October Newsletter (2018)

October is…
National Disability
Employment Awareness Month!

BroadFutures is proud to once again celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month  (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. NDEAM aims to educate people about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.”
BroadFutures supports the mission of NDEAM  through our holistic training, mentoring and paid internship program for young people with disabilities. We believe in the inherent and untapped potential of the young people that we serve, and we recognize that inclusion works for everyone.  Last year in an effort to bring awareness to this effort, BroadFutures, in collaboration with several other like-minded organizations and Quoted Studios, developed an educational and fun animated video on unconscious bias and the value of hiring individuals with disabilities. We are excited to share it again this October to help educate and inspire others. 

If you’re interested in learning more about NDEAM and its history,  click here.

Reflections from our CEO/President, Carolyn Jeppsen

Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the  
future, act now without delay.
 – Simone de Beauvoir

It has been 5 years since we incorporated BroadFutures, founded upon the fervent belief that we needed to act now without delay to change the existing landscape for young people with learning disabilities transitioning to school or work. After 5 years, hundreds of young people served both directly through our internship programs and indirectly through our outreach programs, and partnerships with over 40 employers, we have hopefully changed attitudes, perceptions, expectations, workplaces, hopes, dreams…and lives.

I am so incredibly humbled and inspired by the courage and tenacity that the young people we serve have demonstrated over the past 5 years. We have seen a diverse group of young people commit to changing their own lives, to act NOW and without delay, and in so doing, they have reaped the wonderful benefits of change, progress and success. I am equally humbled and inspired by the passion and dedication that our employer partners have shown in hosting our interns, and in opening to the possibilities of what a diverse workforce in the 21st century looks like and of the promise of the young people we serve. I am also every day humbled and inspired by our staff and all the specialists we work with towards our shared commitment and vision of a future where diverse learners can thrive. Finally, I am incredibly grateful to the many supporters in our village who have donated their time, money, heart, and soul to BroadFutures. Without all for you, we would not be in the position of celebrating what we are today.

While we are incredibly proud of where we are, we want to continue to grow and bring our programs to many, many more young people. We are hopeful that as a community, you will all celebrate with us and be a part of our Changing Lives Gala on November 17th, marking this important time for us as an organization!  We look forward to working together to continue to change lives. 
Join us as a Sponsor at our 
5th Anniversary Changing Lives Fall Gala!

Intern Spotlight – Danielle Bedney

We are shining the light on another Summer 2018 Program alum this month! 

Danielle “Danny” Bedney is from Washington, DC. She graduated from the Seed Public Charter School and is now in her junior year at Hartford University, where she is majoring in film. During the BroadFutures program, Danny interned for the Smithsonian Visitor Center, better known as “The Castle.” Danny’s supervisor entrusted her to reinvent the brochure for the museum, which was no small feat. All summer, Danny worked tirelessly on producing a product with visual appeal, fascinating stories, and comprehensive information by touring the museum, collecting survey responses from docents and volunteers, and perusing the archives. Her dedication to this project was admired by her supervisor, and her final presentation to staff members about the design and information for the brochure was impressive after only one summer working there. This past summer, Danny was able to capitalize on her creative skills and ability to self-advocate to ensure that she was as successful as possible. These skills will help her work towards success in school and in her career, as she hopes to be a documentary filmmaker one day.

Danny appreciated feeling like a part of a community here at BroadFutures and learning more about herself: 

“One thing I liked the most about BroadFutures was that I got the opportunity to see incredible young adults just like me. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone with my disability. Over the summer I learned that I was capable of setting a goal and completing it when I’m given the right tools to succeed.”

Thanks, Danny. We wish you the best of luck as you continue on your journey!!
 Employer Spotlight – PunkinFutz  

We are thrilled to have one of our newest employer partners, PunkinFutz, spotlighted this month. PunkinFutz designs and manufactures therapeutic play products for children with a broad range of physical, sensory, developmental, and emotional needs. They aim to create products that are original and accessible to children with varying needs, to support child-led imaginative play, to design and produce the products in integrated and supported work  environments, and to conduct their business
in an environmentally and socially responsible way. PunkinFutz joined as a new employer partner this past summer and hosted two interns to work on social media and research-based projects.

Chief Marketing Officer Whitney Hunter-Thompson, who supervised the two BroadFutures interns this summer, understands the value proposition in partnering with us and had this to say about her time with the interns: ‘

“We were so delighted to work with BroadFutures and in so doing, support their important mission. Our interns were incredible! BroadFutures’ time spent training the interns, supporting their professional development and improvement, and acting as additional advocates allowed us to utilize the full extent possible of our interns’ skills and capabilities. As any employer knows, a vast majority of time can be spent on the general skills of an employee/intern that take away from the technical tasks at hand. BroadFutures absolutely solves for that. We look forward to a continued partnership with them in the future, but in the meantime, we encourage anyone and everyone who needs interns to use BroadFutures!”

Thank you for these kind words, Whitney! We are excited to continue our partnership with PunkinFutz as they work to provide new options to celebrate and strengthen our diverse community.


INFORMATION SESSION: November 12, 2018
at 2013 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

November 15, 2018

If yo u are interested in applying for our Winter 2019 Program,  
please do so  HERE

If yo u are interested in attending the information session, please email

If you are interested in becoming an employer partner, we are actively recruiting new employers. Please find  out more  HERE .

Know someone who would be interested in what BroadFutures does?
Know someone who might be interested in applying?


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