By Cyndy Gustafson (Chairman of the Board and Special Needs Mom to AJ, Amplify Life Client)
What a year it’s been at Amplify Life! We ran our first series of Pre-Employment Skills camps and had the largest attendance at our overnight residential camp at Eagle Lake ever! We also held dozens of social and community programs resulting in over 15,000 hours of service provision to 149 unduplicated clients.
These success stories and many other great results from 2017 are a testament to what we can accomplish through our mission. Our more than 41 years of experience with people with disabilities has taught us that each of them wants and deserves the opportunity to be a meaningful part of their community and to achieve their dreams, and that community-based solutions offer the best chance of helping them succeed. By ensuring access to programs that promote inclusion, skills based learning and pro social recreational opportunities, we strengthen our clients’ abilities to be productive members of our community and turn their own aspirations into reality.
In 2017, we diversified our program service array to include more short programs, day programs, and life and job skills programs. We have heard the requests from families to provide more life skills and job skills education and training, and thanks to generous funding from the Nevada State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, we were able to run four weeks of life skills/pre-employment summer camps for children and youth ages 14-22. This evolution into skills based training is a natural outgrowth of our longstanding recreational and social skills programming, and brings an entire service array to our clients that we have not previously provided.
We know there is more demand to meet in the community, and we are working hard to grow our capacity to address critical service gaps in 2018
and beyond. We had record numbers of campers at our overnight camp, and waiting lists for our pre-employment camps. We are thrilled at the response we have had, and are committed to growing into more skills based training to meet unmet needs in northern Nevada for people with disabilities.
On behalf of our entire Board of Directors, I want to thank all the community partners, funders, and volunteers who supported Amplify Life this last year as we changed the lives of the people we serve. We couldn’t do it without you and your dedication to our mission.
We hope you will join us as we work to make northern Nevada the most disability friendly, inclusive, and robust community for our clients, as we Amplify Life for persons with special needs and their families!