Ann Storck Center’s Hearts of Gold Society members and the South Florida community had the unique opportunity to preview Ethan, a documentary that follows a young boy with autism and his family over 12 years as they nurture his strengths and prepare him for adulthood. Filmmaker Josephine Sittenfeld and Ethan’s mother, Cammie McGovern, attended the screening and participated in an open discussion with the audience about creating the film, raising a child with autism, and preparing children with special needs for an independent adult life.
This film screening was generously sponsored by Secured Futures and hosted at Summit-Questa Montessori School where an audience of teachers, therapists, Hearts of Gold Society members, Ann Storck Center staff and South Florida community members gathered for the screening and discussion.
“As a former special education teacher, this story resonated with me on so many levels,” said Carol Moroco, an Ann Storck Center board member and Hearts of Gold Society committee member. “We’re so grateful to Cammie and Jo for sharing this story.”
Young people with disabilities taking on independent adulthood is a pertinent topic for Ethan’s mother, Cammie, an author who’s traveling the country looking at innovative programs and solutions for this growing population. During her stay in South Florida, she spent time touring local businesses and programs where adults with disabilities are employed or work towards independent living every day, including Ann Storck Center.
“Building independence for people with disabilities falls perfectly in line with Ann Storck Center’s mission, to discover abilities and build independence,” said Charlotte Mather-Taylor, Ann Storck Center CEO. “This beautifully captured film was an opportunity to engage the community in a conversation about how we can prepare young people with disabilities for fulfilling, independent futures."
Ann Storck Center’s Hearts of Gold Women’s Society is a group of philanthropists, community leaders and young professionals who support Ann Storck Center through acts of volunteering, fundraising, and by hosting community events like the Ethan film screening that spread awareness and educate the public on the needs of the developmentally disabled population. You can learn more about joining the Hearts of Gold Society on Ann Storck Center’s website.
You can learn more about Josephine’s film, Ethan, in this WBUR radio interview, or by reading Cammie’s article in the New York Times. Cammie’s book is expected to come out from Penguin Random House in 2020.