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Hope’s Ingredients

Welcome to Hope’s Ingredients, an interactive training tool to support transitioning students and other self-advocates with identifying and following their passions for independent living and meaningful careers.

Hope’s Ingredients was created by Sarah Stup and The Arc of Frederick County. Sarah is an author and advocate with autism. The training begins with one of her powerful essays to motivate people to bring hope into their lives. The essay is followed by a series of questions for participants to answer that will help them identify their hopes and dreams as well as the support they will need to live out their dreams.

The training can be used in group settings or one-on-one. Hope’s Ingredients has been used at self-advocacy events, public schools, colleges, individual planning meetings, and at conferences designed to create the leaders of tomorrow.

At the conclusion of a Hope’s Ingredients training, each participant should leave with a completed Hope’s Ingredients packet. The packet should identify specific hopes and the names of specific people that participants will share their hopes with to make their dreams a reality. Hope’s Ingredients is a starting tool. Success will result by a commitment to truly follow up on what was identified by the participant.

Suggestions for facilitating a Hope’s Ingredients group training session:

  • Each individual should be given their own packet and the facilitator should present the material projected through a Power Point presentation.
  • Each participant should have the appropriate tools to communicate with and the support needed to write their passions in the packet.
  • The facilitator can ask participants to share their answers out loud. It is helpful if the facilitator writes the answers down on large poster paper for all participants to see. Sharing this information among participants often gets other people’s minds rolling, generates excitement, and encourages peer support.
  • Upon completion, a plan of action to pursue the passions identified should be established to ensure that Hope’s Ingredients is put into use.
  • A training session typically takes about two hours for a group of 6-10 people.
  • Snacks and a break time should be incorporated into the session.

Hope’s Ingredients is a time for students and self-advocates to share their wishes. Participants should be encouraged to dream big during the training and not limit themselves. By identifying dreams and supports and collaborating with the community to build partnerships, Sarah and The Arc of Frederick County believe that dreams can become realities.

Hope’s Ingredients is free to download, use, and distribute. We ask that in return for using Hope’s Ingredients you share successes and feedback on the training.

Download the Hope’s Ingredients power point now.
(4.4MB, Requires Microsoft PowerPoint)

by Aaron Stephens, Deputy Director, Arc of Frederick County, Maryland