The Ben Yorgey Foundation - Our Mission
Editor's Note: The Ben Event will be held in Macungie Memorial Park July 20-21 and will feature family-centered events including Breakfast in the Park, Ben's Block Party, a concert featuring The Large Flowerheads, several races and a Special Olympics swim meet. Proceeds provide graduation scholarships to special education students to help them get established after high school.
The Ben Yorgey Foundation is passionately dedicated to honoring the legacy of Ben Yorgey and generating funds for graduating high school students with special needs across the Lehigh Valley. Ben was driven by an ultimate purpose -- to share his gift of love, and we are all changed people because of it. And through this change, Ben Yorgey Foundation exists to make a positive impact, an impact Ben would be proud of. Never meet a stranger. There is no such thing. Love everyone. Click here to learn more about Ben.
The overall outlook for students graduating from high school with similar disabilities such as Ben’s is bleak. These young adults and the families of the young adults are often faced with the following:
*Lack of an ability to live independently or even without direct supervision
*Lack of an ability to find a job that will accommodate their situations
*A cost of over $40 per hour for additional job coaching
*A cost of approximately $18,000 per year to attend a day program (This does not include transportation.)
*A 2 to 3 year wait after graduation to receive any financial assistance from the state of Pennsylvania
*A loss of self-worth as these young adults, who desire to work, are forced to stay home
Our plan is to provide high school graduation scholarships annually to a total of 14 special education students who most demonstrate Ben's love for life and people. Thirteen $500 scholarships will be awarded recognizing each recipient for a job well-done. One $5000 scholarship will be awarded to a student who most exemplifies Ben's character. This honor will be granted in order to offset expenses for the selected young adult's first year out of high school.
Long range plans include establishing, in Lehigh County, a transition school/facility for students who are graduating from high school.
We have established the Ben Yorgey Foundation, which is 501C3, in order to raise money to support our goals. The annual vehicle for raising resources will be The Ben Event. The event is held in July of each year. Activities for this event include a "Friday Night Kick-Off," a 5K race, the 1-mile Fun Walk, Ben's Block Party, sports events for athletes with special needs, a “Wheels of Time” Cruise Night ... AND LOTS MORE!
We are looking for your support to make The Ben Event a success. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Your tax deductible monetary donation will enable Ben Yorgey Foundation to help the lives of graduating seniors with special needs in Lehigh and Carbon Counties. If there is a different type of service or in-kind goods donation that might be more appropriate for your organization, feel free to contact us.
VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT www.heyiknowyou.org!