Radio Show: Thrive Memphis

Founded in 2006 by individuals who sought to build a new program in Memphis to serve the mentally challenged population, Thrive Memphis began as The Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee. Renamed in 2019, Thrive Memphis demonstrates respect and understanding towards individuals with intellectual disabilities through holistic programming in a safe, welcoming environment. They work to earn the trust of participants and their families by providing opportunities to thrive while having fun and making friends and believe that the community and their participants mutually benefit from knowledge, awareness, and interaction.

1. October is Down Syndrome Awareness and National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

2. One out of every five Americans has at least one form of disability. From physical impairments to mental ones, these challenges pose limitations on their lives and the world's accessibility.

3. Thrive Memphis is providing social, recreational, and continued educational needs for individuals with intellectual disabilities so that they can be productive and responsible members of the community.

4. A life skills curriculum approach, such as what Thrive Memphis provides, blends daily living, personal/social, and occupational skills into integrated lessons designed to help students learn to function independently in society.

5. Unlike other organizations that serve the mentally challenged population, Thrive Memphis is a safe day facility for special needs adults, teens, and children, which receives no government funding.

6. While most of Thrive Memphis' participants are from low-income situations and require financial assistance to take part in the programs, the organization is committed to helping participants strive for excellence in independence skills, focuses on friendship, values self-worth, and emphasizes teamwork.

7. Participants are as diverse as the community from which they come and range in ages starting at 12 years old with no maximum age limit to participate.

8. Individuals and organizations can get involved as a participant, volunteer, or donor.

9. Upcoming Thrive Memphis events:

a. Fashion Show - October 26 at St. Mary's
b. Chili Challenge - November 9 at Overton Square

Topics/About Katharine Schaeffer, who has Down Syndrome:

  • Katharine has been a Thrive Memphis participant since 2012.
  • She is a teacher's assistant at Calvary Episcopal School.
  • She is a member of Thrive Memphis PRIDE program and volunteers/practices job skills at Plato's Closet, Southern Reins Equine Therapy, or West Clinic
  • She dances with the Company D dance program.

Learn more:

Memphis Partners

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