Carolinas Exceptional Youth Athletes allows youth with special needs the opportunity to participate in a world-class sports training program in a developmentally appropriate way while having lots of fun. Special needs youth athletes will develop multiple skill sets and build upon those skills at each level of participation. CEYA’s programs teach foundational skills and introduce concepts of teamwork, independence, and performance. CEYA has a long-term goal of providing a framework for the athletes to attain their highest level of self-sufficiency in sports and in life.
Our current cheer program is structured in a way that allows athletes the opportunity to:
- Participate in a Mom and Me class (Foundational Skills).
- Progress to working on a team partnered with a volunteer and competing with assistance (Teamwork).
- Begin working as part of a team without assistance, including competitions (Independence).
- Continue on an unassisted team while being a partner to a youth on the assisted team (Performance).
- Develop the skills they need to try out and cheer for their school team, a typical competitive cheer team, take on a leadership role within our organization or take the athletic skills they have learned and transfer them to a sport they can continue to enjoy for years to come (Personal Outcomes).
Short Term Vision
Our program has added additional classes and levels of participation as the needs of our athletes have evolved. Several of our athletes are now participating at the highest level we have available. In order to continue to provide new learning opportunities, we are adding a gymnastics program to our class offerings this spring. Come back to see the way we will structure this program to tie into our fundamentals approach to teaching.
Long Term Vision
We realize that adding another sport will be a short term fix. Very soon our outstanding athletes will have mastered this new sport and we will be looking for a new skill set for them to learn. As our current athletes are reaching the typical age of employment, we have realized there are limited opportunities in our community for job skills training and employment. We have been very successful in teaching skills to youth with special needs to help them achieve independence in competitive sports. It is our goal to take that knowledge and use it to help them become independent in vocational skills so that they can obtain employment in their community.
It is our plan to structure our job skills training program in a way that will allow older teens and young adults the opportunity to:
- Participate in a very hands on, learning through practice and repetition, Occupational Skills class (Foundational Skills).
- Progress to working in a group environment partnered with a volunteer and contributing to the business needs (Teamwork).
- Begin working as part of the business team without assistance, including reaching out to vendors and customers (Independence).
- Continue working in the business while being a partner to a new participant in the program (Performance).
- Interview and obtain employment in the community, apply and be accepted into an educational or trade program, or prepare for a managerial or training role within our organization (Personal Outcomes).
In order to begin to provide a job skills training program for our athletes, we are pursuing several federal and state grants as well as private foundation grant opportunities and personal giving grants. If you would like to donate to help us reach our goal to begin this next critical phase for improving our athlete’s personal outcomes, please click on the “Donate Now” button on our home page. If you know of a grant opportunity that we should look into pursuing, please use the Contact Us page and send us an email. Like we always say, “It’s amazing what we can do when we work together.”