Shoot for the moon, if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.
Our passionate youth volunteers work alongside community leaders and experts to come up with innovative and creative activities that aim to help build personal growth. With our collective leadership experiences and skills, our team upholds responsibility, cooperation, and empathy.
We started this initiative to help create a welcoming and friendly environment for youth with autism and Down syndrome. Our goal is for all youth to feel welcome and valued since they should never have to fear to be themselves. We strive to spread awareness and kindness within our community and engage high school students to help us achieve this goal.
We want to enrich our community by bridging any gaps between ourselves, high school students, and the youth we serve. By learning to accept and respect one another we can create a brighter future for tomorrow and innovate sustainable change.
We believe that every person should be respected, understood and supported. With this project, we aim to create opportunities for youth with autism and Down syndrome and challenge social barriers and misconceptions. We offer a range of unique activities within a structured environment. Our program of activities include sports days to help build team working skills, cooking classes that aim to promote creativity and other activities designed to build confidence, communication skills, and more. No matter how big or small the event, our main goal will always be to ensure that all the youth are having fun and making new friends. Each and every one of us wants to feel welcome and accepted by others, and through our collaborative effort, we will create an environment where everyone feels valued. By working together with high school students, we advocate for youth with disabilities as a whole and encourage them to become more accepting. We help break down barriers and stereotypes by providing hands on opportunities so that they can address any common misconceptions they may hold. We want to enrich our community by bridging any gaps between ourselves, high school students, and the youth we serve. By learning to accept and respect one another we can create a brighter future for tomorrow.
Our innovative program strives to meet the needs of youth living with autism and Down syndrome in our communities. We work directly with youth with autism and Down syndrome in the planning of each event. They participate as co-creators and are actively engaged in a hands-on role in the solution. By engaging local high school students to volunteer on a one on one basis with autism and Down syndrome youth, we help create ‘graduating options to build long term relationships’ and promote self confidence in vulnerable youth. This creates the opportunity for volunteers to learn about members in their community living with various disabilities and combats stereotypes by encouraging diversity through kindness.
We provide engaging year-round learning opportunities through our monthly activities, to foster a greater sense of unity within our community and promote self growth and confidence. During our first year, we plan to offer a mentorship program to impart skills to two high school mentees. They will work alongside members of the core group of organizers to learn how to deliver our programs. They will develop skills and be encouraged to recognize the possibility of initiating similar work in their communities. Mentoring the next generation ensures that our work will continue to grow and effect positive change in our local community and the world. Our program presents a unique opportunity to develop a strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic that is adaptable to meet new regulations including a contingency plan if a second wave appears. We are staying informed about safety procedures recommended by public health, to carry out our programs in a safe environment.
Our objective is to provide a safe and welcoming environment where youth ages 10 - 15 with autism and Down syndrome can build meaningful connections with members of their community and gain new skills and experiences through hands-on activities led by local high school students.
Our goal is to change the manner in which people view youth with autism and Down syndrome by challenging modern day stereotypes and creating a culture of caring and kindness within our future generation .
Our purpose is to provide meaningful learning opportunities for youth with autism and Down syndrome in our community. We understand the evident lack of opportunities and engagement and we aim to change this.
On Wednesday December 16th, 2020, The Wishing Star Project held their second season-themed craft event for students in Sir Robert Borden High Schools' Autism program. Held two days before the winter break, students were able to have fun and get in the mood for their long awaited vacation by creating cotton ball snowmen. Students were given a variety of supplies from cotton balls, ribbon, pipe cleaners and buttons to personalize their snowmen using their creativity and art skills. Throughout the event, participants were connected with a 2:1 ratio of student volunteers, giving them the opportunity to make new friends by socializing and collaborating with one another as they crafted. With a welcoming atmosphere, a fun activity and passionate volunteers, the event was ultimately a success. It not only allowed students to have an entertaining and pleasant experience as they expanded their connections with youth in their community beyond our first craft event in November but, it additionally helped us increase our impact and achieve our purpose of providing meaningful learning experiences for youth with Autism and Down syndrome in our community through a culture of caring.
On November 13th, 2020 students in Sir Robert Borden’s Autism program had the opportunity to let their creativity shine by participating in the Wishing Star’s Autumn Art event. Each student was given a variety of craft supplies from pipe cleaners and construction paper to stickers and gemstones where they had a blast decorating and personalizing their own fall-themed wreath as the autumn months and changing foliage emerged. Throughout the event, students were able to make meaningful social connections, meet new friends and collaborate with others with a ratio of two student volunteers per participant. Volunteers worked with, chatted and got to know students as they personalized their crafts. The event ultimately served as a means of not only providing a fun and engaging activity to bring joy into one’s day but, it additionally allowed students to gain new skills and experiences building connections with fellow students in a safe and welcoming environment, something of utmost importance amid the pandemic.
On Saturday October 3rd, 2020, The Wishing Star Project held an a fun and interactive online Zumba event led by the phenomenal zumba instructor Abha Jain. Youth volunteers and participants joined us on ZOOM from around Ottawa to listen and dance to a wide variety of music from rap and hip hop to childhood classics. Between intervals of Zumba, board members held a number of engaging and active icebreaker games like Simon Says, sharing our favourite things and learning more about one another with a stand up/sit down if (and other actions) game. By bringing youth together for the event, participants and volunteers were able to learn some cool dance moves, meet new people, destress and keep active! After assessing feedback from our instructor, participants and volunteers, the event was an overall success and helped us implement our team’s mission of providing a safe and welcoming environment for youth with Autism and Down Syndrome where youth can have fun, meet new people and learn new skills. Throughout our Zumba session, participants were able to build connections through experiences with students in their community, an especially relevant and important achievement during these challenging and unpredictable times as youth are feeling more isolated and lonely than ever.