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You’re With Us! creates inclusion opportunities for young adults with disabilities. The program identifies and trains college clubs, groups, and teams to be welcoming and supportive peers to the differently abled. The college group then creates a Positive Experience Design (PED) customized for the young adult to help him or her transition from school to an adult life in the community. You’re With Us! believes that a meaningful life includes a home, a job, family, friends and social opportunities with their peers - able and otherwise.

Our Mission Statement

You’re With Us! is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates inclusion opportunities for young adults (14+) who, because of their disabilities, are not part of a group, community or activity that would be typical of their abled peers.

Children with disabilities often feel different and excluded from normal social opportunities. You’re With Us! aids these young adults in belonging to a group and receiving the benefits young people would typically receive from out of school activities. Benefits of this inclusion flow in both directions. Children with disabilities have the potential to influence those around them -- a special ability to open people up to compassion, empathy and leadership. Further, You’re With Us! seeks to change the perceptions of disabled young people who believe they are separate and excluded by helping them become part of the communities centered on the activities that they enjoy. In turn, their new peers in these communities, who may have thought of children with disabilities as “other’ or different, now find them to be friends, teammates and even family.

All people are healthiest when they feel safe, supported, and connected to others in their neighborhoods and communities. The inclusion of children with disabilities in these communities provides the essential social skills and leadership tools to allow them to lead a full life.

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Our Vision

You’re With Us! creates inclusion opportunities for young adults with disabilities. The program identifies and trains college clubs, groups, and teams to be welcoming and supportive peers to the differently abled. The college group then creates a Positive Experience Design (PED) customized for the young adult to help him or her transition from school to an adult life in the community. You’re With Us! believes that a meaningful life includes a home, a job, family, friends and social opportunities with their peers - able and otherwise.

Our History

History: Like every new dad, as I held my newborn son I dreamed of teaching him to play catch, shoot a basketball, and ride his first bicycle. But Max was different. A premature twin, I could not hold him for months, and when I did he fit in my two hands.

January 3, 2000 A few months later, as a first-time head men’s basketball coach at Salve Regina University, I was readying my team for practice. Minutes before we were to start, I found out my son Max had been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Max was nine months old and I was five months into my head coaching career. Standing before a group of fit and able-bodied young men, I started my usual practice warm-up address. But that day was different. As I began, I informed my team of Max’s diagnosis. And I began to cry. Many players began to tear up with me. After a couple of minutes, I told them we needed to have a good practice because Max would never have a chance to have a good practice. Max became an inspiration to my teams for the next six years. The players viewed Max as their teammate. He is present in every championship photo because the players insisted he be. When I left coaching – and for the eight years that followed –Max had no opportunities to be included in groups of able-bodied people. He withdrew and his physical condition worsened. That changed in 2013 when Max was welcomed onto the Northeastern University’s men’s basketball team. A new group of players welcomed him as their teammate. I had my son back. His life changed – and so did theirs.



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The Benefits

It has been said a person's quality of life is directly linked to the quality of the relationships in their life. You’re With Us! provides adolescents/young adults with the unique opportunity to belong to a group--just like any person would or could--- and derive the typical benefits people receive from out-of-school activities. In addition, our participants have the unique ability to profoundly affect those around them. By being included in their groups, our participants open up college students---and college campuses---to compassion and empathy, and provide them with leadership opportunities that would otherwise not be available. In essence, our framework enables our participants and peer mentors to “practice together” in the non-disabled community, which is the setting where they will be expected to function and thrive for the balance of their lives.

The Program

We locate possible opportunities to join college groups, teams, and clubs; coordinate recruitment into the group; act as the liaison between the family, school, and college/university; train mentors of the college groups to be responsible for making sure participants are included and connected with the group, facilitate communication between all parties; facilitate group education and development of Positive Experience Design; gather data on impact and quality of life; create and coordinate social connections across campus for participants and families; facilitate possible job/career opportunities through college career resources; offer support services as needed (ABA, BCBA, Monitor); create systems and manuals for future schools; and generally problem solve.

Board Of Directors

Our board is committed to helping people with disabilities have a life in the community which includes a sense of belonging to a group. We have leaders in the youth development and special needs transition space helping coach our participants, families and college students to successful outcomes.

David Pliner

President Infusion Ventures

Barry Freeman

Movie Ratings Consultant

Michael Plansky

Founder/President You’re With Us!

Sean Stellato

NFL Player Agent, Author of No Backing Down

Peter Doliber

Executive Director at Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs.

Dan Lebowitz

Executive Director The Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University

Donald Cretella

Attorney Zingaro and Cretella

Edward Nazarro

Former Director of Pupil Services Town of Winthrop, Member Massachusetts Executive Council of Special Education

Contact Us

Please contact us at the information below. Also, please register a young adult you may know who would benefit from being part of a group. Allow us to help him or her find his or her sense of belonging.

Get In Touch

Phone: (978) 587-6663

Email: michael@yourewithus.org

Register a Participant Here

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