Meet Emily. She’s a shining star at the Friday Night Out monthly events at our Indian Valley branch. Friday Night Out is a program for young adults with special needs, like Emily, to help build friendships and enjoy activities at the Y and in our community.
Emily has been participating since she was 16 years old. Now at 23, she serves as an example to others. “The program is wonderful,” said Emily. “I have met new friends and even see them outside of the Y.” Many resources provide support for children with special needs up to about age 21. “Emily and others in the program could have fallen through the cracks,” said co-leader Cathy Kriebel.
Cathy along with Gail Beigel are passionate about providing these young adults with age appropriate activities similar to their typical peers. “We are able to facilitate friendships because of the small size of our group that often take them beyond the program,” said Cathy. There are generally 12-20 young adults of all ages and abilities at the monthly events. Activities include hip hop dancing, bowling, miniature golf and a talent show.
Emily’s mother, Nancy Judovits writes, “our heartfelt thanks to Gail and Cathy for running and organizing this group, and the YMCA for hosting it. I can’t tell you how much it means to Emily, and us, to have a social outlet with people that can really relate to her… and with people she truly enjoys.”
Those interested in learning more about the program may contact 215-723-3569.