I am going to depart a little bit from my typical posts for this month and next due to an exciting event we have coming up for both Tulsa and Oklahoma City!
As most of you know, I have been working for the past 3 years trying to bring College programs to Oklahoma for our kids and other kids with developmental or intellectual disabilites that are running in - wait for it....
YES, 48 OTHER STATES - but NOT Oklahoma. YET!
I started an organization called LeadLearnLive, which started as a grass roots effort and now is in the process of becoming a formal non-profit.
What have I been doing to get this done? Here's a quick overview:
Traveled to South Carolina to see, meet and be AMAZED at these programs.
Spoken with Directors of these programs all over the country.
Spoken at multiple state meetings.
Spoken at multiple parent group meetings.
Spoken with multiple state agency representatives.
Had meetings at the Capital with certain supporting Representatives (Thank you Rep. Nelson and Rep. Strohm! - You are awesome!)
Had meetings at the Capital with Regent staff representatives.
Had meetings at the Regent Offices. (Thank you Vice Chancellor Sonobe, you are awesome!)
Presented at an Interim Session at the Capital.
Worked on a shell bill for this effort.
Spoken with multiple college and university staff and administration representatives.
Worked with schools to turn in an application for a Federal Grant for these programs. (which sadly, we were not selected for) (ECU and Conners State, you are AWESOME!)
Met HUNDREDS of incredible, amazing, tenacious, PEOPLE - the vast majority of them MOMS that know, hope and pray that there should be and will be something in place in our state for their kids that are ready for college, and for their kids - if they are younger - that want to go to college.
So importantly, and very early in this process, I was approached by Sooner Success who wanted to partner with me to get this done. I could not do this without them - They are AMAZING!
So what is the plan?
1) I will be having a Parent meeting for those interested in truly engaging and investing in this journey of the non-profit we are in process of forming on March 24th in Tulsa.
2) The main event is April 22nd. We are bringing in the Executive Director of what is very close to the model program we are wanting to start in Oklahoma from the College of Charleston REACH program. She is absolutely AMAZING, and will be speaking in Tulsa and OKC.
3) We are approaching foundations and will be raising the seed money to get these programs started.
That is a VERY simplified overview of what is going on with this effort. There will be specific information released on this blog, by email, facebook, LeadLearnLive.org and other avenues in the next week.
What does all this really come down to? The same thing I say at every meeting, at every conversation involving our kids and to everyone who will listen:
God created our kids for a purpose, and we have to do everything we can to help them find and fulfill that purpose!
Not all of our kids want to, or would benefit from a college experience, (just like not all of us wanted to go to college) but for those that want to and can benefit from it - they need that opportunity - and they need it in their home state.
We are going to do this - we need all of you that have this hope - to join in!
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11