Exciting Future Plans
We are excited to announce that Natalia Vallejos has become our Assistant Clinical Director. Natalia was our very first Social Coach in 2013 and has remained an integral part of The Social Cog, volunteering her time to help train and supervise the Social Coaches last year. Natalia is a recent graduate from Nova Southeastern University receiving her doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2015. She will be joining Pediatric Psychology Associates for her Post-Doctoral residency this year.
Natalia Vallejos and Nick Maccarrone, our Clinical Director, have begun drafting a manual so that other communities to replicate our program. In addition we continue collecting data for conducting research into our methods and successes. The research is important as there is so little information about how to best teach social skills and develop community amongst this population.
The Social Cog was originally intended to be a two year program and that is our long-term goal. Accordingly, we will be considering candidates for graduation in May 2016. We are working on a step-down plan for our graduates that will include reduced programing and social coaching. Some Members have made great strides toward developing an independent social life and others are still working on reaching out. The Members are all moving at their own pace with a lot of encouragement and goal setting.
We are proud that we will now be able to pay our staff going forward. While The Social Cog has been an all volunteer organization for three years, in order to continue and grow our Executive Director and Clinical Directors need to be compensated. Our Board has asked us to begin charging a nominal fee to increase commitment and so that donors see clear Membership support. As of September 1, 2015, we will charge a $300 Membership fee per year. The value of the services each Member receives is many multiples of that fee.
Sustaining The Social Cog
As we all know fundraising is the way to maintain and grow a non-profit. The Social Cog participated in Give Miami Day last November and it was a great success! With your help, we achieved our goal of raising $25,000. We also held our first annual fundraiser, Night at The Museo, on April 29th at The Museo Vault in Wynwood. We netted in excess of $25,000 and raised awareness about our work amongst the 165 people who attended. Wow! Our next event, Cogtoberfest, will held in October as our kick-off for Give Miami Day. Stay tuned for details! This year Give Miami Day is November 19th and we look forward to another fundraising success with everyone's help.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our efforts. The support from our family, friends, colleagues, and others in the community who care about this population has been overwhelming and each of us at The Social Cog is sincerely grateful.