WayForward, a Non-Profit Foundation, Launches with a Fundraising Gala in Austin

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Non-Profit focuses on job coaching and continued education support for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

WayForward, a non-profit services organization announced its launch today focusing on enriching the lives of people with developmental disabilities, including those on the Autism scale.

The organization is holding their first fundraising event Wednesday, April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Austonian Tower in downtown Austin. Tickets are $150 each, space is limited and admittance will be based upon first come, first served. Generous corporate sponsors are making this event possible, including United Lending, Kristynik Flooring, Eric Moreland of Moreland Properties, Benchmark Mortgage, Deep Eddy Vodka, Silicon Valley Bank, Pink Avocado Catering, Alfred’s Catering, and Uber. The event will include a noteworthy silent auction containing over 45 items.

For more information on the event, please visit http://www.wayfwd.org

WayForward bridges the gap for young adults who graduate from the high school system only to find employment doors are closed to them. The school districts in the Austin area nurture and train these young people and encourage their independence and vocational training, however, upon reaching the age of 22, students with disabilities are no longer supported by the school system by mandate.

“We invest a lot into our students with disabilities to help them achieve their greatest level of independence so they can become active and contributing members of their communities once they leave school” said Molly May, Director, Eanes ISD Special Education Department. She continued, “Without the right structures and support in place, the skills and competencies they have gained may not be further developed in their adult lives. Currently there is a lack of these support services available and WayForward is working to close that gap.”

Caregivers, parents and friends often do not have the ability to support the vocational training needs of these young adults as they personally struggle with the demands of their own jobs and responsibilities. As a result, this population has an estimated 80% unemployment rate.

“Upon exiting the school system, young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have few options to guide them on a path to an occupation” said Susan Nelms, Executive Director of WayForward. “We are launching a program for individuals with disabilities in pursuit of career training and individualized services to assist them so they can gain employment and achieve more independence.”

WayForward will focus on:

  •     Cultivating companies willing to hire people with disabilities
  •     Vocational training and coaching
  •     Providing life skills training and continued education
  •     Providing transportation outreach and guidance

WayForward seeks to benefit society by providing capable and motivated workers, while assisting the individual with development and intellectual disabilities by giving them more independence, job skills, lifting their spirits and giving them hope – in a phrase, giving them a way forward.

Press Contacts

Susan Nelms
Executive Director

Larry Warnock
Board Director

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Susan Nelms
WayForward Foundation
+1 512.784.7916
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