Meet Olivia. Olivia is in 9th grade and has been part of Student Impact since 5th grade. In her Mom's words, "Olivia loves it because it's a time she gets to hang out with her peers and friends. It is that unstructured time to just be a kid…not a special needs kid. She just gets to be herself, play the games, hang with her peers, cheer, dance, and do kid stuff. This is a place where the playing field is the same for everyone. There is nothing hard and differences do not stand out. She has been very comfortable from the start."
Olivia has found "her place"...she's welcome, she's loved, and she feels safe. Olivia may have Down's Syndrome, but DS does not define her at Student Impact. Her sassy spirit and giggling with new friends defines her. Olivia defines herself, outside of the special needs classroom, outside of Special Olympics...she's on equal ground at The Rock.
Student Impact of Westfield began in 1999 with a simple question, "what is the biggest need in Westfield?" The answer was overwhelmingly, "a safe place for our kids to hang out, get mentorship and guidance."
After 19 years, that mission remains the same as we've grown to meeting the needs of over 5,680 youth this 2017 school year. Student Impact is a safe place where 5 th through 12th grade students can build relationships that bring hope and healing. There are not many safe spaces where teens can be themselves, bring friends, play games and sports, and just hang out. The Rock is that place; it may look like just another house, but it is so much more.
At The Rock, the playing field is level. Differences aren't emphasized, they're embraced. Kindness is expected. Love is given. Gossip is forbidden. Grace is freely available. And kids become more than they imagined because so many people care. No one is defined by what they do or don't do, by their demographics, race, religion, abilities, or grades. People at The Rock are defined by who God says we are…loved and saved by grace. Student Impact of Westfield extends that grace to every student every second, of every minute, of every hour that we share with them. The Rock is a home to all of this.
With a budget of only $108,000 a year, we can only succeed with your help! In the 2016/2017 school year the residents and businesses of Westfield were responsible for:
Because of this tremendous support, Student Impact of Westfield is able to:
With the continuous growth in student enrollment, The Rock is no longer adequate to house and serve the students of Westfield. We must expand or move to meet the need:
The cost of expansion is estimated at $750,000. With so many of our amazing business partners coming alongside us to support this effort, our fundraising goal is $500,000 to Raise the Rock.
We are calling on the amazing people of Westfield – on YOU - to help students like Olivia. We need your support to continue to provide a safe place to hang out with friends, grab a snack, play gaga ball and ping pong, and get some healthy mentorship...all with a foundation of faith and a healing atmosphere that will foster a stronger student, a stronger family, and a stronger Westfield.
Please consider how you can help us Raise the Rock. Every penny counts…and every kid matters.
P.S. Your generous gift today ensures that Student Impact of Westfield can continue to engage and empower students of Westfield at The Rock for years to come. Give securely at www.TheRockWestfield.org