Guest opinion: Foundation turns women into leadersby Angela Thomas on Sep. 13, 2008, under Family, Local, Opinion
The Aurora Foundation was founded by Stephanie Parker.
She has this vision in helping women, young women and girls with disabilities to become leaders.
This foundation started in May 2001. Since then, it really took off with its mission, vision and programs.
Parker created this program of leadership development and mentoring, specifically with young women and girls who have been disenfranchised and marginalized by disability and other significant life challenges.
The curriculum has been field-tested with more than 100 high school girls.
This program has integrated knowledge, skills, attitudes in healthy relationships, education, career exploration and even social entrepreneurship.
This program has helped increase self awareness and understanding in all the women, young women and girls it reaches.
It also engages future-oriented self-concepts in exploring and forming post-high school college and career goals.
This program is called Leaders for a Lifetime. It has benefited me in so many ways because I was involved with The Aurora Foundation for five years.
It really helped me in maintaining interpersonal relationships with my family and friends.
I was born with Down syndrome, a developmental disability in which it takes a while to process data in the mind quickly. It also involves health and mental health issues.
Having this foundation has given us blessings in giving women opportunities in becoming leaders.
We didn’t really have opportunities or programs for women in the ’60s. Ninety years ago, they didn’t even have the right to vote.
We’ve come a long way since then.
Angela Thomas has Down syndrome. She loves to paint, ride horses and write. She also loves her family.