Emerging STARS

Location: Spotsylvania, VA

Date Founded: 2017

Contact Name: Kathy Twigg

Contact: Kathy@emstars.org

Website: https://www.emstars.org

9dc Give Amount: $750

April 30, 2022

The STARS group was able to finally get their long awaited trip to the zoo. Below is a note from Karen who organized the trip - she was nice enough to send of some pictures also. From Karen: "We had a fantastic time at the zoo! The weather was great, and everyone had a blast. We are grateful for this opportunity. With the funds, we could purchase tickets, go on the safari train, buy food to feed animals and end with an ice cream cone.  We want to thank the 9dollarclub for making this day possible!" 

Here are some quotes from our young adults and their parents:

" Thank you for a great day at the zoo.  We feel so blessed to be part of Emerging STARS and this fun day!"  

"My two autistic sons cannot stop talking about their time at the zoo yesterday!  Thank you for organizing this great day."

"Thank you for the day at the zoo!  My son had a blast."  

"My daughter loved her day at the Richmond Zoo, thank you!"

January 28, 2022

A few years ago, Kathy Twigg realized that her 23-year-old son Jonathan, who is developmentally delayed, needed more activities in his life and a community to be involved in. "As I watched Jonathan grow into adulthood, I saw a huge gap and need in the lives of him and his friends," Kathy shared. "At age 22, they could no longer attend high school, and were too old to participate in youth groups. Many of these young adults remain unemployable, and those who had job skills and did find employment typically worked only 10 to 15 hours a week. They have little social life, community engagement, or opportunities to continue developing in their daily living skills. Many spend their days alone with TV and video games. I saw their extreme loneliness."

Kathy Twigg

Kathy quit her job after 15 years in the education space to start Emerging STARS, a nonprofit organization that empowers and encourages young adults with developmental disabilities. The organization creates opportunities and activities to help their group develop crucial skills through a variety of stimulation, which are designed to assist in meeting personal goals and fulfilling potential. They currently have a group of 25 young adults in the Virginia area, ranging between Washington DC and Richmond. Kathy initially hosted meetings on her own property in Spotsylvania, Virginia, but quickly outgrew the space as individuals continued to attend. She began to rent space once a week at a community center to complete stimulating brain activities, educational projects, and other volunteer work with the expanding group of young adults. Emerging STARS is always looking for activities that are engaging, educational, and stimulating. 

‚Äč            Jonathan and his girlfriend Rachel at Ni

                                                                        Jonathan and his girlfriend Rachel

What Did We Give?

This month, the 9dollarclub is recognizing the work that Kathy Twigg and Karen Reynolds have done with Emerging STARS to help young adults with developmental delays find a sense of community. The 9dollarclub is elated to be sponsoring a road trip to the Richmond Zoo! It is a trip they have tried to plan for 3 years, but have been unable to complete because of the cost.     

We are close to sponsoring the entire trip which includes zoo admission, lunch, animal feed, and transportation. The trip will include 35 people, including 20 young adults with developmental disabilities like Down syndrome and autism. They are a joy-filled group and will go on the trip as soon as the weather gets a bit warmer. "The group is excited!" exclaimed Karen. 

We can not wait to see the pictures and videos from the trip and will share them with our members.


Check out photos of the Emerging STARS group below!

"9dollarclub" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in Virginia, United States