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Photo showing five children in brightly colored capes - text of photo reads "In school, at home, at work, in your community, Starbridge connects people with answers. Dreams with reality. The hope with the how."

Have you ever felt stuck, like there's no place to go and no one who can help?

Background graphic shows road map with traffic congestion and warning signs; One warning sign connects to a quote "It's so tough to see my child struggle, to see him recognizing he is failing. It is event affecting his ability to make friends." Second warning sign is attached to quote "Working minimum-wage jobs is not getting anyone anywhere. I want to set a better example for my kids." Bottom text on image reads "Sometimes life has other plans."

These are times when families need Starbridge, the hope and the how. 

Now, Starbridge needs you.

Read Sarah & Thomas' story

To plan for Thomas'* fourth grade year, his mother, Sarah*, calls Starbridge and gets connected with Christa, a Family Education Specialist. Thomas is very smart and imaginative, and has high-functioning autism, ADHD, anxiety, and learning disabilities. Together, Sarah and Christa talk about ways Sarah can effectively advocate for Thomas to have the supports he needs in school.

The school team starts with a good plan, but the daily environment is too noisy, too stimulating. As the year goes on, Thomas' anxiety and frustrations increase and he begins to act out. He is suspended 8 times for behaviors during the school day.

Privately, Thomas shares with his mom that he wishes he could take back the suspensions, that he could show the school he can succeed, and — like most kids — he just wants to be accepted and liked.

Sarah says, "No matter how bad the day before was, he would get back on that bus and go to school. He is my superhero."Photo of five kids from the back in brightly colored superhero capes

As Sarah encounters obstacles, she and Christa talk frequently about next steps to modify the plan. Sarah describes this support as a lifeline:

"I honestly don't know how we as a family would have survived this last year without you."

Over time, Sarah and her team find a plan that works for Thomas, helping him avoid meltdowns, stay focused, and stay in school.

Thomas is now in fifth grade, and having a much better year. He is seeing accomplishments and success, and is gaining confidence as a result.

*Sarah and Thomas are not their real names. The family has asked that their names be changed to protect their son's privacy.

Read Shanai's story

Shanai grew up watching — and sometimes helping — her grandmother take care of her uncle. She knew she wanted to work at an assisted living facility or a hospital, where she could help patients directly and make a difference.

Years ago, Shanai passed the entrance exam for the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. She was not able to start the program right away and spent the next ten years focusing on her family and working minimum-wage jobs to support them. Earlier this year, Shanai decided it was time to complete the CNA program.

"Wanting a better life for me and my kids made me choose to go back. Working minimum-wage jobs is not getting anyone anywhere," comments Shanai. "I also wanted to set a better example for my kids."

Shanai turned to Starbridge and the Rochester HPOG (Health Profession Opportunity Grant) program. Adeanna, the HPOG Service Navigator, assisted Shanai with applying for the CNA program and accessing funding so she could afford books and exam fees. Adeanna also provided encouragement throughout the process.Photo of two people - Shanai and Adeanna - smiling

"Adeanna's support has meant a lot. I didn't think I had anyone in my corner, but now I do."

Shanai graduated from the CNA program and is now working at a local nursing home, doing the work she loves.



In school, at home, at work, in your community, Starbridge connects people with answers. Dreams with reality. The hope with the how.

YOU can help make successes possible.

If you want a community that offers every child and adult the opportunities and supports they need to succeed, please donate to Starbridge today.


Would you prefer to mail your gift? If so, please mail it to–

Attn: Philanthropy
1650 South Avenue, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14620

Starbridge is a not-for-profit agency. Your gift is 100% tax deductible.