Teen Blog

July 2021 Newsletter

News from IMAGE Teen and Young Adult Programs


Long term Connect participants Elizabeth Handley, Patrick Hagen and Rachel Day sitting on a sofa smiling at a previous Connect Program event.

Long term connections through Connect

Did you know that the Connect program is one of our longest running programs at The IMAGE Center?

Designed to forge new relationships and connections among teens and young adults the Connect program provides the opportunity for participants to build new friendships and grow skills to increase communication while exploring activities that promote independence and recreation.

Long term participants of the Connect program can even apply to become a Peer Mentor of the program taking on new roles that encourage leadership and advocacy.

The best testament to the success of the Connect program, however, resides in the long term friendships that have developed over the years. It is not uncommon for our program participants to develop lasting friendships outside of Connect, in fact, this is one of the founding goals of the program. Some of our most shy, most apprehensive participants have went on to build social networks both inside and outside the comfort of the Connect program.

We look forward to encouraging your child to step outside of their comfort zone this summer and develop connections that could last for years to come!

This summer’s Connect program will alternate biweekly between both virtual and in person experiences. This means that students can choose to participate in Connect in person, virtually or a hybrid of both options combined based on their personal preference.

Its not to late to register for this summers Connect session!

See below for registration information.We encourage our families to take note of our updated reopening plan for teen and young adult services. Questions can be directed to Jessica Leone, Director for Teen and Young Adult services

Updated for all teen and young adult summer programming through September 30, 2021.

The IMAGE Center is acting to keep staff and consumers safe to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Reopening Plan

Here’s how we’re doing our part:

  • Follow our Leaders. We follow all State guidance related to education-based activities, including reopening actions and face covering requirements on the State of Maryland for reopening advisements and Governor’s orders.
  • Flexible scheduling. All activities will operate on a hybrid schedule, offering both virtual and in-person learning opportunities.
  • Reduce contamination risk. Food and water will NOT be provided during programming at this time.

Before you join us in person, please:

  1. Monitor your health and interactions. Join us online instead if you have:
    1. Cough, shortness of breath, fever, or any other symptoms of COVID-19.
    2. Recent exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  2. Prepare and pack. Bring a backpack with items you will need for the duration of the program including: water, a snack, beach towel, sunscreen and writing or communication device. FOOD AND WATER WILL NOT BE PROVIDED.
  3. Mask up. All non-vaccinated participants and family members, please wear a mask during check-in, program transitions, and checkout. IMAGE Center staff will advise when there is an option to remove masks for outdoor programs.
  4. Take precaution. Hand sanitation will be provided for check-in, transitions and check-out.
  5. Respect personal space. Activities will be designed with respect for social distancing and mindful spacing.
  6. Talk about it. Please contact us at  if you have any questions or concerns.

Peer Mentor Spotlight

Connect program participant in a hugging embrace with previous Peer Mentor Karissa Phillips at a Connect event.

Applications for Peer Mentorship for the summer session of the Connect program are now closed.

Interested in applying for Peer Mentorship?

Applications will reopen for the Fall session of Connect in September.

Questions? Email Jessica Leone at

Upcoming Events

The Connect Program Registration is still open!

Connect Program painting ceramics
  • July 27th (in person)
  • August 10th (virtual)
  • August 24th (in person)
  • September 14th (virtual)
  • September 28th (in person)

Program registration $100

*Registrants will have the ability to specify their desire to participate in virtual only, in person only or a combination of all virtual and in person sessions during registration.

The Connect Program is a program that empowers teens and young adults with disabilities to step outside of their comfort zone, make connections with their community, build social experiences and recognize and achieve skills needed for increased independence in adulthood. These skills include money management, time management, social and communication skills, personal hygiene, meal planning and decision making skills just to name a few.

Contact learn more.
Register here

PreETS Self Awareness and Self Advocacy Training Program

Kids notes about what self advocacy is and understanding rights and responsibilities

Monday and Wednesday sessions available. Email for additional registration information.

The Self Awareness & Self Advocacy Training program through DORS is a five week program utilizing curriculum designed to empower teens with disabilities to explore areas of self awareness and promote the importance of self advocacy to enhance the overall independence and vocational opportunity of each student. During this program students will work with professional staff from The IMAGE Center to begin to engage in curriculum addressing Self Awareness & Advocacy, Disclosing Disability, Rights, Future Outlook, Transition Outlook and Utilizing Resource.
Contact learn more.

Save the Date

2021 Solutions Awards Dinner

Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021, 5:30 – 9:00pm
Venue: Vollmer Center, Cylburn Arboretum
4915 Greenspring Avenue Baltimore, MD 21215
(near Sinai Hospital)
This year’s theme: 10th Year Anniversary: Building Momentum / Fostering Safety

Support Youth Programs at The IMAGE Center

Help kids stay connected this summer.

$100 – Sponsor a student for a 6 week program.

$50 – Sponsor a student for a 3 week program.

$25 – Sponsor program materials for a student’s program participation

Sponsor a student today!

Visit and click on teen blog to learn more about our sponsor a student campaign.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *