Project Washington

$10,000 goal

Campaign created 11 months ago
On Thursday, June 14, the phone at Living and Learning rang. Alessandra McBroom answered the phone call, not having any idea about the amazing journey on the other side of the line.

Introducing herself on the line as Nicole, Alessandra and Nicole spoke for an hour about Nicole's inspiring story on how she found Living and Learning.

Nicole started to explain a bit about her and her story, beginning with how lives in a remote area in The State of Washington with her daughter Zia. At the age of 19, Zia was just recently diagnosed with high functioning autism. Having difficulty in social interactions, very high anxiety, and slow processing for simple tasks, Zia is home schooled and mostly lives her life in her room. Additionally, Zia is a transgender girl and in the community she lives in, many frown upon her for this. For any parent of a child with autism and related challenges, as time goes on, the biggest worry a parent has is what will happen to their child when they (as a parent) die. As Nicole was desperately searching for a place for Zia to go to work on social skills, independent skills, job skill opportunities and have a place for a future, Nicole was building up much anxiety as her search was turning up unsuccessful.

Having frequent and increasing anxiety and panic attacks, Nicole went to visit a doctor to help. While waiting in the sitting area of her doctors office, Nicole notices a magazine that catches her eye.


That magazine was called ‘Hour Detroit’.


For those who do not know, Rachelle Vartanian, President and Founder of Living and Learning Enrichment Center, has an article on page 32 about Living and Learning in that magazine.

As Nicole opens the magazine, she opens it directly to page 32. Right away, she sees Rachelle’s article. Being almost in tears, she calls Living and Learning, seeing this as an opportunity she ha dreamed of but had no idea existed.

Putting everything in perspective, all of us at the center found this story hard to believe. The odds that a ‘Hour Detroit” magazine was in a doctor's office… in a remote area in Washington and Nicole decides to open it up, not having ever been to Michigan. And of course, her opening up the magazine to Rachelle’s article, it seems to be that these coincidences were a calling for us all.

As a few days went by, Nicole calls the center back on Monday, June 18. Silvia Robazza answers the phone and starts to talk a bit to Nicole. Nicole starts asking about housing options in the area, and not being exactly sure how to assist her, Silvia passes off the phone to Alessandra. Nicole and Zia were thinking of coming here to Northville to stay for a month. If possible, they  were willing to up and move the next day. The only thing stopping them was not being able to afford such a large trip.

While us at the center were all coming to our senses, the idea of us taking forth such a big project during this time of the year, seemed to be a bit too much to take on. We believed that we wouldn't be able to put in all the needed time and effort into this inspiring project.

Unexpectedly later that night, Rachelle looks out the window and saw a ‘For Rent’ sign at apartment complex … ACROSS THE STREET! For those who work at Living and Learning, we all know that for the entire time we have been here, those apartments have never been available for rent. Right away, Rachelle knew this was a sign of someone yelling down on us saying ‘We’re here to help! Now help us help them!’

Right away that next day, Rachelle and Assistant Director Pam Travis went to visit these apartments to get an idea of the living conditions and expenses. As this journey was about to take off, Rachelle felt they needed someone to lead this project; someone who would be able to dedicate the needed time and effort. With both summer camps in full swing, the next best option was Volunteer and Mentor Silvia Robazza.

Here we are now …

Making an approximate calculation for their two person, one month stay, we tried to consider all the needed expenses; meaning, plane tickets, rent, program costs, summer camp, food and household product costs, and many more living costs. All in all, leaving some leeway for any hidden costs on the way, we are hoping to raise a total of $10,000 … as soon as possible.

We have set up a Go Fund Me page where anyone can donate virtually.


With your assistance and support from our community, please help us help them, in getting Nicole and Zia in experiencing the life we all deserve.
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We’ve made over $1,000 so far (including separate personal donations)! Thank you everyone again :)
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We are currently at $740! We would like to get Nicole and Zia to (northville) Living and Learning ASAP, meaning any donation amount will help! Thank you
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A generous $500 donation from Sharon! Thank you!
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First donation of $20! Thanks for the support!
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$10,000 goal

Campaign created 11 months ago
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