"I did not even know what self-advocacy was until I started at Merrick two years ago.  Since then I have become a leader in my own right.  I participated in the eight month Partners in Policymaking leadership course, was involved in the Institutions to Independence TPT documentary, and served on the Advocating for Change (ACT) Board.  I was told early on in life that I could not do many things.  Since being at Merrick, I have learned to DREAM BIG and that my dreams can come true."----Mary Raasch.

 If you are speaking up for yourself – you ARE a self-advocate.

Shooting Stars - Merrick Self-Advocacy Group Information and Meeting Schedule

 

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #1 [Spring 2012]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle- Issue #2 [Summer 2012]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle- Issue #3 [Fall 2012]

Shooting Stars Newsletter- Miracle - Issue #4 [Winter 2012-2013]

Shooting Stars Newsletter- Miracle - Issue #5 [Spring 2013]

Shooting Stars Newsletter- Miracle - Issue #6 [Summer 2013]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle- Issue #7 [Fall 2013]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #8 [Winter 2014]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #9 [Spring 2014]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #10 [Summer 2014]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #11 [Fall 2014]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Summer 2015

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Summer 2016

Merrick, Inc., is considered an industry leader in the State of Minnesota, in part, due to our commitment to self-advocacy. In 1997, six self-advocates started the initial Putting People 1st group hosted at Merrick. Today, there are five self-advocacy groups that meet weekly with 125 active members that refer to themselves as the "Shooting Stars - Merrick". Annually, each group elects officers and staff advisors from Merrick provide an auxiliary role. For many years now, self-advocates have made countless presentations to schools, civic organizations, disability groups, conferences, and workshops. Self-advocates believe that self-advocacy is not just an activity or something that happens in a group, if you are speaking up for yourself – you ARE a self-advocate. It is a life-changing experience.

sa toydrive2013Merrick  is well known for providing opportunities for self-advocates to soar to new heights and self-advocates have focused their efforts in the following four areas:

  • Public Awareness
  • Legislative Efforts
  • Voter Rights
  • Serving on boards, committees, workgroups

2014 Highlights:

  • 100 clients regularly participated in one of the five self-advocacy groups at Merrick.

  • Self-advocates at Merrick conducted a food and toy drive and presented the donations to the Vadnais Heights Lions Club to distribute in the community.
     
  • Self-advocates conducted ten presentations to other Day Training & Habilitation programs, disability groups, and presented about self-advocacy  at seven conferences/workshops.

  • The Ambassadors for Respect, funded by the MN Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, conducted fun and interactive anti-bullying presentations for more than 489 fourth-grade students at six local elementary schools.

As a result of our efforts in this area, Merrick, Inc. has developed an extensive resource library on self-advocacy related materials and has produced four videotapes on different aspects of self-advocacy. Please contact info@merrickinc.org for more information.

To learn more about self-advocacy or the Shooting Stars group, please contact Colleen Timbers - Program Training & Resource Director at colleent@merrickinc.org

 

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