It is with a mix of gratitude, satisfaction and joy that we present our Winter 2022 edition of the Raising Special Kids (RSK) newsletter, Connecting. This quarter’s main article takes aim at building capacity in a family’s development of strong self-advocacy skills, the very heart of the mission at our organization. RSK was founded by families who believed that well-informed families with a network of support (other parents and family members of children who have disabilities, like themselves and well-trained professionals) could be equal partners in the education and health care of their children, and by doing so their children would realize positive educational and health outcomes. We believed that in 1979, and we believe that today, nearly 44 years later.
In 2016 the RSK Board of Directors, through the generous support of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, also took on the hard work of capacity-building. The board engaged in a rigorous self-assessment process and developed an action plan to improve governance, oversight and fund development – all critical functions of a nonprofit board. I am proud to say that RSK continues to heed the lessons learned and use the valuable tools developed for continuous improvement. As a good friend once told me, “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”
Last, but not least, I would like to take a moment to recognize Sharon Moyer. Sharon served as the RSK board of directors president from December 2020 to December 2022, arguably one of the most tumultuous times in the organization’s history. Sharon’s professional skills as an attorney and her familial connection with the mission of RSK provided the organization with steady and impassioned leadership as we navigated the uncertainty of the pandemic. Though Sharon steps down as board president after completing her term in that role, we are so fortunate to have her for one more year on the governing board. Thank you, Sharon, for all you have done and continue to do, for Raising Special Kids.