• Social Innovation Fellowship

Award Year 

Learning Independence Through Volunteer Experiences (LIVE)

Learning Independence through Volunteer Experiences (LIVE) is a volunteer organization that aids teenagers with disabilities in pursuing individual volunteer projects. LIVE strives to coordinate opportunities that are not typically available to this population in order to acquire lifelong skills for future education, employment and daily living. In addition, self-advocacy,independence and motivational seminars will be offered to further enhance and encourage this population. LIVE believes that through volunteerism, teenagers with disabilities can build greater advocacy skills and improve confidence in their capabilities.

Personal Statement

My inspiration for LIVE came from my observations on my younger sister, Demi, who is severely, physically disabled. One of the gaps that I have identified in my sister’s life and in many teenagers’ with disabilities lives is a true sense of independence. I reflected on what activities made me gain a sense of independence. I concluded that helping others, such as volunteerism, gave me the sense of responsibility and confidence, which has defined adulthood for me.Because of my experience with both disability and with volunteerism, I became inspired with the idea to create an organization that empowered youth with disabilities through volunteerism.