The HDS Foundation B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Parent Meeting was a SUCCESS! Our board members kicked the meeting off by introducing themselves and sharing their overview on how the program has grown over the years. After the introductions were made, our President and Chairman, Cristina Miranda-Gilson, took over and lead the meeting by diving deep into our mission of the HDS Foundation.

Cristina shared that as a non-profit organization, the HDS Foundation was started in support of her daughter, Kate Gilson-Miranda, and individuals who also have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The primary focus of the organization is to support a three-prong approach to transition. Cristina emphasized that in order to successfully achieve our mission and vision statements, families, friends and the community must help create awareness. She describes how teens and young adults can be better prepared to meet the demands of transitioning with the help and participation of the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Program. This program is structured in a form of a grant and supports the development of school-based social and community life skill activities designed to meet the needs of high school students with ASD.

Although COVID has changed our in-person community-based instruction activities to virtual, our goal continues to make this year as meaningful as possible while providing the needed support to parents, teachers and students.

Cristina continued the presentation by going over the additional programs we offer: College Mentors and Social Activities Program (SAP). These programs provide guidance and social support to enhance the lives of older teens and young adults.

She concluded the presentation by informing parents about the importance of our Toolbox for Success. Each student and family will create their own toolbox that includes family resources, skills that need to be worked on, experiences that will benefit the student and family, and planning for their post-secondary journey.

As we wrapped up the meeting, Cristina opened the floor for parents to ask any questions. It was amazing to see how engaged all parents were, and the variety of questions being asked. We were able to go through each question with an in-depth answer to guide the parents. We loved being able to have this opportunity to share, support and encourage the parents as they go through this journey with their child.

Make sure to stay informed and engaged by following our social media platforms on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!