STARability Foundation recently presented a STAR Award to its dedicated vocational partner, the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON). The award was presented to CEO Jonathan Foerster by employee and Trailblazer Academy participant Allison Occhionero.
The award recognizes local businesses that employ STARability participants, including those enrolled in the Trailblazer Academy, a community-based program focused on providing vocational training, life skill development, and recreational experiences for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Since 2021, STARability and CMON have partnered in several ways, including vocational training through the Trailblazer Academy and selling participant-made candles, bracelets and ornaments, in CMON’s store from the STAR Studio, STARability’s social enterprise. Trailblazers work alongside CMON staff to assist with various projects, as well as organizational, sorting, stocking and custodial tasks.
“We are grateful to have Allison as part of our team,” said Jonathan Foerster, CEO of CMON. “She does great work for us and is an inspiration for every kid to know that it’s their right to play, learn and dream. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or what your abilities are, we have a place for you at CMON.”
Allison is a member of the CMON Visitor Services team.
“We are extremely grateful for the continued support from CMON,” said Karen Govern, CEO of STARability Foundation. “We are truly proud of the strides they are making to create an inclusive community and opportunities for children of all abilities.”
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON) is a brain-building powerhouse and Southwest Florida’s first museum devoted to children and families to learn through play. With hands-on exhibit galleries, the accessible museum invites visitors of all ages to journey through the swamps of the Everglades, weave through a maze, climb a two-story banyan tree, or experiment with the water play station. CMON offers a variety of interactive exhibits providing kids with education, play, learning, science, technology, engineering, inventions, space exploration, art, math, storybooks, creation, building, sensory, and child development.