Easterseals Thrive Massachusetts Retreat

Thrive MA hosted a retreat for young women with disabilities and their mentors, who also have disabilities. Read about the event below to see how Thrive is making profound, positive differnces in the disability community.

About Thrive

On April 30, 20 women of varying ages and disabilities came together for a weekend retreat hosted by Easterseals Massachusetts Thrive, whose mission is to empower young women with disabilities through face-to-face mentorship. The retreat started with an hour-long “speed dating without the dating,” where six Thrive participants, some standing, some in wheelchairs, some with service dogs, shown from above, forming the women's symbol. Their arms up in the air, powerful.strong women presenters with disabilities talked to participants at stations around the room; they shared their personal expertise with employment, online dating, entrepreneurship, social media, advocacy, and raising a family. Erin Hawley, the manager of Thrive online, was one of the presenters, Skyping in from her home in New Jersey.

The theme of empowerment continued throughout the retreat with workshops on the benefits and challenges of living independently, the importance of civic engagement, and the ability to make your perceptions a reality. Speakers included Sandy Ho (the founder of Thrive), Monique Johnson, Colleen Flanagan, and more. The retreat was also a safe environment for women to share their stories about personal challenges and triumphs.

After a long day, there was plenty of time to relax with movie night and an evening swim in the hot tub. Overall, the event was a huge success - what a great way to kick off Thrive MA's 6-month mentorship program! A huge thanks to Desiree Forte for hosting and organizing this event.

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