STRIDES, Students Together Representing Individuals with Disabilities through Education and Scholarships, is a certified nonprofit organization that serves to assist and advocate for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their pursuit of a postsecondary education. Our team works to provide scholarships to students with IDD to help alleviate the financial burden associated with attending a postsecondary educational program. Furthermore, by holding events and raising awareness for students and the programs they attend, we hope to change the culture around education and individuals with IDD.
We have a responsibility to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, from prekindergarten to […] higher education and beyond.-Jim Jeffords
Pursuing a postsecondary education and working towards a career is a privilege that many of us take for granted. Growing up, most people never wondered if they would get a chance to go to college or live on their own. Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the same hopes and dreams that everyone does growing up, and receiving a postsecondary education is one of the first steps in moving out on their own and starting a career. At STRIDES, we hope to bring education from a distant and unattainable goal, to a very real and tangible opportunity. In this pursuit, we hope to also highlight the efforts of the student participating in the programs and staff in supporting the programs.
Three Pillars of Our Mission:
Our primary mission is to raise money that will be put towards scholarship opportunities for potential students. This will help remove the financial burden associated with postsecondary programs. Specifically, the PATHS Certificate program can cost around $35,000 and the Aggie ACHIEVE program can cost up to $136,000. Financial aid is the most common reason that students are unable to attend, and we plan to change that reality!
In addition to financial aid, we will work to bring awareness to educational programs like the PATHS Certificate program and Aggie ACHIEVE program, that are so important for individuals with disabilities. We will utilize events and advertisements to spread the word about these amazing programs and any other programs out there! We hope to see these programs grow and expand across other college campuses with this awareness.
As an organization, we want STRIDES to serve as the support system for students with IDD, their families, and programs that serve to benefit them. Our goal is to not only provide financial support, but also create a community around these individuals that cares about them and their futures. Without this community and inter-organizational cooperation, we would be unable to truly change the negative associations surrounding individuals with IDD.