Come and have a ‘ball’ changing lives!

Parents of children with disabilities have some concerns that stay with them over a whole lifetime – ‘What’s going to happen to my child when I’m not here? What responsibility am I leaving for their siblings to carry for the rest of their lives?’

For Carmel Crouch (STEPS Group managing director) this question was the driving force behind her dream to create a place where young adults with a disability could learn to live independently, to choose a life for themselves, a purposeful existence with personal meaning. To Carmel, who has a 48-year-old son with a disability still living at home, the challenge was a very personal one.

Australia’s first boarding college for young adults with a disability, STEPS Pathways College, was built out of this determination and vision. We call Pathways College the College the community built … because they did! Our community rallied, they believed, and they put feet to their faith. They gave of their time, their talents, and their finances … and the College was born.

Pathways College took on its first students three years ago. Carmel remembers: “One of the most incredible days was the college’s first day, I had parents that had bought their child to the college for the very first time, it was probably one of the most overwhelming things that I have had happen in my entire life. To know that they had the confidence to ‘handover their precious cargo’ to someone they didn’t really know, to a brand-new program, I think that was a life altering moment.”

In its short life, the program has exceeded every goal we had set. Students thrive in the program that offers them an opportunity to practise independent living in a supported space, a place where making mistakes is part of the learning process, and where resilience blossoms as students are encouraged to keep at it until they succeed.

Three years on enrolments are booming in all areas – boarding students, day students, and now we are teaching students from all around Australia online! We have students enrolled from Western Australia, Alice Springs and even Tasmania. We are literally bursting at the seams and have to expand our College to meet this growing need and to change even more lives

Our planned extensions were in the pipeline before COVID-19. With our normal fundraising events off the table we needed to think on our feet.  Our commitment to the belief that every person deserves the chance to live a life of their own design, to be independent, fulfilled, in control of their future – including people with a disability – is what inspired us to push forward with the extensions, to adapt, and to launch our first-ever  at-home event, the STEPS Virtual Grand Winter Ball 2020 presented by BA Murphy Constructions.

Our ‘iso-grand-winter-ball’ will see guests dressed in their finest, enjoying a very special evening at home for an incredibly important cause. And the line-up is pretty impressive …. Sheppard, Anthony Callea, Tim Campbell, Paulini, Taylor Henderson, Shelley Craft, and the Sunshine Dance Troupe.  Tickets are $150 for an entire household and invited guests and include a bottle of wine or a four-pack of Brouhaha craft beer (delivered to your door) if you buy before June 15. ????????????

You can have a ball at home and be part of the community that grows our STEPS Pathways College to expand its borders and impact so many more young lives.

Tickets can be bought at stepsvirtualgrandwinterball.com.au I would love you to celebrate with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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