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NewsAug 1, 2023

Investing in neurodiverse learners for the long term

Generous $1.3 million in gifts will help launch the Threshold Lifelong Support Program

students pose for photos

By Karyn Regal

With the help of nearly $1.3 million in recent gifts, Lesley University will launch the Threshold Lifelong Support Program to serve alumni and other neurodiverse young adults throughout their lifetimes.

Gifts from two anonymous donors, as well as Lesley University Trustee Veronica Ohanian Heath and her husband, Donn, and the many people who supported Threshold’s 40th Anniversary Gala in May are instrumental in supporting this innovative program.

Lesley University’s original and groundbreaking Threshold Program — the first program of its kind to serve neurodiverse young adults on a college campus — has entered its fifth decade, providing education, life skills and other support to college-age young adults with diverse learning abilities. The university also recognizes that other neurodiverse adults outside the Threshold Program need support, too.

“We know there is a gap in services for neurodiverse young adults,” Threshold Executive Director Jennifer Thorell said. “Here at Threshold and Lesley University, we can start filling that gap with stable ground, so people can stand for themselves.” 

Some examples of assistance Threshold Lifelong Support can provide are: 

  • Career training, often hand-in-hand with employers, to provide skills, navigate the workforce, and move up in their careers  
  • Residential and life skills coaching, so participants can find housing, live on their own, pay bills  
  • Social activities and opportunities for structured social training.  

The Threshold Lifelong Support Program is expected to fully launch in the next several months.