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STARability and CMON Partner to Create Employment Opportunity for Trailblazer Academy Participant

STARability Foundation is excited to announce the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON) has hired Allison Occhionero, a participant of STARability’s Trailblazer Academy, as a member of its Visitor Services team.

Since 2021, STARability and CMON have partnered in several ways, including vocational training through the Trailblazer Academy and selling the STAR Studio’s participant-made candles, bracelets and ornaments, in CMON’s store. Trailblazers work alongside CMON staff to assist with various projects, as well as organizational, sorting, stocking and custodial tasks. The STAR Studio is STARability’s social enterprise.

“We are excited to continue building our collaboration with STARability,” said Jonathan Foerster, CEO of CMON. “STAR participants bring unique talents and perspective to our team. We are always looking for new ways to inspire and connect with the many neurodiverse children who frequent our museum.”

CMON also offers monthly Exceptional Nights with muted lighting and sounds, cooldown spaces and limited participation to keep crowds to a minimum, created specifically for families with children that have physical and/or neurological disabilities, Autism, and other sensory integration disorders.

“Business partnerships are crucial to our mission of creating an inclusive community full of opportunities for our STARs to shine,” said Karen Govern, CEO of STARability Foundation. “We are extremely grateful for this support from the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples and we hope their experience can serve as an inspiration to other potential inclusive employers.”

STARability is a regional leader in providing innovative, results-driven programs designed to accommodate the unique needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Southwest Florida. Their centerpiece program, the Trailblazer Academy, is a pioneering day program that teaches life skills, offers vocational training, and connects participants to the community through life-enriching and social experiences.

To learn more about the Trailblazer Academy and vocational partnership opportunities, visit