NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A local mother has launched a new non-profit in Hamilton County after she witnessed the limited amount of resources for people who have developmental disabilities, like her daughter.
She wants to help young adults live the life they imagine.
“They deserve this. They deserve to have a place they can come to and just learn and have fun and grow, and I’m happy we’re that place,” said Jennifer Sell, the founder of Same As U.
Just because 19-year-old Elliott Davis graduated from high school doesn’t mean he’s ready to stop learning.
“It makes me feel very positive and enthusiastic,” said Davis, who considered a leader for Same As U.
Same As U is a new nonprofit designed to engage young adults with developmental disabilities, like Davis, after high school .
“We do a lot of hands on lessons, language arts, science, math and social studies,” said Sara Macgregor, the lead teacher at Same As U.
These young adults also have jobs and they volunteer, but twice a week they can come to classroom 23 at the White River Christian Church in Noblesville to learn.
“We just want to make sure they have a place they can go on those days when they have nothing, and life is at a point where they don’t belong on those days. We want to provide that for them,” Macgregor added.
“There is definitely a need for more meaningful programming upon exiting the school system,” said Sell.
Sell’s passion for Same As U started because of her daughter, who has down syndrome. She was worried what would life look like for her after it was time to leave school.
“They’re seeing their peers go off to college, they’re seeing their peers get jobs, and it has been described to us that it’s like coming to the edge of a cliff in, what’s next?” said Sell.
Sell launched Same As U only six weeks ago. Funded by community donations, she wants to pave the way for young adults in her community. Soon, she will begin to apply for grants to help grow the nonprofit.
“Someday, we will be four days a week,” Sell explained. “Someday, we’ll have multiple classrooms. Our dream is to have a building and have some sort of retail component to it.”
Sell also hopes teaching lessons of acceptance will reach further than just the classroom.
“I think one thing that is so critical for people to realize is that although their lives may look very different, they imagine their lives being just the same,” said Sell.
You must be 18 years or older to participate in Same As U.
The nonprofit currently operates out of White River Christian Church located at 1685 N. 10th Street.
Classes start early in the morning, and programming runs through the afternoon on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.
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