The Power of Possibilities: Empowering people with special needs with Gatepath
Back in May, we were lucky enough to host Gatepath for its film festival event. The particpants tranformed our Barn into the the Wild West for the evening to showcase the short films they'd made. We are honered to support the work Gatepath is doing.
The following words are by Danielle Azzalino, Vice President of Adult Programs.
At Gatepath, our mission is to empower people with special needs to achieve their full potential through innovative, inclusive programs and community partnerships. From employee volunteer projects to sponsoring our premiere annual fundraising event “The Power of Possibilities” and product donations, GoPro has supported every aspect of our mission. GoPro employees have even volunteered in our programs for both children and adults—from facilitating activities at our inclusive preschool to sponsoring and hosting social activities for participants attending our adult programs.
Recognizing that employment increases inclusion and independence, we ensure adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including those with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy for example, have access to vocational training programs that help prepare them for a variety of jobs in the workforce. Last year, we successfully launched a pilot of our new “Pathways” curriculum that would allow the adults in our program an opportunity to discover their interests, develop skills, and work collaboratively on a project from conception to implementation. Teaming up on these projects gives them real-world work experience that can influence their career path.
We are extremely grateful to GoPro for supporting this program and donating several GoPro HERO7 Whites to help us document the most recent “Pathways” project. The “Pathways” group had 12 weeks to plan and execute a film screening event for Gatepath’s film and media arts class, which was also hosted at the GoPro headquarters and some of the featured films were shot on GoPro! Even better, the Gatepath staff and participants were offered two training classes at the GoPro headquarters to prepare them for using GoPro to document their project.
With these powerful cameras, we now have the ability to tell our stories about program and participant successes, and how our team is working to empower people with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential. The images and film documented on GoPro will also be used for future trainings and will provide a good overview of what a successful “Pathways” experience looks like for the next cohort of participants.
The GoPro cameras were used to capture the various aspects of the event planning process, which included designing and writing the invitation and program for the event, planning the menu, preparing the food and catering, deciding on the event theme and decorations, and capturing the film premiere event itself. All of the participants loved the experience and enjoyed filming their peers. The GoPro HERO7 is such a simple and efficient camera to use, it really gave them self-confidence in using new technology.
All five donated GoPro camerass were actively used by the program participants at the event itself to capture the program and the guests in attendance. Through this incredible process, we get to see firsthand the impact that having job responsibilities and being a part of a team has on someone’s life – it fosters a deep sense of feeling valued, having pride in what they produced together and being independent.
We are extremely grateful to GoPro for being champions of our mission and helping to advance inclusion and diversity in the workplace by supporting our job training and placement programs. Together, we are creating a world where individuals of all abilities are fully accepted, respected and included.