inVeritas Senior Associate Nathan Green first became involved with ACCESS when he was just a high school student. A close family friend with Down’s syndrome was making great strides at this small nonprofit academy for students with learning disabilities. He spent several days volunteering at the school. Nathan’s mother served on the board of directors. During college, Nathan worked for a summer in the school’s administrative office, answering the phones and helping with filing. He spent some days in the classroom, helping teachers and reading to children.
Fast forward six years, after attending law school, ACCESS again called on Nathan to serve its mission through its young professional group, ACCESS in Action. This group organizes an annual bingo bash, raising money for academy scholarships. Green served on this committee for six years, chairing the event in 2010. In 2013, ACCESS board member Lynn O’Connor asked Nathan to serve on the committee for their largest fundraiser, Starry Starry Night. Tuition is just over $8,000 a year per student at ACCESS, but it costs nearly two-times that much to provide the roughly one-to-two teacher-to-student ratio and additional services required. ACCESS hopes to raise about $175,000 from its 16th Starry Starry Night event, in the school’s 20th anniversary year.
“It’s an honor to work with Nathan and to support his passion for ACCESS,” said inVeritas CEO Ruth Whitney. “He is an amazing example of a servant leader, willing to give his time and talents to this life-changing program.”
ACCESS serves 168 full-time students. It is comprised of a preschool, an evaluation and resource center, ACCESS Academy for individuals 5-21, and ACCESS Life for ages 18-35. ACCESS also offers in- and out-patient therapy programs. The campus includes a greenhouse where students grow and sell plants, an art studio with pottery kilns, a teen room with a foosball table, and an apartment with working appliances. The ACCESS Life students use the apartment to learn independent living skills. They grocery shop and cook meals, wash clothes and fold laundry. They go out in the community to exercise, volunteer at food banks, and work in local businesses. They create their own websites and resumes and stage mock job interviews.
“Every time I walk into the building I am inspired.” Nathan said. “I see individuals who no one ever thought could live independently living on their own, taking the bus to work, and holding a steady job. It really is amazing.”
Nathan began his career at inVeritas in late 2011, and since then he has recruited nearly every one of his fellow team members to become involved with ACCESS in some capacity. When Nathan first started, the entire firm took a day to volunteer in the ACCESS gardens, helping with spring cleanup. Most recently, inVeritas served as title sponsor of the 2013 Bingo Bash. Several inVeritas team members continue to serve on the Bingo Bash committee, which will be held on July 17th at Holy Souls.
inVeritas is serving as silver sponsor of this year’s Starry Starry Night, and the entire team will be attending the event this Thursday. Click here for more info on this event.