an adult. This program has helped me get through some of the toughest times in my life because of the overwhelming support from the athletes and their families. I consider each and every one of them as a part of my family. Now that I am in college I have chosen to pursue the career of teaching. A huge reason I came to this decision is because of my experience with STARS. Working with athletes with special needs has shown me how capable anyone can be if approached and taught in the correct way. There are no goals to high or no barriers that stand in their way. Every goal I set for my gymnasts they achieve it and continually blow me away. These are the most dedicated group of athletes I have ever met. I am so blessed to have them in my life and I will never give up on them. I knew I could not go far away for college because I needed to be able to come and coach. Their endless smiles, friendship and love keep me going and brighten up my day. I can never leave a practice without being in a good mood because everyone that is involved in this program is simply amazing. Patty Hermann the founder has taken me in like a daughter and has been a mentor to me as I have grown up. I hope that one day I can be as successful as her and make an impact on the community like she has. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities she and her program have given me.
I volunteer there every saturday when I can. It is a great experiance coach the kids, they want so badly to be a part of something and with this program, they are. All of them are always excited to coome and work hard learing gymnastics and learning important social skills for their lives. I coach the boys and they are a really great group of kids. All the coaches and especially the organizers are so committed, making it such a good program.
In the year 2003, my life with the Elite Stars Program began. This program opened my eyes to how capable ANYONE and EVERYONE is at being a champion. All of the programs, including, gymnastics, dance, ice skating and cheerleading, are all filled with talented special needs athletes. When the Stars walk out onto any competition floor, people cannot help but watch. The talent that leaps off the stage of the dance floor, tumbles across the mat on the gymnastics floor, and flies through the air on the cheer floor all amaze everyone in its presence. The kids on all of these teams are extremely talented and are run to the best potential they can achieve. The coaches set no limits to what the athletes are capable of, but rather goals the coaches know the athletes will reach! You would think as being a coach I would be doing all of the teaching, but this program is set up in such an intelligent way, by Patty Hermann, that the volunteer staff also walks away with new knowledge. The staff learns skills such as nurturing, responsibility, leadership, maturity, independence, creativity and the honor of knowing you are changing someone's life. Most of the volunteers are high schooler's that achieve skills and knowledge that normally do not come until much later in life. These volunteers could be going out, but they choose to hold to their commitment of being their for these amazing athletes! This program helped me to grow and mature in ways that I am so thankful for. There is not one kid or coach who does not look forward to Saturday morning practices! Patty Hermann gives people a chance for their fullest potential in any sport, activity, or leadership role to shine. She truly sticks to her words, "Changing the World of Sports, One Athlete at a Time."
My 16 year old granddaughter with Asperger's Syndrome has been participating with the Elite Stars for several years now. She absolutely loves it!!! The athletes are always encouraged to push themselves to do their personal best and are treated with respect. Samantha has flourished with her successes at gymnastics and grown in confidence. I can't speak highly enough about this program.
The athletes at Elite Stars have huge ability ranges, yet Patty and her wonderful volunteers are able to accurately evaluate each athlete's abilities and train them to achieve their highest potential. The athletes are never babied, but they are encouraged respectfully and with love. The programs have been developed to foster independence, hard work, and fun!
My son just atarted to attend the program and he is so happy to be there. he gets up in the morning full of enthusiasm and energy and ready to roll. He already made some friends and can't wait to the next session. Thank you STARS and the TEAM.
My daughter with Down Syndrome has been part of Elite Stars Special Athletes Program for years and has participated in the gymnastics, cheer, dance and ice skating programs at various times depending on her schedule. None of the other programs she has participated in compare to Elite. The high expectations of the Director Patty Hermann have raised the bar for these athletes and they strive to achieve and be the best they can be, usually far exceeding what most would think possible! The trained volunteer staff of peer coaches are so motivating and caring and encouraging and it is so rewarding to see the relationships that develop between the athletes and coaches. My daughter has grown so much over the years in not only her skills as an athlete but in her independence, compassion for others, self esteem, and motivation and desire to succeed in all that she does outside of the gym! She would not be where she is today without this fabulous Foundation.
Elite stars does great things for special needs athletes! Making changes to many young people's lives.
The Elite Stars Foundation defies the laws of perception when it comes to special needs athletes. The goal of the program is to train athletes in both USAG/UCA/ISI skills and Special Olympic routines; therefore, empowering all athletes to reach their highest possible potential both physically and mentally. Education, training, diet, nutrition, fitness, wellness and community involvement are all a part of this unique training program that works to develop athletes as a whole person. STARS Athletics is about more than just gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, power lifting and figure skating, it’s about getting more, doing more and being more. STARS Athletics specializes in this inclusive training track for a population which is currently not training and/or competing in USAG/UCA/ISI/UFSA skills and events. High intensive “normal” competitive training experiences with extended social opportunities in a “non-segregated” atmosphere is the priority. Certified and trained adult coaches, top notch training environments, trained and highly skilled peer coaches and professionally trained dance instructors are part of the foundation which makes this the place “where champions come to train.” This program is my passion, my soul, my goal... "To change the world of sports one athlete at a time!"
I am the parent of two children who benefit from the Elite STARS Athletic programs. One of my daughters has Down Syndrome and participates in the gymnastics program. My other daughter is a peer coach for the gymnastics program. I can't tell you how much, both of my children benefit from being involved in the gymnastics program. The life experiences that both of them are having, each at a different level, are priceless. Patty Hermann has put together such powerful, life changing experiences for both the special needs athletes and the peer coaching opportunities, it is hard to put into mere words. The programs consist of gymnastics, skating, cheer, dance and power. Each year we have seen great growth in all areas. There is a great sense of family among everyone, from athlete to peer coach, to moms, dads, siblings, friends and relatives. It is with much gratitude that we say "Thank You, Patty for all that you do."