WeEMBRACE is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit support organization (EIN 82-4279137) for children and adults with different abilities and their families. It founded in 2018 with the belief that every individual regardless of their abilities, has a right to equal opportunity, access, and inclusion in mainstream society to be able to realize their maximum potential. Although we started off as a support system for families with children and adults with special needs, we have grown to become so much more.
Our mission is to provide a complete and comprehensive support system for the families of children, adults, and seniors with different abilities. We aim to do this by creating such opportunities and thereby advance and promote the inclusion of individuals with different abilities. We want to see community inclusion in areas such as employment, education, housing, recreation, leisure, and many more.
Our name represents our motto. We embrace all races, cultures, ages, genders and abilities.
Many families tend to live in isolation after receiving their child's diagnosis. However, this tends to hurt the child more than the family by taking away their opportunities to interact with their community.
To fix this, we want to build a loving and all-inclusive community. We envision our community as one that provides opportunities for families to network with each other, get information about the resources available to them, and connect with the community at large while celebrate neurodiversity
Learn more about our organization, and the journey we have taken over the last 4 years as we support our community and its members. Hear from our organization's Co-founder, Meena Kalyanasundaram as well as our WeEMBRACE families, volunteers, and supporters.
MEET THE TEAM
Meena Kalyanasundaram and Som Sundararajan
Cofounders; President and Secretary
Meena and Som are the parents of Athish, a young adult with Cerebral Palsy and developmental disabilities. Meena holds an MBA and a MS in Special Education. She currently has her own private practice working with kids diagnosed with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and other genetic disorders. Som is currently the Director for Cloud Operations at Oracle Inc, and has provided resources an assistance to the parents of children with different abilities through seminars and workshops.
Together, they are responsible for organizational outreach, and most importantly, heading the vision and future direction of our organization.
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Director of Virtual Operations, Media and Grants
Abishek has been dedicated to helping individuals with different abilities his entire life. He graduated from UCLA in 2020 with a BS in Neuroscience while completing a minor in Disability Studies. He has also worked as a Behavior Technician. At WeEMBRACE, he is currently responsible for website development, grant writing, and organizing virtual classes, seminars, and workshops.
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Amita Satish is a college freshman with a passion for helping individuals with different abilities and making her community a better place. She is responsible for organizing and editing all the Embrace Stars talent show episodes, coordinating the virtual events and programs, and managing the back-end operations. She is also one of the major contributors to designing the website.
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Akila believes that a person can grow and succeed only if they are loved and appreciated as they are now rather than what they could’ve or will be. The more involved and integrated individuals with different abilities are in their community, the more opportunities other people get to understand and appreciate gifted individuals.
Nithya has a MS in Computer Application, and has worked at various companies for several years. Currently, she is homeschooling her child while helping coordinate WeEMBRACE’s classes and events. She is responsible for our Art Programs and Social events. Her goal is to give back to the community by strengthening WeEmbrace’s role as a support system for families in need.
Sameera Siddiqi has an MBA in finance and 15 years of management experience at multiple multinational banks in Dubai. After moving to the United States, she ventured into special education to help both her own child and other children and young adults with special needs. Sameera currently works at her local school district and is pursuing a Masters Degree in Special Education.