General, News

STARability Receives $35,000 Grant from the Collier Community Foundation for New Wheelchair-accessible Van

STARability Foundation is pleased to announce it has received a $35,000 grant from the Collier Community Foundation. These funds will support STARability’s Trailblazer Academy: Enhanced Mobility Project, which includes the purchase of a new wheelchair-accessible transport van. The new van will allow STARability to expand services and opportunities for participants that rely on wheelchairs and walkers.

“We appreciate the continued support of our mission from the Collier Community Foundation,” said Karen Govern, CEO of STARability Foundation. “This funding will allow us to grow our fleet to reliably transport our most precious cargo – our STARs. Trailblazer Academy instructors drive participants to community and vocational partner sites throughout Collier County each day to engage in hands-on experiences with their peers, and this new wheelchair-accessible van is vital to providing much-needed transportation as the program continues to grow.”

STARability launched the Trailblazer Academy in 2016 to fill a gap in services families were experiencing when, at 22, young adults aged out of the Collier County school system and the supportive services they received ended. The pioneering day program began with 10 participants, a program director, one instructor and a 12-passenger van. Today, it is their centerpiece program, with more than 70 participants and 14 instructors and staff who support and encourage them through an evidence-based and peer-reviewed curriculum. The need for this unique program is even greater now as more than 80 individuals are waiting to join it.

The Collier Community Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. Selected organizations receive grant dollars from the Community Impact Fund. This Fund is made up of donors who believe in the Community Foundation’s ability to identify and grant to the most community’s most current needs.

The Collier Community Foundation™ is a tax-exempt, public, charitable organization established in 1985 to increase and focus on local private philanthropy. Today, the Collier Community Foundation manages more than 850 funds, works with hundreds of nonprofits, and has granted over $310 million to nonprofit organizations, community programs, and scholarships. Informed giving. Powerful results.® Learn more at or call 239.649.5000.