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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Warriors For Autism Incorporated

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Autism, Disabilities, Environment, Environmental Beautification, Health

Mission: We are a 501c3 non profit organization dedicated to enlighten, enrich and empower the lives of families on the autism spectrum through our efforts to provide inclusive programs and services to the community.

Results: We are presently embarking upon our 6th consecutive year of summer camp on the horse farm and we couldn't be more excited! Due to the generosity of many we were able to create a safe & sensory camp setting for many children who would normally not have the access to this type of experience. Camp has tripled in size from our first year and we have had the opportunity to help more families than we ever hoped. We are now looking for help from the community and individuals who will help fund the projects of expanding our project for the upcoming opening of the Warrior Fitness & Sensory Center - the first of its kind in Tampa Bay!

Target demographics: Children and young adults on the Autism Spectrum in the Tampa, Clearwater & St. Petersburg areas.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 50 new children were able to experience our summer camp program. Others benefited from our establishing a sensory friendly monthly playdate! We are grateful to have had so many families enjoyed our FREE sensory friendly 4th Annual Winter Extravaganza Event!

Geographic areas served: Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg

Programs: An inclusive summer camp program on a horse farm for children with ASD and their siblings ages 6-16. Mini-camps during off-school breaks. Sensory/Allergy friendly holiday events for families throughout the year. An adaptive martial arts program for children aged 5+ to work on balance, speed/agility, hand/eye coordination and basic martial arts. Opening our Warrior Fitness & Sensory Center this summer which offers: Adaptive Fitness and Self Defense, a Sensory Room, Play Areas designed for individuals on the spectrum, but open to all!

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

60 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My daughter has been going to Warriors for Autism camp for three years now. She looks forward to going every year and it is really a great program. She learns, makes friends and is able to do so many things there. Deanna and her helpers are truly angels.

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the second year that my daughter has been going to summer camp with Deanna and Warriors For Autism. It is a fantastic program!! I wish it was available all year long! Deanna is wonderful, understanding and just fabulous with all the kids. The setting is great too because there is so much for them to do and the learning potential is endless. My daughter loves attending the camp and has developed more social skills and friendships. I can't say enough good things about Deanna or her program. I highly recommend it!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

An incredible organization, doing great things for our special children!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was our fist time coming to this camp. Deena and her staff were great. They always had smiles for the kids took the time to get to know each child . They encouraged them to try new things .

Lisa gross

5 Dani7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm Dani Bowman a 21 year old girl with autism that travels the country each summer teaching animation to young adults /kids on the autism spectrum and other related disabilities. I sometimes need to relax and deconpreess after teaching a class and Warriors For Autism is the perfect place.

I stopped by after my class to check it out, and I did not want to leave. It's fun for all ages. :)

And they also have Self Defense classes for girls...and boys!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

As parents of autism! We were so thrilled to have our 2 yr old & 3 yr old son's become a part of such a heartwarming, helpful, compassionate organization!!! My whole family was welcomed with OPEN ARMS!! Which meant so much to us! We enjoy every second that we're at BA warriors! We're so thankful that you all were able to bring your visions to reality and impact the lives of us all who share similar journeys throughout our experiences with autism!! Were so happy to be apart of this successful journey with many more to come your way. You & your family are a blessing to us all! ❤️

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am working for the summer with the kids and working with them, seeing them interact with the animals and how much fun they have everyday is thrilling. Deena runs such a trustworthy and patient camp, the kids and staff enjoy it every day! I would recommend this to anyone who is trying to find a reliable camp to leave their kids.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful family who runs the camp as well as own the gym/facility for children with special needs. Husband and wife make for a dynamic duo and they get it. It's our first year at the camp and we are delighted. The experience is such a value, as my two children become familiar with farm animals, and deal with their fears. The volunteers are helpful and kind. I am grateful our community can look to Warriors for Autism to support us.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

For our son this place has been a beautiful experience. The staff, trainer and executives of the program are all focused on helping children with disabilities. Their core values are aligned with healing and happiness for our children. They are gifted in their work and are tireless in their determination to help even those who are most challenged, like my son. Orlando treated my son with respect, kindness and most of all, patience. I, as a mom, first the first time ever, actually sat in a chair... This is an amazing group of people who care.

6

Former staff

Rating: 5

I had a truly amazing experience as a summer camp counselor for Warriors for Autism. The difference we made and the true happiness on the children's faces as they interacted with farm animals and went horse back riding was extraordinary. Can't wait for many years with Warriors for Autism to come!

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 11 year old son attended for the first time this year. We just moved in the area and was concerned about so much transition. However, he found comfort and excitement going to this camp everyday. His verbal skills are limited and was asking to go back! He has never done that before. Deena and staff are incredible with the children. It was like dropping them off with a family member that understands and loves your child. He can't wait to go back next summer.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Its been really hard for me to find a place for my son to go during the summer... this group is amazing! They knew exactly what to do with my son and did such a great job, and most importantly- He LOVED it. Cant wait for next year. Deena is amazing!

