Why You Should Support the 2021 Annual Fund

Jen, left, working at Battle of the Bartenders.

A message from Jen Taggart, YC Alumna and Development Associate:

I hope you will consider a gift to the Youth Challenge 2021 Annual Fund; here’s why:

As a person living with cerebral palsy, Youth Challenge has given me a place to belong over the last 17 years. I have two older brothers who were very physically active. When I first heard about the opportunity to play sports like my brothers, meet other kids like me, and have fun, my elementary school-age self was ecstatic!

When I was a kid, Youth Challenge was about having the opportunity to play and try new things—swimming, ice skating, sail boating, and skiing, to name a few—without feeling like the “odd kid out” for whom the group had to slow things down. *As a teenager, Youth Challenge gave me a place to fit in and friends to relate to when I was bullied at school for my cerebral palsy. Through YC’s alumni program, I am currently learning how to manage my physical and mental health, advocate for myself, and be independent as an adult living with a disability. I am also able to connect with other adults with similar challenges and goals as my own.

As I grew up, I became more and more aware of how Youth Challenge could provide great programs for kids like me. When I was a high school freshman at Race Day 2010, I felt humbled not only to see my friends—fellow participants, volunteers, and YC staff—participating, but also other members of the community, people who didn’t even know me, supporting Youth Challenge. Gratitude for that community support, and realizing the impact donations can make, are some of the major reasons I chose nonprofit development and fundraising as a career. In my role as development assistant at Youth Challenge, I feel empowered to use my skills to help other young people with disabilities in the Cleveland area have the same great experiences that I have been given.

I hope you will join me in investing in the YC community to provide even more life-changing opportunities for children, teens, and adults living with physical disabilities by donating to the 2021 Annual Fund.

Thank you,

Jen Taggart
Development Associate