New Jersey advocate Darlene Reeves registered to be a part of NDSS Your Way in June in honor of her daughter Cadena, who has Down syndrome. She created her personal fundraising page in the NDSS New Ideas section and set out to reach her goal of $1,000. Darlene has solicited her personal network using Facebook and has asked her community for support.
Darlene co-founded the Determined to Achieve Parent Network in 2001. The organization's goal is to improve the lives of people with special needs and their families through advocacy, education, raising awareness of people with special needs and effective communication skills. Her organization also focuses on empowering individuals with developmental disabilities to enhance their quality of life, which aligns with the NDSS mission and vision.
When asked what motivated her to join the NDSS Your Way program, Darlene said, "through collaborative efforts and partnerships with people and organizations that have a vested interest in raising awareness, I have been privileged to conduct community play dates and resource fairs that are inclusive and offer people with disabilities the opportunity to socialize and network with their non-disabled peers in meaningful community activities. I really enjoy educating the community on resources and information to help people with disabilities experience community life."
Darlene views NDSS as a meaningful partner in education and sees significant value in the work NDSS does on a national level to better the lives of people with Down syndrome.