THE COMPASS PROJECT
Social and Recreation Programs
This socialization group meets on Sunday's during the academic year and weekly during the summer months for outings throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Participants learn how to socialize and make friends while developing life skills and having fun!
Past trips have included: Broadway shows, hikes and fitness activities, city tours, museum and art exhibits, water parks, animal preserves, beaches, volunteer activities, and community service programs.
Weekend Travel Program
The Compass Project has facilitated regular overnight trips to places such as Philadelphia, Montauk, and Washington DC. Compass teens choose their destinations based on personal and group interests, and help plan the trips. The trips routinely require participants to deal with challenging situations while offering opportunities to enhance social and communication skills, while developing independence and self-confidence. For many, Compass trips are a much-needed chance to experience controlled independence, while learning and experiencing new things in diverse settings.
Theater for Action
This is a comprehensive performance, arts, and self-exploration program for youth with special needs. Participants have fun while exploring their own journeys and challenges. Through game playing, storytelling, movement, visual art, drama, and creative writing, youth participate in exciting activities that promote self-exploration, acting skills, and collective creation.
Compass Eats Dinner Group
These weekly dinner groups meet on Long Island, Queens and Westchester and has grown from a small group of participants, to regularly having 20 or more members meeting for dinner at different locations in the community. Participants meet regularly to discuss and decide on dinner locations; while dining, groups talk, laugh, share stories, and make friends. The dinners, facilitated by mental health professionals, are an effective means for participants to learn things such as money management, communication skills, and appropriate behavior in social situations.
The Compass Fitness program is designed for participants to develop strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, and stamina in a fun group setting. Fitness activities are also an excellent outlet to help youth to build social skills and self-esteem. Activities include weight training, circuit training, cardiovascular activities, group games, and the importance of nutrition for optimal health.
Youth Leadership Council
Participants in the Compass Youth Leadership Council develop greater poise, confidence, and leadership ability via weekly meetings, collaborations with other local teen groups, and by providing meaningful contributions to our community during monthly group activities. Through its work with other groups, agencies, businesses, and politicians, the Youth Leadership Council is breaking down stigmas and helping others begin to see that individuals with disabilities need not be defined by their challenges, but rather as individuals who are active and contributing members of their community.
Healthy for Life
Healthy for Life, a new 12-week pilot program, is a dynamic social skills group featuring healthy eating, exercise, nutrition education and independent living skills. Young adults meet each week in both Long Island and Westchester locations and have fun sharing activities such as cooking, fitness and outings to develop healthy habits for daily life. Achieve confidence and success while becoming your personal best! This program is made possible through the generosity of UJA-Federation of New York and the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation.
Birthright Trips to Israel
Compass partners with the Israel Experience and the Taglit Birthright Israel foundation to send young adults with special needs to Israel every other year. These “birthright” trips include an inclusive mix of 20 young people with ASD and 15-20 neurotypical youth. The experience gives participants the opportunity to travel outside the U.S. and connect with their Jewish heritage, and provides an intense learning experience by traveling independently and cohabitating with peers.