March 2021 Newsletter
A Message from our CEO, Carolyn Jeppsen
This month marks a full year since BroadFutures programming and operations went digital. As Leo Tolstoy so aptly expressed in War & Peace, “the two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” The past year has certainly challenged our ability to be powerful warriors of both. Yet, it has been our persistent patience and the omnipotent forward movement of time that has allowed us to succeed and to become those powerful warriors against an unforeseen and unimaginable crisis.
It is difficult to adequately express the deep sorrow and grief so many have experienced over the past year. The pain is deep – on so many levels. As a country we have faced so many profound crises beyond those presented by COVID-19. And yet, the human condition propels us forward into the unknown, buoyed by the passionate commitment to the young people we serve, who need us now more than ever. With unemployment rising and remote learning often replacing in person instruction, the pandemic has taken a huge toll on our community. Yet, here we are on the frontier of brave new norms and parameters for doing business, incorporating these changes and developments as we proceed with our internship and training programs for summer.
Upon reflection of what we have accomplished over the past year, and what we are looking forward to accomplishing, we remain profoundly grateful to all of our generous and gracious donors, families, and community who have afforded us the ability to continue our programming during this challenging time. From where I sit as CEO and Co-Founder, I am equally and immeasurably grateful to our incredibly resilient and talented staff, who pivoted to the new norms with courage and dedication, leading to effective, creative programming that has met the needs of our participants.
I am struck by the capacity of the human heart to expand when confronted with adversity. As I look forward to our next year or programming, I look with a full heart at a horizon of possibility and hope.
Sign up for our Virtual Summer Strengths Program!
Innovative & interactive curriculum for alternative learners
focusing on college and career readiness:
All curriculum is delivered in an interactive and innovative format that implements strategies for neurodiverse learners with the integration of the arts, collaborative projects and the inclusion of mindfulness and yoga techniques.
What we have been up to this month…
This month we held virtual information sessions for students at West Chester University, McDaniel College, and Salisbury University. We welcome students from all schools!
High School Workshops
Our Program Director and Drama Instructor led a workshop for KIPP DC College Preparatory students. The workshop focused on how to disclose your disability and ask for accommodations in college. Later this month we also hosted a workshop on interviewing skills with Capital City Public Charter School students.
Our CEO and President, Carolyn Jeppsen, gave a presentation about how we have pivoted to the virtual space and continued to run programs, specifically from a mentoring perspective, to the National Disability Mentoring Coalition.
Educational Partner Spotlight – Beacon College
This month we are excited to feature one of our educational partners, Beacon College, whose inspired students we have served since 2015. Founded in 1989 and located in Leesburg, Florida, Beacon became the first college in the country accredited to award bachelor degrees exclusively to students with learning disabilities, ADHD and other learning differences. Beacon College has a four-year graduation rate of 83.3%, which far surpasses the national average for students with learning disabilities.
Beacon has been a strong supporter of our mission. In addition to entrusting us with their students, Beacon has featured our program and our CEO in their World of Difference Series, welcomed us to speak on their campus, as well as virtually, and was a sponsor of our fundraising efforts to ensure all students can benefit from a BroadFutures program.
We are so grateful for our partnership and the many Beacon students who have successfully completed our programs, always adding valuable perspectives and new ideas.
George Hagerty, President of Beacon College since 2014, so eloquently described the synergy of our missions: “Our partnership with BroadFutures is significant as one of Beacon’s most prominent platforms for the post-college transition of our neurodiverse profile of undergraduates. The opportunities afforded to our students through BroadFutures dovetail ideally with our work on campus to prepare our collegians for an abundant life and career.”
We look forward to a continued partnership and we welcome all students from Beacon to apply to our programs! You can learn more about Beacon College here.
Welcoming Two New Board Members
We are thrilled to welcome Anita Ayerbe and Sam Flood to the BroadFutures Board of Directors!
Anita is a grateful BroadFutures parent, and fully committed to the support of young people with emerging skills. Anita is a registered Architect and began her career in NYC as a theater architect. She has more than 30 years of experience overseeing the design and construction of government, cultural, and institutional projects. Anita founded the Savias Group in 2014 to offer comprehensive project management and owner’s representation services. She was the Owner’s Rep for the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, a records technology center in Winchester, and an Innovation Center in Huntsville. She is active in the community, having served on the board of CulturalDC from 2007-2016. She was an original mom in March for our Lives Lodging in support of the 2018 March in Washington, and continues to volunteer with local groups in Arlington, Virginia.
Anita received a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University and an M. Arch from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Arlington with her husband, four children, two dogs and a cat.
When asked about her thoughts on joining the Board, Anita reflected, “As a grateful BroadFutures parent, I’m thrilled to be engaging with BroadFutures as a board member. I am uber committed to supporting these young people who have so much promise and potential.“
Sam is a proud parent of a BroadFutures alumnus as well as an employer partner. Sam is a strong supporter of the BroadFutures mission and is dedicated to providing opportunities for individuals who learn and think differently.
Sam commented, “I’m excited to join the BroadFutures Board and look forward to helping Carolyn amplify the team’s important mission.”
Participant Spotlight – Ellie Kishter
This month we are excited to feature Ellie, a Winter 2021 Strengths Program participant! A 20-year-old from Catonsville, Maryland and a graduate of Catonsville High School, Ellie proved herself to be a hardworking and motivated program participant. In her free time, Ellie likes to read, write, and draw. She also enjoys working with animals.
Ellie was a wonderful addition to our cohort this winter, providing valuable perspectives to the whole group with her thoughtful contributions. Ellie’s genuine and kind nature were a benefit to us all. Looking back on the program, Ellie reflected, “BroadFutures is a wonderful program with a very welcoming environment and staff. I loved spending time with everyone. I only wish it was longer than five weeks; it goes by so fast! Raymond, Carole, Laurie, Ashley and Alexa are all fun to work with. They imbued us all with their wisdom and encouraging words. Thank you guys so much!”
Ellie, we very much appreciate those kind words – it was such a pleasure getting to work with you! We cannot wait to hear about all of your continued accomplishments and successes!