Finding Strength in Belonging: Nithya Priya Ramachandran’s journey in WeEMBRACE
Imagine a community where acceptance rings like a joyful chorus, and every individual's rhythm is celebrated. For Nithya Priya Ramachandran, this isn't just a dream; it's the beautiful reality of WeEMBRACE, an organization close to her heart not just as a board member, but as a mother on a journey with her daughter who is neuro-diverse
Since its beginning in 2018, Nithya has played a transformative role in WeEMBRACE. Seeking support and understanding for her daughter, she found not just an organization, but a family. Here, amidst shared experiences and heartfelt support Nithya felt a lot of relief and belonging in WeEMBRACE
As a board member, she's a passionate conductor, orchestrating events that bring the WeEMBRACE community together. From arts and dance performances, her dedication echoes through every joyful beat, ensuring no one dances alone.
While Nithya enjoys every aspect of WeEMBRACE, the most impactful part for her would be the family support group and seminars. The shared wisdom, resourceful families and personal support proved to her that WeEMBRACE isn’t just an organization; it is a haven where families like hers can find strength and inspiration.
Now, with a new WeEMBRACE center opening, Nithya's eyes sparkle with the promise of even more. Drum classes, vocational training, dance workshops – the possibilities are endless! This new center feels like a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with the vibrant colors of opportunity and growth.
And Nithya isn't alone in this beautiful dance. She expresses immense gratitude for WeEMBRACE's teen volunteers, the young leaders of tomorrow. Their dedication, their compassion, are what will keep WeEMBRACE alive.
From Volunteer to Family: Aparna’s Embrace of WeEMBRACE
Aparna's journey with WeEMBRACE began with a simple spark – a social media post that resonated with her deeply. The organization's mission to create a community of inclusion for children with those who are neuro-diverse, struck a chord within her. She knew she wanted to be a part of it, to contribute in any way she could.
But volunteering with WeEMBRACE wasn't without its challenges. “I had never interacted much with children with other abilities so there was definitely a learning curve involved,” Aparna admits. “Designing crafts that they could make was challenging.”
So, what keeps Aparna coming back for more? The connections! From enthusiastic bear hugs to compliments about her outfit, the pure joy and acceptance these kids offer seemed incredible. She cherishes crafting interactive toys and leading music projects, but her favorite moments are spontaneous. “One time, a child got upset when I couldn't make it to an event,” Aparna recalls, touched. “These little bonds we form are heartwarming.”
WeEMBRACE has transformed Aparna's perspective. “It's taught me the true meaning of inclusivity and acceptance,” she says. “I believe that everyone has a talent or ability which makes them useful and purposeful in life.” This philosophy shines through in her interactions, where she avoids judgment and celebrates each child's unique strengths.
But Aparna's story isn't just about giving; it's about receiving.
“We all need help and support in some way or the other. Maybe I have the skills to help these children realize their potential in a certain field but they also have the skills that fulfill my needs.”
Inspired by Aparna's journey? Her advice for aspiring volunteers is simple: Come experience the magic firsthand! Witness the impact you can have, and help these amazing children blossom into empowered individuals. You might just discover your own superpowers along the way.
Looking Back at a Vibrant January at WeEMBRACE!
January may have flown by, but the memories made at WeEmbrace certainly haven't! Here's a quick recap of some of the exciting events that brought our community together:
Strikes and Smiles: Our Bowling Social was a hit, with neurodiverse individuals of all ages (4 and above!) enjoying an afternoon of friendly competition and laughter.
Moms on a Mission: Our Moms' Get-Together provided a valuable space for mothers to connect, share experiences, and support one another.
Rhythm & Joy: The Drum Session filled the air with vibrant beats and brought participants together in a unique and enriching experience.
Dance Fever: Frank had everyone moving and grooving at his Dance Session, promoting physical activity and social interaction in a fun and inclusive way.
These are just a few highlights of what made January special at WeEMBRACE. We are grateful for the opportunity to connect, empower, and celebrate our amazing community, and we can't wait to see what February has in store!
Hold onto your hats, WeEMBRACE fam, because February is bursting with incredible events!
Get Moving & Grooving:
Bollywood Dance with Frank: Shake it to vibrant Bollywood beats every Saturday from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM.
Bolly X with Diana: Start your Sundays with fun, energetic Bolly X moves with Diana on Sundays from 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM.
African Drum Circle: Feel the rhythm and learn traditional African drumming techniques every Sunday from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM.
Monthly Social Events:
Bowling Social: Strike up some fun on February 3rd's Saturday from 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM.
Open Sensory Gymnastics: Jump, swing, and tumble in a sensory-friendly environment on the 4th Sunday from 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM.
AAC Social: Connect and communicate with friends using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) on February 17th from 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM.
New Skills, New Horizons:
We're thrilled to announce our pilot program, Chaat Kaffe, a vocational training initiative where participants will learn valuable skills while operating our very own snack bar! Interested in being part of this exciting opportunity? Fill out the form here: https://forms.gle/ZK7fTNi3g1HCU4Z99: https://forms.gle/ZK7fTNi3g1HCU4Z99
Mark Your Calendars for the Grand Celebration:
EMBRACE STARS: Don't miss this spectacular talent and fashion show by neurodiverse individuals on February 24th, Saturday, from 3.45 PM - 6.45 PM, as we celebrate WeEMBRACE's 7th anniversary! Witness their incredible talents and join us for a night of unforgettable entertainment. Get your tickets now: weembracefamilies.org/embrace-stars
Visit our website for complete details, registration links, and more activities throughout the month:
Get ready for a February filled with laughter, learning, connection, a dazzling celebration, and the exciting opportunity to name our new center! We can't wait to see you there!