Marriott's Foundation For People With Disabilities Raises More Than $1 Million For Youth Programs

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities announced today that it has raised more than $1 million for its annual fundraiser, $300,000 more than its goal. The money will continue to support its "Bridges…from school to work" program, which has placed more than 9,600 youth and young adults with mental and physical challenges in competitive employment positions.

"We are very excited about the results of this event," said Richard Marriott, chairman of the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities. "Money raised will allow us to serve even more young people in need – helping them succeed in meaningful employment that draws on their skills and aligns with their long term interests." Timmy Acton is a great example. The 19-year old loves to work with people. He attended all of the Foundation's training programs, eager to learn how to be successful in his job in spite of his challenges with reading, writing and math. His tenacity and drive landed him a position in the restaurant at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Bethesda, Md., which services conventions and large-size groups on a daily basis. Within 30 days of his arrival on the job, Timmy received a raise. He was also named the 2007 Youth Achievement Award winner last night at the annual awards dinner and fundraiser, the highest honor presented to a student by the Foundation.

The 2007 Leadership Award and Employer of the Year Award were presented to Lydia Plummer of Alleyne and Senior Sunrise Living, respectively. These two honorees embrace diversity and inclusiveness and provide open doors for youth and young adults that face mental and physical challenges. Former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, General Colin Powell was the keynote speaker.

Established in 1989 by the family of J. Willard Marriott to enhance employment opportunities for youth with disabilities, Bridges currently operates in seven urban centers – Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The program serves more than 1,000 young people annually and works with 1,500 different employers to identify competitive employment for youth.

To learn more about employer opportunities, youth enrollment or the services provided by the Foundation for People with Disabilities, visit

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