Join Us! APSE Lunch with Leaders Virtual Sessions
The Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) is a membership organization with the purpose of improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities. One of our Maryland chapter efforts is to launch a collaborative outlet for professionals and leaders in the field to share news, experiences, and efforts on a wide variety of topics, that impact the individuals we both serve and advocate on behalf of called Lunch with Leaders.
Join us (virtually) the second Tuesday of each month, from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. to hear from leaders across the state of Maryland. Learn more and register here.
Business Leaders - How Can We Help?
As more businesses continue to hire individuals with a range of abilities, business leaders need support and guidance from experts in the field of adult services.
This presentation will focus on how to foster and sustain relationships with community businesses, through the perspective of both the adult service provider and employer. When we build meaningful business partnerships with adult service providers, we allow individuals of all abilities to experience independence and success in the workplace.
This Training was presented by Stacey Herman, Rebecca Schmaus, and Megan Meck of Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Disability Rights Maryland Virtual Group Session
Tracy Wright from Disability Rights Maryland joined us in our virtual group session to talk to us about voting. She reminded everyone about the importance of voting, talked to the group about the difference between primary and general elections, and went over the process of how to vote. She informed everyone about requesting mail-in ballots, and how to find out where you can go and vote in your community!
National Disability Employment Awareness Month Virtual Event
To celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we co-hosted a virtual event with SEEC and Companions Inc., Adjusting to a Virtual World: Working During COVID-19. We were joined by Secretary Tiffany Robinson from the Department of Labor as our keynote speaker. The event included two panel discussions with individuals who identify as having a disability and Direct Support Professionals from each organization sharing their experiences and insight on working during COVID. The virtual platform allowed the event to reach a wide variety of people from across the country.
This annual celebration helps provide opportunities for individuals to share advice and strategies that businesses can use to support individuals with disabilities in gaining paid employment. One of our panelists was Kathryn St. George, who is a Community Development Specialist with Kennedy Krieger Institute. She spoke about her experience supporting individuals with disabilities in the community. She shared how her goal was to communicate to everyone listening the importance of using a multi-disciplinary approach to overcome challenges and setbacks.
Direct Support Professionals Week
We celebrated Direct Support Professionals Appreciation week from September 19-25. To help us celebrate, we had the wonderful Orioles mascot join our staff meeting!
We learned fun facts about the Orioles team, played trivia, and had a contest to see who decorated a picture of the Orioles mascot the best! We had a variety of different artistic styles when it came to the design of the bird; while some people went the traditional route, others incorporated the Kennedy Krieger colors and values. In the end, Stephanie Skeen, Employment Training Specialist with Project SEARCH won!
ASL Group Session
We had an American Sign Language interpreter, Ashly Drumwright, join us for our group session with all of our community members! We all enjoyed and appreciated the different signs she taught us. Ashly shared her experiences growing up as a CODA (Child or a Deaf Adult) and how that makes her feel special and unique. She taught our community members many signs such as thank you, I love you, and more!
Aberdeen IronBirds: "A Night at the Ballpark" Event
The Aberdeen IronBirds recently hosted the virtual “A Night at the Ballpark” event to benefit Kennedy Krieger’s CORE Foundations and Project SEARCH programs.
The event featured a silent auction, raffle, family friendly games, and proved to be a huge success: over $3,000 was raised to support individuals with disabilities obtain and maintain meaningful employment and community engagement.
Meaningful Community Services Talent Show
We held a virtual Meaningful Community Services Talent Show! Our community members shared their talents in singing, dancing, telling jokes, shooting basketball hoops, and sharing their favorite songs. It was wonderful to see all of the talents shared by our community!
We have started incorporating mindfulness activities into our virtual support sessions. By practicing mindfulness together, we can grow stronger individually and as a community. We recently completed a 5-minute meditation that focused on identifying how we were feeling in that moment.
Each of our community members said they enjoyed the exercise and look forward to continuing to practice mindfulness!
Forever Radio Tour
CORE Foundations and Project SEARCH received a virtual hands-on tour of Forever Radio by radio personality Kait Waybright of 97.1 The Wave. Steve Monz, operations director and afternoon personality also joined to record community members saying the radio tagline and prepare it for broadcast. The best part was the opportunity to be “live” on air through Zoom!
