As part of the 2023 Teacher & Mentor Appreciation Week, the HDS Foundation team is honoring the dedication of our HDS B.R.I.D.G.E.S. and College Mentors Program teachers and mentors, who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to ensure the success of our students. These remarkable individuals who devote themselves every day to the educational, social, and emotional achievements of our students are the pillars of our successful programs. 

 Our HDS B.R.I.D.G.E.S. teachers provide lessons and activities that help our students as they prepare to transition from high school to post-secondary education. Part of these activities includes weekly Community Based Instruction field trips that maximize hands-on experiences, allowing students to gain valuable life skills and prepare them for life after graduation. The students truly enjoy participating in the program as a result of the incredible experiences thoughtfully planned for them by their teachers. 

 Dr. Tara Rowe developed the Transition to Healthiness, Resourcefulness, Independence, Vocation, and Education (THRIVE) program that is supported through the HDS College Mentors Program at the University of North Florida (UNF). Her goal was to design a program that supports students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at UNF to ensure they have a successful college experience.  

Our Mentors play a vital role by supporting the teachers and students in our programs. We celebrate and honor them for the outstanding efforts, love, and commitment they provide to our students and teachers.  

 As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. 

 Happy Teacher Appreciation & Mentor Week!  

 B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Teachers – Donna Mansolillo, Kathy Gorman-Gard, Alma Gonzalez, Joshua Diaz ,Bianca Radice 

 Mentors – Jill Magaldi, Paula Wright, Herbert Carr, Tim Simpson 

 College Mentors -THRIVE- Dr. Tara Rowe

 Mentor – Briana Frazier 

United Way Center for Excellence Early Childhood Education Co-Teacher Kate Gilson Miranda