AFI has served Polk County’s developmentally and intellectually disabled adults since 1954 and provides basic education and vocational training to 100 individuals daily. AFI strives to empower those with disabilities and work each day toward fulfilling our mission, “Offering individuals with disabilities the avenues to explore and experience personal growth and achievement through awareness, education, community resources and personal relationships.”
As these individuals work toward building relationships, developing necessary skills for employment, and ultimately achieving an independent way of life, it is critical that AFI continues to provide the education, experience and exposure that will enable them to reach their goals of personal independence. Unfortunately, with rising costs and the rapid decline of government funding it has become increasingly more difficult to serve these individuals. Recently, the Florida Legislature passed a budget that eliminated the Adults with Disabilities grant that funded AFI's long running Adult Basic Education program. AFI lost their teachers and equipment, at a moments notice.
In order to call attention to this situation and to enable AFI to continue providing the services that their clients have come to trust, I am riding across the country to raise awareness and money to support the education program at AFI. I will try to report back on this site throughout my trip. Please feel free to send emails, tweets and most importantly donations to support this remarkable organization. With your help We will be able to continue to plant the seeds of independence for the individuals attending AFI and do so for years to come!