Project SEARCH Town Hall
All 14 Maryland Project SEARCH Programs came together for a collaborative, interactive, and meaningful town hall event to discuss and brainstorm re-opening strategies, business engagement, remote internships, and more.
With over 50 participants, it was a morning filled with energy and enthusiasm as we plan to welcome our 2020-2021 Project SEARCH Cohorts.
We were joined by a musical guest, Kierra "KK" Kimmie, Kierra is a formerly board certified music therapist with several years of experience and classical training. Kierra performed 'The Circle of Life' from The Lion King as well as 'Sugar' by Maroon 5. Kierra discussed the many instruments she plays including percussion, keyboard, and stringed instruments.
Many of our community members shared aspirations to be performers and she encouraged all of our community members to work hard and persevere to meet their goals. We have been joined by a variety of musicians over the last several months, and a favorite of our community members.
Talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion is an important conversation to have on multiple levels. Stacey Herman, director of post-secondary services participated as a panelist on the AMA Baltimore diversity and inclusion event, where she focused on the topic of neurodiverse individuals represented in the workplace, community, and marketing.
She was joined by co-panelists Javier Von Westphalen, Julie Higgins, and Sylvia Long-Tolbert who shared their perspectives and expertise about a wide range of DEI topics.
Getting Back to Work
Meaningful Community Services continues to support those employed in our community, and we are excited to share Oscar’s story!
Hi! My name is Oscar Martinez. My favorite part about the week is doing Zoom sessions, and going back to work at PetCo. I learned how to get back to work and be safe. I learned not to touch my face, nose or eyes because we have to stay safe and not get sick. I am looking forward to being friendly to my coworkers, customers and managers.
Project SEARCH 2019-2021 Graduation Ceremony
Congratulations to the 2019-2020 Project SEARCH at Kennedy Krieger Institute Cohort! We are so proud of your hard work, dedication, and commitment to your future. We were thrilled to celebrate and honor your accomplishments over the past year! We appreciated the Kennedy Krieger Institute Community coming together virtually to celebrate! .
Every year, CORE Foundations participates in the Road to Independence Fair. This year, the fair has gone virtual!
Visit the Road to Independence Fair website to learn about valuable resources available to help individuals with disabilities who are transitioning into the workforce and/or higher education.
Introducing Virtual Support Services
Virtual Support Services are interactive sessions, designed to support an individual achieve personal goals related to independent living, job development, community engagement, health and wellness, problem-solving, and communication skills.
Individuals are paired with one of our qualified and trained Employment Training Specialist or Community Development Specialist.
Provider Technical Assistance Package
CORE Foundations recently presented Getting Started: Virtual Support Services, a one-hour training for adult service providers on virtual support services.
The training session taught adult service providers best practices for implementation of virtual support services.
Contact Stacey Herman at Hermanst@KennedyKrieger.org if you are interested in learning more about our Technical Assistance Package.
With the changing landscape of employer recruitment, Project SEARCH interns had a hands-on experience of participating in virtual interviews with employers from across the state of Maryland.
We thank the many businesses who joined us, and who continue to promote neurodiversity in the workplace.
We are proud of the Project SEARCH interns and their commitment and dedication to obtaining meaningful employment in their communities.
Maryland ABLE Webinar
CORE Foundations recently hosted Kelly Nelson for a webinar about Maryland ABLE accounts.
We had 32 participates join us virtually for an informative session on ways to help individuals with disabilities save money and pay for qualified disability-related expenses.
Business Advisory Council
Our Business Advisory Council supports Project SEARCH interns and CORE community members by hosting mock interviews, industry tours and job trials while also connecting us to community businesses.
In light of COVID-19, we held our most recent Business Advisory Council meeting virtually.
Interested in becoming a member of the Business Advisory Council? Email
COVID-19 Relief Small Fund Grant
CORE Foundations was awarded a COVID-19 Relief Small Fund Grant from the Arc of Maryland and Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council to provide comfort and activity items for individuals we serve in our community.
Community members received planting kits, pine car derbies, activity books, fitness bands and more!
We were grateful to be awarded the grant and support our meaningful community!