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SEF News & Success Stories

Highlights from SEF Programs

students standing next to leader

The Special Education Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting students with disabilities in St. Louis County. Our mission is to help these students achieve success in areas not supported by tax dollars.

Like our Classroom Innovation Grants, we empower students with disabilities through our programs by providing them with the tools and opportunities they need to thrive.  

Here are some more program highlights from this past year:

Adaptive & Assistive Equipment Program: The Special Education Foundation provides ongoing funding for specialized equipment and other needs for students with disabilities in St. Louis County. These grants cover items such as augmentative communication devices, adaptive equipment, technology, audiology devices, and eyeglasses, aiming to enhance education, independence, and quality of life.

“We are extremely thankful and grateful to SEF. It has helped our family so much as our daughter was funded an adult stroller which helped her transitions at school and immensely when taking her out in the community.”

“My daughter received a mini-iPad.  While she knows how to use the device, she needs encouragement in using it to communicate. We're working on helping her see it as more than a tool used for school work and as a benefit to communicating with others. Her dad took her grocery shopping and while on the juice aisle, used her device to say she wanted cranberry juice!”

Fred Saigh Leadership Academy: Up to 20 high school students with leadership potential participate in a year of training through unique community-related opportunities. The program develops leadership skills by engaging students in community issues and involves monthly visits to key sites and meetings with local leaders. Graduates return to their schools ready to take on leadership roles, culminating in a ceremony where they share their experiences and the program's impact on their lives.

John Cary Scholarships Program: SEF established the John Cary Scholarship in 2016 to honor the late John Cary, former superintendent of the Special School District of St. Louis County, for his dedication to students with disabilities.

Recipients of the scholarship are selected based on their resilience, courage, and determination, with the scholarship committee evaluating future success through academics, leadership, community involvement, and achievements in athletics or the arts. The scholarship aims to recognize well-rounded individuals, particularly those with notable accomplishments in specific areas.

SEF wishes everyone a safe, happy and healthy summer, and we look forward to another school year ahead with our mission to assist students with disabilities in St. Louis County to achieve success in ways not supported by tax dollars. With your help we can make a difference. Learn more about SEF’s programs and ways you can get involved to help support our mission.