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.
If you would like to help us throw kindness around like confetti in our community and volunteer at any of our events, we welcome you to reach out. We are always in need of volunteers and promise your heart will be filled.
Kindness is Magic.
We are a grassroots non-profit with a big vision. As a mother of a son with autism, and non-verbal, I know the struggle of finding outlets and programs for adults on the spectrum. If you're like me, you have probably asked the question, "What do we do when our child ages out of school at 22 years of age?" They've lived the school schedule for nearly two decades, experiencing field trips, academics,consistent routines, and in some cases, like my son John's, workability training in the community. John worked in the community twice a week with a job coach and earned a paycheck bi-weekly. He LOVED it. However, he turned 22 in May of 2016 and not only aged out of school but lost his beloved job that gave him fulfillment and purpose, as it was funded through the school district. The unemployment rate among adults with autism is nearly 80%, per reported statistics. I read a story that stated very little data is recorded on what individuals with autism do over the next span of their lifetime following their school years. I had to read that twice! We are meant to do more than just exist.
I started teaching John life skills very early on. He has a role in every one of our "Do It Yourself" home improvement projects and has become our neighborhood's "go to" lawn mower. He beams with pride when he's on task and I began to think, "How many others in our community are like John? How many have gifts and talents they just haven't tapped into yet?" Seeing the need for adult services following the school years, Fly Brave was created. We are here to be that link between finishing school at 22 and becoming independent. You can review our Mission/Vision page for a broader sense of what we plan to accomplish. We are holding fundraisers and community events to turn our vision into fruition. They say it takes a village, please be part of ours. Fly Brave!