Taylor was born with Downs Syndrome, but that has not stopped her from enjoying all that life has to offer. Taylor is very funny, loving, compassionate, affectionate, complimentary and talented. She is very social and everyone adores her. Taylor loves to dance, write, talk on the phone, text, go bowling and spend time with her family and friends. Taylor was the maid of honor in my wedding and gave a wonderful toast to the bride and groom.
This is Taylor’s last year in high school, as she has “aged out” at 22. During her formative years, Taylor has been blessed to attend a wonderful high school where she was able to participate in performing arts, which enabled her to express herself by participating in the inclusive dance and theatre classes, right along side the mainstream students.
Taylor’s mom has dedicated her life to making sure she gets to enjoy all of the activities that other kids take for granted. Taylor has attended Westside’s proms and homecoming parties. Taylor has won several Special Olympic events and participates in the Best Buddies program. Westside High School has been a constant in Taylor’s life for 7 years, and the structure of high school and caring teachers has been a godsend to a working mother.
Unfortunately Taylor is number 5300 on a waiting list of a state sponsored program that could be very beneficial in Taylor's continued development. Currently, she is dropped off after school to hang out with her 81 year old nana until her mom picks her up after work. Last summer was spent at nana's as well. Taylor loves her nana, but deserves to enjoy her summers like the rest of us.
Since it’s opening a few years ago, Taylor attended the Summerhouse's pilot program. She also spent a few days a week one summer whenever her mom was able to put together funds to pay the tuition. Taylor loves attending the Summerhouse and always comes home happy.
Just in time….The Summerhouse offers a full time daily transitional program that provides a safe environment to young adults with intellectual disabilities, with a small group of peers led by a professional staff. In this way, the young adults are integrated into the community environment for a successful transition into a more independent life. This program enables individuals like Taylor and her peers to become valued, respected, contributing members of society by learning basic life skills, volunteering at food banks, functional academics, social and emotional skills. They also provide vocational training focused on entry into community-based employment.
Attending the Summerhouse would be such a happy and valuable experience for Taylor, her mom and all of us who love her so dearly. Since she is being raised in a single-parent household, the only way for Taylor to attend this wonderful program is through the generosity of friends, family and other “angels”.
Because the Summerhouse is equipped to care for people with various disabilities it is costly to run. The program costs $1500 per month and in order for Taylor to attend for a full calendar year, it would cost $18,000.
It is my prayer that everyone who reads this will reach into their hearts and pockets and help make this dream a reality for Taylor.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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