Meet Jonathan Isom
Remember high school? Remember feeling unsure, confused, frustrated, or misunderstood? Now, imagine you’re navigating all the complexities of growing up and you’re a student with a disability.
Jonathan Isom knows first-hand the stresses and challenges students with disabilities face while making their way through school. He found his high school years discouraging and considered dropping out. He graduated not knowing what opportunities were available to people like him or whom to turn to for help.
Parents and students often worry about what the future will hold for individuals with disabilities. Like Jonathan, some are just unaware of the programs and services available to them. That is why in 2021, we awarded Entrust Community Services a $50,000 grant to help connect students, families, and teachers to programs that help prepare youth for life after graduation.
Jonathan floundered for a few years following graduation, but eventually he found Entrust. Entrust helped him get training, find employment, and connect to resources in the community so he could have a productive, independent adult life.
Now, Jonathan serves on the Entrust Board of Directors, helping others with disabilities find their way to a better, more fulfilling life.
“I wanted to have a voice for people like me, and to be able to tell clients that it is ok to be who they are instead of hiding it inside,” says Jonathan.
The High School Transitions grant will allow Entrust to serve students and families in a variety of ways.
First, we recognize that for individuals with disabilities, something as simple as transportation can be both life-saving and life-affirming.
Jonathan explains, “I’ve sat at home for days and days on end thinking, ‘What am I gonna do?’ I want to get out of my apartment and do other things.”
The grant will help Entrust provide accessible transportation to all local school districts and ensure students have access to and from school, jobs, and training.
The grant will also help connect 10% more students and families with the resources they need to ease the transition from high school to post-secondary school or directly to the workforce and it provides specific funding to reach underserved populations, like Native American students.
Jonathan reiterates that he wishes he would have found Entrust’s services sooner and how much he appreciates the opportunities this grant will afford to students and families throughout our region.
“Businesses like Entrust are very important to people with disabilities,” says Jonathan.
We are proud to support organizations like Entrust that provide access and opportunities for a better life in the Yakima Valley and beyond.
Learn more about Entrust Community Services at entrustcs.org. If you are seeking funding for a cause that improves live for those here in the Yakima Valley, please visit our grants page for open grant opportunities.