4 SusieVelee

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is our child's second year attending Horse Power camp. It is such a great experience for him. He loves all the animals and is learning responsibility, self control and social skills. Deena Rivera and staff are caring, relaxed and knowledgable. We hope to be back next year!

Previous Stories
7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family found out about the summer camp when we received a flyer from a friend. After researching Warriors For Autism, we decided to visit the camp to see if it would be a good fit for our 9 year old child with autism. We stopped by to just to look around and were greeted by Deena. She was kind enough to spend some time with us and give us a tour. Our child absolutely loves animals, so he was in heaven! We were so impressed by the warm reception and the relaxed atmosphere. We love the diversity of events available for the children (horseback riding, swimming, caring for the animals, etc...) We felt our child was in a safe, fun environment with attentive supervision. The counselors were great at encouraging the children to be actively involved in the activities. We felt they truly cared about our child. He seemed to really enjoy each day. Our child only participated in one week of camp, but we will definitely be looking to enroll him for more sessions next summer!

3 Kristin43

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the second year for my son at camp. He loved it so much the first year only attending for two weeks. This year he attended the entire length of the camp. He enjoyed every minute of it. The volunteers and those working with the kids have a great understanding of the many issues that come with autism. They really made a point to get to know each child. My child is limited verbally (other than scripting and echolalia), yet still made a point to tell me that he fed animals, played on the playground, and road "Snowy"(one of the horses at camp). He also wears sound canceling headphones most of the time at school, yet he was able to ride a horse without them this year. My son made friends and loved everything about this camp. I cannot wait til next summer. I just wish this program was available year round!

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is our first year attending Warriors for Autism camp. I wish I had found this several years ago. At first I was apprehensive about leaving my minimally verbal child with people I didn't know. I was instantaneously put at ease upon meeting Ms. Susan.The first day I was amazed by the creativity of the converted school bus "clubhouse". My son was excited to say the least. He wanted me to leave so he could get on with his camp. When I picked him up I was overwhelmed to see my little guy riding on a train...yes, one that looks just like Thomas the train! He loved it. There is a pool/ water play, playground equipment and many many animals. There is great attention to detail I in all aspects of the camp. My son has never really been around animals so this is a leap for him. He is feeding, grooming, and even riding horses. I cannot say enough about how lucky I feel to have enrolled my son in this camp. There are not that many things really available for kids that are not high on the spectrum and this camp has room for all! I just wish I had signed up for more than two weeks! We will be back next year!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became a Warriors for Autism board member after realizing the great dedication and commitment the group has towards helping local families with autistic children locate the resources they need to educate themselves and assist their family. There are many groups that will accept your donation towards much needed research, which is great, but very few local Tampa area groups that will put those funds directly towards helping your neighbor. Warriors for Autism strives to enlighten, empower, and enrich the lives of those affected by autism spectrum disorders and I would say they are definitely succeeding in this effort!

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

Warriors For Autism is an exceptional, caring and truly unique organization helping families affected by autism.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first summer volunteering with warriors for autism. The kids are incredible and the program is amazingly stimulating for the kids. Can't wait to volunteer again

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing program for children with autism and autism spectrum disorder. My grandson loved his week there so much, he asked to go back again. They provide a variety of things to do, riding horses, feeding all the various animals, swimming, crafts. They have a great staff of volunteers, so they are very well supervised. Deena is an amazingly patient and fun administrator. Thank you for this program

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Deena Rivera ROCKS! This is an amazing organization and we are going to be doing big thing to help them!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has attended the Warriors for Austim camp for 3 years. He loves it!!! I wish there was Christmas camp!! If your kids like animals....this is the place.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our 9 year old son has attended camp for two years. Our child can't wait to go every day & absolutely loves all the animals. We are impressed by the passion that Deena, Susan & all the volunteers have for the kids. The many events for the children (horseback riding, swimming, caring for the animals, etc...) is awesome & teaches them so many things. Our son has grown & matured from the many experiences at the camp. This is a well supervised & safe, fun environment for children with autism. We will be enrolling him again next summer.

3 Cyndi P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children have participated in Warriors for Autism horse camp for 3 years. It has been a wonderful experience for all three of them. This is one of the few camps/activities in our area that is designed for children with autism and their siblings. Deena and her volunteers do a great job of reaching all the kids and making sure each of them has a positive, memorable experience.

