What is the reality for those like 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
What do we plan to do?
Our plan is to provide high school graduation scholarships to a total of 14 special education students who most demonstrate Ben's love for life and people. Thirteen $500 scholarships will be awarded to graduating students from Lehigh and Carbon Counties. These scholarships will provide each recipient recognition for a job well-done. One $5000 scholarship will be awarded to a student from Lehigh County 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.
Click here to download the 2013 Ben Yorgey Memorial Award Nomination Form, including nominee criteria and award description.
How do we plan to do this?
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 will be held in July of each year. Activities for this event will include, but will not be limited to:
- "Friday Night Kick-Off" including various types of entertainment
- "Hey I Know You" 5K race
- 1-Mile Fun Walk
- Breakfast In The Park
- Ben's Block Party
- Sports events for athletes with special needs
- A “Wheels of Time” Cruise Night
How you can help?
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.