Last week, the HDS Foundation had the pleasure to virtually attend the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. class. Over the past years, we have visited the students to introduce ourselves and tell them about how HDS Foundation is involved in the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. program. A special lunch and dessert treat is always part of our visit with the students. One of our favorite parts of the visit, is spending time talking to the students and getting to know them.
This year, things were a little different as we made our plans for this school year. After our meet and greet last Tuesday, we had the students come to the school to pick up a goodie bag that we prepared for them to feel extra special. Each student received, hand sanitizer, water bottle, journal, pens, but the best of all was a gift card to Cold Stone Creamery.
It was great to see the students, as they drove by to receive their goodie bags at the high school. We look forward to attending more classes to see the students and the progress they are making this school year.
If you were not able to attend the parent meeting, or if you would like to learn more about the HDS Foundation mission and the programs we provide, please watch the video above. The video is a recording from our most recent Zoom Parent Meeting with the Cypress Bay B.R.I.D.G.E.S. parents. You can also find the PDF Version of the PowerPoint by clicking here: Link to PowerPoint PDF
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!
The HDS Foundation is super excited to meet our parents in tomorrow’s B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Parent Meeting! We look forward to sharing what our program is all about along with creative ways we will continue to achieve our mission in our “new normal”.
National Nonprofit Day, founded by Sherita J. Herling, commemorates August 17, 1894, when the Tariff Act became law and gave exemptions for charitable institutions and nonprofit organizations. Today, we celebrate National Nonprofit Day by recognizing the positive impacts that nonprofit organizations and the individuals who commit themselves to making a lasting impact on our local and global communities.
Our CEO, Cristina Miranda Gilson, founded the HDS Foundation, a nonprofit organization, to provide mentoring services and opportunities to Teens and Young Adults who have Autism-related disabilities. The primary focus of the Organization is to promote the development of work and daily living skills, build socio-educational transitional experiences via specific school-based partnerships, and support the post-secondary journeys for this growing population. Bridging the gap that can support the diverse abilities of young adults and facilitating college-level and other post-secondary education will strengthen this population’s chances for meaningful, long-term employment and self-sufficiency.
You can support the HDS Foundation mission when you shop through AmazonSmile. The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the total purchase to the charity of your choice (HDS Foundation) at no extra cost to you!!!
Nonprofit organizations are the Change-Makers of the World!
Throughout the year, we have been celebrating 30 years of progress in access and inclusion, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Anniversary. The ADA was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. Through passing this law, President Bush ensured that individuals in the United States of America will no longer be socially defined or limited in life by a disability. The Anniversary milestone is a celebration that promotes awareness of equality for people with disabilities.
The ADA is the first comprehensive civil rights law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination based on their disability. It protects people with disabilities from discrimination in all areas of public life, including the workplace, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the public. The law guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, such as accessible buses for wheelchairs, tactile exhibits at parks and museums, captions, or a sign language interpreter at a theater, concerts, or ball games. Other changes include accommodations in local, state, and federal government services, and telecommunications. These are just some of the life-changing accommodations that were made possible for people with disabilities because of the American Disabilities Act.
We are grateful to the ADA for making a life-altering change for individuals with disabilities. If you have any questions, please visit the resources below:
This Tool Kit is a project of the ADA National Network and its ten regional ADA Centers across the United States that provide comprehensive “one-stop” information, guidance, and training on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Dear valued client and industry partners and HDS Family,
This year we celebrate 22 years of commitment to affordable housing and community development, bringing technology and service solutions to this industry. Our mission for over two decades has been to support this market and the initiatives of our agency clients and partners. We thank you for being part of our success and value the trust you have placed in us while supporting your business and community goals.
The HDS Companies team that includes Housing and Development Software, eHousingPlus and the HDS Foundation is 22 years strong. Today more than ever, we are committed to continue to strengthen and grow these business lines in support of yours. Community is at the core of who we are, and today, we the HDS Team invite you to celebrate our vision for the future.
“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
We are excited to announce that as of yesterday, June 1st, we are officially moved into our new headquarters in Miami Lakes, FL. Please make sure you UPDATE our new address as noted below, and distribute as needed to your departments. Our telephone numbers and email addresses will remain the same.
This has been a milestone in the making over the past year. COVID-19 restrictions and our own Risk Management and Mitigation Plans have changed our plans for celebration, so we will save it for a later date when we can share this with our Employees, Our Clients and Partners.
We will continue to support you as we have done without interruption, and are available if you need assistance through our normal channels. For more information please contact Natalie Stevenson at 954-217-9597 x204 or at Natalie.Stevenson@hdsoftware.com.
The HDS Companies Operations continue at100% remote since we deployed our Business Continuity Plan in the face of the COVID-19 risk, in March, 2020. Our staff will continue to work on this platform until further notice.
Set your IPhone’s, Androids, and laptops for June 8th – 12th to tune in to this summer’s I’m Determined Summit hosted online! This youth and parent summit is an annual event sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Partnership for People with Disabilities. Normally, youth with disabilities from across the commonwealth come to this summit to network and discuss issues of importance to youth and young adults (13 – 21 years old) with disabilities. Due to current circumstances, COVID-19, the 2020 Youth and Parent Summit will be going VIRTUAL.
This year’s theme will focus on five essential skills to help improve self-determination:
- Goal Setting and Attainment
- Decision Making
- Problem Solving
Sessions will be readily available beyond the week of the event to allow those who could not attend to still access the information. This event is open to all who wish to participate at NO COST.