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My two girls attended Warriors for Autism horse camp. It was a wonderful experience for both of them! They can't wait to do a second week next month and are already asking to go back next summer. I was apprehensive to send the girls to horse camp. My older daughter is on the spectrum and can require lots of patience/supervision. My younger daughter normally gravitates toward more "girly" activities and was uncertain about going to camp on a farm. This camp was perfect for both of them! Deena and her staff/volunteers are amazing with the children and HorsePower for Kids is such a fun place!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

It has been my pleasure serving Warriors for Autism, Seeing the positive changes in these kids whether its at the farm with the animals or at the gym with the sensory classes it brings my heart joy and I would rather give my free time here than anywhere else. For my son and all the other children affected I hope to be bringing smiles to their faces for the rest of my life Osh!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent this past summer volunteering for Warriors for Autism and it is by far the best summer camp program for children on the spectrum. The camp directors are knowledgeable and loving and ensure that the kids have a great time in a safe environment. The children are able to develop friendships and social skills, as well as compassion for animals and the environment. I had so much fun volunteering, and I am looking forward to working with Warriors for Autism in future endeavors.

2 Audrey17

Client Served

Rating: 5

My boys have been participating in the Sensory BA Warrior Training program for about four months now and it is an amazing program. They both love it and are building their endurance levels, increasing focus and learning so much. Coach Olando and Coach Sterling are fabulous with the kids. I am still amazed by how they keep them focused and moving for the entire session. It is the best program I have found for my children-ages 6 and 10. The boys are always excited to attend other special events and meet up with the other members of Warriors for Autism. I can't wait to try the horse camp next!!!

1 Amanda145

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was my first year working for Warriors for Autism and the program here is the most intractable and loving summer camp I have seen. These people have so much love for these kids. Not only are they having fun around the farm and riding horses, they are learning lid life skills as well. I would recommend this camp to anyone and I can't wait till next summer when I can come back and work with such amazing people and great kids.

2 Amy_162

Client Served

Rating: 5

We've been involved with Warriors for 2 years now & the organizations commitment to these kids is exceptional. My son enjoyed his second year of farm camp immensely and his brother joined him this year, loving it as well. It's founder Deanna works tirelessly to provide experiences found no where else and I'm excited to see & help them achieve their long term goals so they can inspire my son for many years to come. Thank you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is our 3rd summer at camp and are amazed by the progress and strides both my child and the camp make each year. Thank you for providing an experience for our children that is nurturing and without judgement.

josievelez57

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Warriors for Autism Inc. continues to be an outstanding, dedicated non profit organizations in the Tampa Bay are, It is my pleasure to volunteer with them, wish I could do it fulltime.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Warriors for Autism is one of the few organizations that directly helps families on the spectrum, there is no middle man here.

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2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is my daughter's 2nd summer @ the camp. There are limited options for kids w special needs to enjoy summer camp in the area, and this one makes up for that. My daughter loves being here & looks forward to the summer because if this camp.

2

Client Served

Rating: 3

The kids had fun - my daughter had a blast, learned a lot about patience, waiting her turn, adapting to new people/situations and space plus they got attention, interaction needed to keep creating the overall package in their lives...
Ms. Sue is magical, the perfect person to lead the camp, group size was good
These camps are important and there is a new generation of kids needing the same experiences and their families to see the results... and be proud of their accomplishments...

1 Danielle V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

REAL PASSION FOR A REAL CAUSE. GREAT PLEASURE IN WORKING WITH DEENA AND WARRIORS FOR AUTISM. OUR CHILDREN SCHOOL TOGETHER AND DONATING MY TIME TO HELP HER WAS GREATLY REWARDING. ADMIRABLE DEDICATION TO A DYNAMIC ORGANIZATION AND LOOKING FORWARD TO MANY MORE YEARS OF VOLUNTEERING AND RELATIONSHIP BUILDING IN THE COMMUNITY! KUDOS TO DEENA!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

It's difficult finding summer activities camps for teens and when their on the autism spectrum it's that much more difficult. Our children attended WFA's camp at Horsepower for Kids and they had a blast. I was able to go to work and know that my son (as well as his typical sister) were well taken care of with the caring and knowledgeable volunteers and they had a ball!!!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

It took years to decide to venture out & find a summer camp for my son but where would he be not only accepted & understood but appreciated for the gifts he has to give? I was thrilled to find Warriors for Autism and their dedicated, loving summer camp staff. My son had the time of his life learning to ride a horse, feed the farm animals, swim and do arts & crafts at the Horsepower for Kids Farm (and what a supportive partner they are for the organization!) so much so that we hatched 2 chickens at home this summer when we saw how it helped our son connect to others by sharing his passion for the farm animals! We will definitely be back and appreciate keeping in touch with the group and the insightful information they post about the spectrum on Facebook. Thanks Deena and all the group's supporters for making this available to families in need!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Deena and the group Warriors for Autism is so dedicated in enriching the lives of individuals with autism. They do amazing work year round for families. The summer camp is a huge success and they do a phenomenal job! Keep up the great work Deena and team.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great Group...Lot's of wonderful information!!!!!!