Inspiring program ‘soars’ to 10-year anniversary


SOAR students enjoy drums via Marywood’s Music Therapy Club. Facebook photo used with permission from the Marywood SOAR Program.

Erin Yeager, Staff Writer

Students On-Campus Achieving Results (SOAR) celebrated its 10-year anniversary on Nov. 3 in the Latour Room in Nazareth Hall at Marywood University.

SOAR was founded by Marywood and the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit (NEIU)  in 2008, and provides an appropriate environment in which high school students with autism can prepare for competitive employment and learn how to live independently.

Anyone who may have been impacted by SOAR in some way was invited to the celebration to enjoy music, dancing and refreshments. Among those who attended were current students, parents and former students– including a SOAR graduate who drove from Tennessee.

Regina Fidiam, NEIU educator, said that if it wasn’t for the Marywood community, this event wouldn’t have been possible.

“[Marywood] makes SOAR the strong program that it is today,” Fidiam said. “They make us feel like part of the community.”

On-campus clubs volunteered to help make the night even more fun. The Art Therapy Club face painted, the Music Therapy Club hosted a drum circle and the Exercise Science Club arranged Kan-Jam (a flying disc game) and other games. Students who attended also hit the dance floor to the DJ’s tunes.

SOAR students shared their thoughts on the celebration. The drum circle in particular was a big hit with current SOAR student Alisa O’Neil.

“The drum circle was really cool,” O’Neil said. “I think we should plan something like this again.

Another SOAR student Gen Scott said, “I was a dancing machine.”

For more information about SOAR, including upcoming events or how to volunteer, visit the website.

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