A very special congratulations to Dr. Tara Rowe, Director of the UNF THRIVE Program, for being presented with the Marc Gold Innovative Practices in Transition Award.  Dr. Rowe, the Director of THRIVE at the University of North Florida, received this honor at the National Division on Career Development and Transition Council for Exceptional Children Conference October 23, 2020.  This prestigious award founded in 1981 is named after Marc Gold whose innovative “Try Another Way” approach opened the door to employment for many students with severe disabilities.

Dr. Rowe holds a Masters in Special Education and Disability Services, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida.  For years Dr. Rowe has worked tirelessly to develop a program for degree seeking students with ASD (THRIVE) and is one of the most innovative programs that exists today.  The THRIVE Program supports the various needs of college students on the Spectrum that benefit from the unique approach to teaching self-advocacy while creating a multi-disciplinary path to successful outcomes for this population, and more importantly college degrees and employment.

Dr. Tara Rowe is being recognized for her contributions to the field and her work with UNF’s Transition to Healthiness, Resourcefulness, Independence, Vocation and Education (THRIVE) that supports students with Autism Spectrum Disorders at UNF and ensures these students have successful collegiate experiences.

The HDS Foundation has supported the THRIVE Program and worked closely with Dr. Rowe to better understand the best supportive practices that can lead to opportunities.  We have seen first hand her commitment, drive, and her love for the work she does.  This award could not have been bestowed to a more deserving individual. 

Congratulations Dr. Rowe!


To read more about Dr. Tara Rowe and the THRIVE Program at UNF, click here!