Trailblazer Academy

A STARability® experiential vocational training and life skills learning program


Trailblazer Academy Schedule

Date: Monday through Friday

Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Meet at the STARability Foundation office at 9 a.m. Activities take place throughout the community. Transportation is provided from the STARability office to area locations.

Cost: Please call our office at 239.594.9007 for pricing. Scholarships are available.

CLICK HERE to download the 2019-2020 Trailblazer Academy Yearly Calendar.


About the Trailblazer Academy

The STARability Foundation™, a 501(c)(3), launched the Trailblazer Academy to address an unmet need in Collier County for a full-time, post-high school program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Trailblazers is a community-based program that combines vocational training at area businesses, employment readiness, independent living skills, academic education, health and fitness, and art enrichment experiences in an all-in-one curriculum.




Filling a Community Gap

The Trailblazer Academy works toward filling a major gap in community services by providing daily vocational training and education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have aged out of school-supported services. By giving these participants exposure to diverse jobs and businesses, Trailblazers enables its participants to discover how they can contribute to their community through their unique abilities. Additionally, a full calendar of diverse programming—such as cooking class, health and fitness lessons, music therapy, improv experience, Tai Chi, bowling, adaptive sailing, gardening and much more—ensures these adults are engaged, growing and fulfilled.


Blazing a Trail for Inclusion

The Trailblazer Academy is built on community partnerships with a variety of local businesses and nonprofits. Recognizing that every individual has unique abilities to contribute to the community, these organizations provide the opportunity for Trailblazer participants to receive on-site vocational training and exposure to the world of work. With help from staff and volunteers, the participants are active and engaged with customers, employees and volunteers on a daily basis while learning diverse vocational skills. Through the Trailblazers program, these organizations are leading the way in creating a more inclusive community.

Thank you to our ever-growing circle of vocational partners, listed below.



Accomplishing Goals

The Trailblazer Academy’s program instructors work with each participant daily on coaching job skills, assessing unique skills and measuring levels of independence for employment readiness. Through Trailblazers, participants can accomplish what they otherwise might have thought impossible:

  • Hands-on training for jobs at diverse work sites
  • Life skills development
  • Independence
  • Connection to the community
  • A sense of purpose and pride

The experience of vocational training and commuting as a group also unifies the participants. The social interaction, confidence-building, Trailblazer-to-Trailblazer support and teamwork enhance their experience and connect them to the community.



Join Our Circle of Support

Your support can help change lives. By becoming a vocational partner, donating, sponsoring and/or volunteering, you will make a difference. Please contact for partnership opportunities.

“The Trailblazer Academy has opened up a world for my daughter. She is learning valuable vocational skills, has made new friends and is encouraged to try new things that typical people experience. Her opportunities are now endless, and she feels worthwhile and fulfilled.”

– Joy, parent of a Trailblazer Academy participant

Thank You to Trailblazer Academy Vocational Partners!

Conservancy SWFL
Humane Society
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Peniel Church

Thank You to Inclusive Employers Who Have Hired Our Participants!