For more information, call Heidi Solomon at 216.378.3434
“At YouthAbility I learned that everybody has their own similarities and differences. But there is always one unique characteristic that makes us special.”
“YouthAbility makes me feel proud and accomplished and helps me develop relationships with people.”
“My daughter has been a recipient of supports in excess of $1 million dollars since she came to me at 4 weeks of age. No stone was left unturned in trying to make sure she reached her potential. However, these thousand plus therapeutic appointments, although helpful in many ways, resulted in her feeling that she was very damaged, in need of being fixed, and used to being served.
Youthability has benefited my daughter and our family more profoundly than all the previous services combined. She was never looked at as someone with numerous disabilities, but rather as someone who was valuable JUST AS SHE WAS. She grew in ways I never dreamed were possible. Her self-esteem has greatly increased, she has learned to enjoy serving others, she has an incredibly talented, loving, accepting peer group with stronger bonds than anyone I know, disabled or not. She looks at her future as being filled with endless possibilities. Her social skills continue to improve, in a natural, rather than clinical setting. The suicide attempts of the past are a distant memory instead of a constant worry. Almost all of the activities are free, which allows full participation even in times of financial stress. I am speaking from my heart when I say that not only has her involvement with Youthability saved her life, it has helped our family develop a life of optimism.”
“My daughter has been through 15 years of therapuetic activities and this experiene has been the most powerful of them all in developing her self esteem and recognizing that she can have her future and give to society instead of only being on the receiving end.”
“I like Youthability because it has taught me job skills and being out in the world. There are so many things Youthability has taught me, like making good decisions. It has definitely made me a better person today. I wouldn’t be who I am today without Youthability!!
Youthability has impacted my life greatly, it has made me more confident in many different ways. It is the best place to be and it has definitely brought out so much positive in so many people, including me. Thank you so much for what you do Youthability!! Youthability was the best present I could ever ask for. I’d really like to thank a friend who is in the program who suggested it.”
The Horvitz YouthAbility program serves disabled and at-risk youth by engaging them in volunteer service, vocational activities, and social enrichment. YouthAbility participants help themselves by helping others.
Individual & Community-Based Volunteer Experiences
Approximately 100 to 125 youth and young adults, ages 14-26, participate annually. Participants are placed in individual volunteer assignments based on their individual strengths and interests. The goals of these experiences are to develop job skills, explore possible future careers, gain self-confidence, and provide a valuable service to the agency of placement. Examples of placements include:
- Animal shelters
- Grooming salons
Group projects are designed to give members a positive connection to the community and allow them to feel like community heroes. Projects may last one day or be on-going and help participants develop self-esteem, soft job skills and provide a valuable service to the community. Examples include:
- Creating greeting cards for sick children
- Making and serving lunch for victims of domestic violence
- Tending to community gardens that provide fresh vegetables and fruit to the elderly.
On-going group projects require a higher level of commitment on the part of the student. Projects last most of the year and work toward specific goals. Participants develop specific skills related to the project, serve as community leaders as part of the project, and develop self-confidence. Examples include:
- Creating and performing in a play about overcoming disabilities
- Learning about advocacy and government through field trips
Each year the group hosts learning trips to various locations throughout the US and internationally as an opportunity to travel and perform volunteer activities with other non-profit organizations. Trips are supervised by JFSA and adult volunteers. Over the past 7 years, the group has visited Washington DC, Buffalo, Niagara, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Francisco.
You can help support this innovative program with your donation.