The "Full Of Life" blog is a place where we celebrate families affected by autism who are living life to the fullest and offer tips and tools for daily living.  Our most recent blog comes from the Flutie Foundation's Executive Director, Lisa Borges.   Lisa takes a moment to reflect on the success of 2015 and shares the Foundation's goals for the New Year.....

Life comes at us fast, doesn’t it? That’s why, for me, it’s so important to take a moment to look back in order to look forward. At the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, our mission has and always will be to help families affected by autism live life to the fullest. I am so proud to say that 2015 was a year where our efforts ($665,000 in direct grant and program funding) have helped thousands of families work towards this mission.

I am incredibly proud of all the accomplishments we’ve made this year, certainly a major highlight being the success of Flutie Spectrum Enterprises. The initiative was created in December 2014 to specifically address employment for the full spectrum. We saw a need to create permanent jobs, rather than just job training, and to integrate the employees into the community for adult employment. We started with an office solutions business and currently now have three permanent employees and several short-term employees for seasonal work. In 2016, we look forward to seeing Flutie Spectrum Enterprises continue to grow by adding additional businesses based on the interests and skills of the employees.

Additionally, this past year we, once again, had the privilege of hosting over 150 autism organizations for our 2nd Annual Partner Summit. We came together to share ideas and to inspire one another to continue to collectively make an impact on the autism community. Hearing how our funding has benefited so many of our wonderful grantees and their families made for a very emotional day. From Carmen Camacho speaking about how the Judge Baker Children Center’s college campus experience has impacted her son Dave’s life to Ferne McCallister who spoke about how the Autism Families CONNECTicut’s teen social night afforded her son Nick the much needed opportunity to socialize with his peers on a regular basis.

I am very proud of all we accomplished in 2015 and feel very excited about what we hope to achieve in this New Year. The to-do list is long, but a few key goals we will be focusing on is increasing our capacity to give in each of our 3 priorities: Access to Services, Active Lifestyle and Adult Independence; the growth of Flutie Spectrum Enterprises by identifying a sustainable customer base for our employees with autism, and, of course, to continue to nurture the incredible partnerships we have made with our grantees and donors, while also looking for opportunities to increase the capacity of the autism community as a whole.

I look forward to a great year ahead for the Flutie Foundation and hope that you will continue to check back here as I post updates along the way.

Thanks so much for your support!

All the best,