A word from Sarah Mai…
As many of you know, on July 1st, I started my journey as the Executive Director of this organization. It was a significant step for me personally and professionally, and a huge milestone for The Mission Project. I do not take for granted the years of discussion and fundraising that went into creating this position and specifically hiring me. I am honored to be the first Executive Director of The Mission Project and to have the opportunity to lead an organization made up of parents and participants that I have come to love like family.
For more than seven years, I have been involved with TMP on the programming side, specifically teaching the Problem Solvers group, facilitating the iPad Project, and providing individualized consultation regarding behavioral and social needs. During the course of those 7 years, I have developed a keen understanding of the unique needs of each participant and I have developed visions for how I could facilitate progress that would improve their quality of life. And now… it’s game time. It is time to put the hard work into turning the visions into real outcomes.
I am and will be a strong leader for this organization. I will work in collaboration with the parents, I will build relationships with donors, and I will create community partnerships, all in the spirit of contributing to the sustainability of this necessary and excellent organization. But first and foremost in my career, I am an Occupational Therapist and what that means is that my primary goal is to improve the daily lives of individuals with disabilities. Through my advocacy, assessment, and intervention, I work to teach and empower independence. The organizational mission is, “Discovering a world of independence, a life of possibilities”. I am pretty sure we are in sync and I am in the right place.
It is important to me that supporters of The Mission Project know that we are taking our programming to another level now and that you can expect greater outcomes. Participants are learning to utilize their iPads to improve time management, social skills, and leisure skills. We are focusing intently on health this year and increasing the number and quality of programs that address healthy eating and physical fitness. We are encouraging leadership and enabling participants to step up as technology specialists, event planners, and public speakers. We are also focusing on self-advocacy in the context of safety and making sure each individual has a definitive way to get their needs met in a moment of crisis regardless of their social and communication challenges.
I believe that The Mission Project is a brilliant model for providing for the needs of adults with developmental disabilities who can live with minimal support. There has been rich development this last ten years and there will be exciting outcomes these coming ten years. I am deep in with these guys and I am loving it. I ask you to consider how you can dive in with me and support the lives of these individuals. Do you have a skill you can teach? Time to volunteer? A network to plug into? Monetary resources that can make bigger and better programs possible? If you do, I want to talk to you so call or email me and let’s discuss how we can do this together. Thank you again for supporting The Mission Project!