L.I.F.E. Program Receives $30,000 Grant



March of Dimes’ Learning Independence for Future Empowerment (L.I.F.E.) Program receives $30,000 Pendle Fund Grant from the Community Foundation of Mississauga

Mississauga – March of Dimes Canada is thrilled to announce it is the recipient of a $30,000 grant that will help support the growth of its L.I.F.E. program. The program is geared specifically towards teaching young adults ages 18 to 45 the skills required to achieve independence. The program provides participants with a learning environment to expand their social and professional skills while practicing the daily responsibilities of adulthood.

Most young adults face challenges as they move into adult life, but young adults with disabilities also face unique physical challenges. These challenges present physical and social barriers to participation in their home, school, work and community.

L.I.F.E. offers in-class and community-based learning activities, which focuses on the needs of each individual and their personal goals, including instruction on financial literacy, relationships, goal-setting and employment preparation.

Over 14.3% of Mississauga's population identifies as having a physical, developmental or non-visible disability, and face disadvantages or barriers to employment and other community participation.

The L.I.F.E. program began in April, 2010 with 10 participants and the goal of both addressing and overcoming these barriers. Participants showed significant growth in life skills, social integration, employment readiness and enhanced independence. Five participants each year go on to participate in volunteer activities. As well, five individuals moved out of their parents’ home and live independently.

L.I.F.E. program participants have said that they view the classroom as a peer support network where they feel secure sharing with the group, or in one-on-one discussion about interpersonal conflicts. The visible growth and transformation of participants is owed in large part to feeling like they have a voice and are being heard. Participants strengthened and supported each other's resolve to become more independent. The Pendle Fund Grant will allow even more participants to benefit from this program.

March of Dimes Canada gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Pendle Fund at the Community Foundation of Mississauga, a registered charitable public foundation serving the people of Mississauga,” says Mary Lynne Stewart, Director of Fund Development and Communications for March of Dimes Canada.

The Community Foundation of Mississauga has been matching acts of caring with community needs since 2001. Working with donors and the broader community, the Foundation invests in building strong and resilient places to live, work and play. By providing effective and efficient endowment options for donors, the Foundation is creating a lasting legacy of community vitality. To find out more about the Community Foundation of Mississauga, visit the web site at www.CFofM.org.

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