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Disability EmpowHer Network Receives $5,000 from the John F. Wegman Fund to Empower Girls with Disabilities in Monroe County

Young women with various disabilities hold their artwork at an EmpowHer Roc event

September 21, 2023 - Disability EmpowHer Network was awarded a $5,000 grant from the John F. Wegman Fund of the Rochester Area Community Foundation to support its EmpowHer Roc program focused on empowering girls and young women with disabilities throughout Rochester. 


Disability EmpowHer Network is a national organization led by and for girls and women with disabilities, headquartered in Rochester, NY. The grant from the John F. Wegman Fund will fund ongoing opportunities for girls and young women with disabilities (ages 10-21) through a program called EmpowHer Roc which provides monthly events in and around Monroe County where participants have fun, learn new skills, and become more empowered while connecting with peers and mentors.


“We are so thankful for this support from the John F. Wegman Fund” said Stephanie Woodward, Executive Director of Disability EmpowHer Network. “For nearly a year and a half, we have had the opportunity to watch the participants in our program grow and thrive through their continued connections with other girls and young women with disabilities and the skills they learn along the way. We are grateful that the John F. Wegman Fund recognizes this transformational growth and supports the continuation of our programming.”


Since the spring of 2022, EmpowHer Roc has held fun monthly skill building programs from creating vision boards and practicing self love to mall scavenger hunts and disability pride picnics.


EmpowHer Roc’s impact on its participants is profound and noticeable by both participants and their parents “I like that EmpowHer Roc helps me with my anxiety. When I am there I realize it’s not that bad to go out of my comfort zone sometimes and it helps with my anxiety” said Aaliyah Dixon, one young participant. 

Aaliyah’s mother, Laura Rodriguez, also noted the growth she’s seen in her daughter, “This group has helped Aaliyah become more confident in herself. Since starting this group, I’ve noticed she has started to come out of her shell to talk to more kids to make new friends. This is the best group I’ve had her in, and we tell everyone!”


Girls and young women with all types of disabilities are welcome to join EmpowHer Roc activities. The next EmpowHer Roc event will be an afternoon of self care and journaling this Saturday, September 23rd. Learn more and RSVP by emailing 




Contact: Sophie Poost at 

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