"Our daughter Claire became a member of The Next Stop when she aged out of the school system.  I honestly can’t imagine life without The Next Stop. During the pandemic, The Next Stop meetings continued virtually—even cooking online together--& gave members something to look forward to when families were spending so much time isolated at home. We know from experience that The Next Stop treats all its members as individuals and tries to make sure each person is getting what he or she needs from the program. Each person’s strengths & challenges are considered. No one is overlooked. As parents, the hardest thing about school ending is facing an uncertain future and fewer chances for socializing for our young adults. It’s hard to express what a blessing it is to know that for the hours Claire is at The Next Stop, she is learning, having fun & surrounded by positive staff & volunteers. Because of the fundraising The Next Stop does throughout the year, costs are kept low for family members who might not be able to afford such a program otherwise. We are very grateful to be part of the family." Julie and Byron

Claire with parents Byron and Julie, brother Will

"I am so happy that someone suggested The Next Stop as a potential program for Jeffrey.  He has been going there for almost 2 years now and really enjoys it.  Jeffrey has some difficulty communicating and socializing, but the members, professional staff, mentors and volunteers are so friendly, understanding and giving, that they have provided a wonderful comfortable place for Jeffrey to engage with others in music, creative activities, games, fitness and cooking.  He has even attempted new things that he normally wouldn’t, which I know has helped him to break out of old routines and expand his world.  We have tried other programs before and found The Next Stop to be the most organized, with the director, staff and volunteers continually going over and above the norm to provide a safe, creative and fun environment that encourages members to learn, share, socialize and grow.  It has been a Godsend, particularly during the pandemic when TNS offered online Zoom sessions.  Jeffrey and I both give The Next Stop a hearty “Thumbs Up!” Barbara and Jeffrey

Jeffrey with mom Barbara

"Our daughter Rachel has attended The Next Stop for 10 years.  This program has meant so much to our family.  The Next Stop staff and volunteers do a fantastic job at combining all things necessary for adults with special needs in a very structured program.  Rachel gets to enjoy cooking every week, exercise, social interaction with her peers, music, games -- all which help her continue to thrive.  Rachel just absolutely loves attending this program and looks forward to it every week.  We feel so blessed to have this program in our area as there are not many programs available to young adults with special needs." Janet

Rachel with mom Janet

"Dominick has been with The Next Stop for several years and enjoys the camaraderie with his peers as well as the friendliness and professionalism of all the staff.  It has blessed him tremendously to be a part of such a fine organization who treats everyone with respect and understanding regardless of his or her disability.  My husband and I were able to attend our first Next Stop family dinner in October, 2019, and watch Dominick and all of the other members actively participate and serve others.  The artwork, singing, and member-made food was amazing.  I also like the way TNS participates in helping the community by doing service projects.  The volunteers are exceptional. I could go on and on about the wonders of TNS, but in Dominick’s own words, he says, “I like cooking pumpkin spice cookies.  I like playing Wii bowling, UNO, baseball, bean bag toss, peanut kick ball, and fit frenzy.  I like music and decorating pumpkin art.” Jeff, Ida, and Dominick

Dominick with parents Ida and Jeff

"Our daughter, Erin, has been a Next Stop member for over 10 years. During that time, The Next Stop has become her primary social outlet. The Next Stop provides a balanced mix of social, intellectual, and physical activities, along with important life skills, all in a warm and supportive environment. Erin has prepared meals for us using the recipes and cooking skills she learned during The Next Stop cooking sessions. The Next Stop is an inspiring program that is a major part of our daughter's life, and we are so thankful this program is available for her." Peggy and Dave

Erin with parents Peggy and Dave

"The Next Stop is a place where Brittany can go and feel loved and accepted.  She loves going to be with her friends, playing games, participating in sports activities, having music lessons and cooking.  The Next Stop is very structured, which I think is important for the Special Needs Population. Vicki and Stu have an incredible staff and the most wonderful and caring volunteers.  All members are treated with respect and, in turn, are taught how to respect others.  Brittany knows she can walk into The Next Stop and be accepted for herself.  She loves the cooking activities and the interaction with friends.  We feel very blessed that our entire family has friends/connections within The Next Stop family!" Karen and Joel

Brittney with parents Karen and Joel

"My daughter Kari is very happy to be attending TNS!  She tried other programs but this is the only program she will attend.  She feels both members and staff are her friends and she treasures this.  During the COVID shut down, the creativity and energy radiating from Zoom was wonderful.  A friend at our home during one of the pandemic Zoom sessions remarked that hearing the laughs and greetings not only made her day but also her month.   She loved how excited and happy everyone was to see and be seen by their peers.  The dedicated staff and volunteers are phenomenal and creative.  The Zoom sessions had games and exercises to do, keeping everyone actively participating.  This is just what the members needed!   We are thankful for all they do!" Jan

Kari and mom Jan

"Aaron has attended the Next Stop program for several years. To him it is always exciting and new. He is so happy to be with friends and participate in the many fun activities provided. His social skills have greatly improved and he is always anxious to tell us what he did and who was there. The staff and volunteers have defined learning and leisure goals for the members. As Aaron works toward these goals in a safe and loving environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, we have seen him blossom. The Next Stop has truly been a blessing for Aaron and our family as it provides the community we could not provide by ourselves." Nancy

Aaron and mom Nancy

"Trey has loved The Next Stop from day one, and being able to stay in touch with his Next Stop family during the COVID-19 pandemic made all the difference for him. The Next Stop immediately began Zoom groups for their members and reminded them that they are not “stuck” at home but “safe” at home. Hearing that message and being with his friends online, helped him to better understand the situation and deal with his emotions. Listening to his conversations and helping him with his Next Stop projects and activities helped us understand his perspective and created a new kind of conversation in our house. We are forever grateful to The Next Stop team!" Coley and Kim

Trey with parents Coley and Kim, brothers Matthew and Wesley

“My son Brian has been attending The Next Stop for many years now. I love that he has a place to go where he can express his creativity, be it in the kitchen or in a music class, be with his peers, and just be part of a community.” Kim

Brian and mom Kim

“Regardless of intellect or abilities every person needs to continue to grow, develop interests and be connected with other people. TNS allows Natalie to regularly gather with friends sharing in games and activities, and different recipes. TNS weaves current events into scheduled activities to allows another avenue for her to stay actively involved in the world around her. Shared experiences through these various activities has allow Natalie to learn more about her interests while appreciating other members thoughts and experiences which builds stronger friendships and the ability to better relate to other people in her life.” Brian and Paula

Natalie and her family
Dad Brian, Mom Paula, and sister Julianna.

I knew Anna loved The Next Stop when she started waking up at daybreak to be ready for the 1:00 p.m. start time. I would find her fully dressed, ready and waiting on the stairs at about 10:00 a.m. When I remind her that she has plenty of time, she responds that she wants to be sure she is ready on time. Thank you, Next Stop, for providing a place where she is so comfortable, and where she continues to learn and be involved with her peers! Thank you for involving varied support folks to enhance and maintain social, motor, and mental development! Sally

Anna and mom Sally

“We are very happy with The Next Stop program for its focus on life skills, social interaction and in general – fun! Ian enjoys the zumba and music sessions and always talks about the dishes they prepared; he likes people and really enjoys being around a group that shows interest in him. Without TNS, Ian would be spending time at home alone because we are at work, so The Next Stop is critical for Ian’s well being and for us as well. We highly recommend The Next Stop for anyone interested in an organized, safe and fun place for adults with special needs.” Lisa and Ricardo

Ian lives with his sister Lisa, brother in law Ricardo, and niece Ella.