Mary Em and Jack Wallace – Founders
We became connected with the special needs population as members of Coastside Mental Health, the local office for San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. In the late eighties, the school district was working towards inclusion in response to concerns expressed by parents with the long commutes and isolation of their children. It was decided to start a support group for the youngsters so that they would have a home base to form their own supportive community. They named themselves “Power Winner Rangers”. Gradually they became mentors for each other as they managed transitions associated with growing up. A short time later the parents were interested in having a support group. From that quickly emerged a siblings group; and — the wonderful parties. Later came Special Olympics, the camping trips and the monthly calendar. Looking back it is amazing that ideas which were wish list possibilities have become realities thanks to the hard work of so many… Hope Services, Special Olympics, and even future housing and ongoing employment with Big Wave.
W have always been impressed with, and appreciative of, the strength of families as the journey unfolds from awareness of a disability… to acceptance — to curiosity — to advocacy and celebration of ability.
We are honored to be the first in the “spotlight”.