A Little Help Can Go A Long Way – Spotlight on Sinneave’s Directors Award


What is Sinneave’s Directors Award?

The Directors Award honours the service of both current and previous members of Sinneave’s Board of Directors.

Up to $10,000, a year is available to young autistic adults in Alberta whose financial circumstances may restrict them from accessing experiences or equipment that can support building independence or improving quality of life.

The average award is $1300.

In two years, 12 individuals (ranging in age from 14 to 34) have received The Sinneave Family Foundation’s (Sinneave) Directors Award.

The award has purchased:

  • Driving lessons to support independence
  • Fitness classes to support community engagement and improve health
  • iPads to support communication and learning
  • Photoshop training to build a career as a graphic artist
  • Cell phone to help with scheduling and connecting with friends
  • Computers to help with job searches
  • Household items to support moving out
  • Clothes for work

We asked recipients to send us a sentence or two about what difference the Directors Award has made for them.

Daniel, 29, used the Directors Award to purchase a variety of items. He wrote:

“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be one step closer to achieving my goals of paid employment and preparing for independent living with the Sinneave Foundation Award funds. The money you so generously provided was used to purchase clothing suitable for the workplace environment and to buy furnishings for my first apartment. Thank you for recognizing my efforts in your programs.  I am very grateful.” Daniel added that he is “still not where I want to be yet, but the transition will now be much easier”.

Shawn is 20 and his career goal is to work in the gaming industry. The Directors Award covered the cost of one-on-one instruction in Photoshop. Private lessons “helped Shawn’s anxieties when it comes to keeping up with the classthe instructor tailored the speed of the lessons specifically to Shawn. Shawn, at this time, does not feel that he could attend college because of the classroom size and time restrictions of assignments”. He has not qualified for any other grants or student loans because he is not going to a government-registered school. Shawn’s parents have seen his confidence spike because “he has learned so much – In fact, he may have a lead on a entry level job in the gaming industry because of the skills he’s learned”.  The Director Award “certainly did open the door for Shawn”.

Another recipient sent a note that read, “Back in July, I received the Directors Award with a budget of $1200. With this budget, I was able to successfully purchase a laptop computer as well as some new clothing and transit fare for the month of August. Now that I finally have the time to compose this message, I want to offer my thanks for granting me the funding needed to acquire the laptop that I am writing this message with. It has been of very great use so far and it helps with getting my tasks done well. I could not be any happier.

16 year old, Tessa, received an iPad with communication software. Tessa’s mom reports “the iPad is helping a lot”.

From the examples above, it’s clear Sinneave’s Directors Award is meeting its intention of supporting building independence or improving quality of life. At Sinneave, we recognize that the award must be equally met with recipient’s effort, and we are proud to play a small part in their achievements.

The Directors Award benefits from online donations to Sinneave that are not designated for a specific use. Thank you to everyone that donated to Sinneave in 2019… Your donations made a difference!

Information about the 2020 Directors Award will be posted to Sinneave’s website in early February. In the meantime, if you have any questions, about the Directors Award, please call Amy at 403.210.5000 ext 2035 or email amy.lonsberry@sinneavefoundation.org


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