What began as theoretical discussions in coffee shops with my partners Diana Eisenstat and Brad Holmes has now turned into a mission driven reality, fueled by the time, energy and imagination of so many of our partners and supporters. We are passionate about delivering an innovative program that provides opportunity and critical support for young people with learning disabilities, while also inspiring a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
My co-founders and I are all parents of children with disabilities. Our collective experience serving individuals with disabilities, as well as that as parents, led us to an important realization and the impetus for forming BroadFutures. That realization centered on the fact that once our young people become adults, their support disappears but their disabilities do not. They are in a critical period of transition and often lack appropriate resources to ensure they can become successful, independent adults. This is poignantly reflected in the poor employment and education completion statistics for persons with learning disabilities. These young people are often falling through the cracks and unable to mainstream into careers and higher education seamlessly.
At the heart of BroadFutures is the notion that unmet potential is a tragedy. We KNOW the young people we serve have great potential, and we also know they need thoughtful, effective programs to empower that potential. We also recognize the present, dynamic shift that is happening with respect to the employment of persons with disabilities. Employers are increasingly recognizing the many benefits of a diverse workforce that is inclusive of disability. This is the perfect time to engage our communities and create more meaningful opportunities and support for these young people.
I left my career as a litigator to devote myself wholly to this effort, as I recognized the magnitude of its importance to the young people we serve, as well as our generation of employers, parents, educators, professionals, and advocates. I also fervently believe that no one person or group can do this alone. There is a Kenyan Proverb that simply says, “Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” And so we move forward on this journey of broadening the futures of those we serve, thankful for the opportunity to be part of the bundle.
Finally, BroadFutures would not exist without the profound inspiration derived from the courage, pride, and tireless effort of my own daughter, and her many peers. If I can put in half that effort, with half the bravery, we are bound for success.
Thanks again for your interest. We look forward to your partnership.
Carolyn K. Jeppsen
Co-Founder, CEO & President