Visionary: Vanessa Bieker, Founder
adjective. thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom.
Areas of expertise:
Autism mom, social science, humanity, giving back, and a champion for change.
Cheers to the young man who inspired the foundation of Fly Brave. John has non-verbal autism. He trained and completed his first marathon, CIM, California International Marathon, on Dec 3, 2017, in hopes to Boston qualify. A 5 minute mile runner, he trained with his running coach, Ryan Battimarco, for 4 months. Unfortunately, John sustained an injury on the run. What we thought was a sprained ankle would later be diagnosed as a broken ankle. He would not stop. He did not give up. He was determined to finish and finish is what he did. He ran 9 minute miles despite his injury completing the race in 4 hours and 27 minutes. He didn't Boston qualify this time yet he is determined to try again once he is injury free.
Who is Fly Brave?
We are a grassroots, 100% volunteer based, 501c3, Tax ID: 81-1284098. We were established on January 20, 2016.
Our core mission is to open an employment training program for adults with autism. Employment is a wide spread need across the country. The unemployment rate is nearly 80% for this population, and I saw this first hand in searching for employment opportunities for my son John who is 23, non-verbal, and on the autism spectrum. Fly Brave aims to build a bridge between aging out of school at 22 years old and entering the world of adulthood. We want to create a training program that offers options; to tap into each young adults talents and dreams in an environment that fosters confidence, education, hands-on experience and growth. Seeing the need for a program like this in our community, Fly Brave was created. Our program is run with the help of our mentors, office assistant, jewelry makers and webmaster who are all on the autism spectrum.
To learn about our vision, visit our Mission page.
We believe in the power of social outlets. Our events build social skills, confidence, and friendships. We have watched our teens/young adults blossom over the past year through prom, rollerskating, monthly Sky High Sports meet ups, swimming, run club and Winter Ball.
Our events are funded primarily through our online Etsy store, and our jewelry display at Article Consignment Boutique in East Sacramento (56th Street & Elvas Avenue next to Tupelo). Jewelry and t-shirts are made bi-weekly by young adults with autism in our workshops. You can also hire our young adults to mow your lawn, wash your car, or perform other small jobs. These activities provide hands on experience to their steps to independence and fill them with pride by earning their own money.