Drinking coffee with friends around the kitchen table, Virginia Eernisse pitched her idea of support for people with disabilities to gain a place in the workplace, earn money and exercise control over their own resources. A founding board member of Imagine Enterprises, a 501c3 organization, Virginia spent countless volunteer hours as the keeper of the organization’s vision “where all people, including those with significant support needs, are respected, valued and provided opportunity in the community and the workplace.” Today, Imagine Enterprises holds true to the vision, providing support so that others may achieve self-determination.
The Virginia Eernisse Voice Scholarship honors her incredible contributions to people with intellectual, developmental, and/or psychiatric disabilities throughout Texas. The scholarship will provide individual support to a self-advocate to achieve a personal or community advocacy goal. This can include training, equipment, going to a class or conference. Or, some of Virginia’s favorite activities such as getting the support needed to visit state legislators, transportation and personal assistance to a community rally for rights and services, or cover the expenses of a conference so a self-advocate can present a workshop.
Contributions to Imagine Enterprises designated for the Virginia Eernisse Voice Scholarship will build an endowment to provide annual scholarships. This year, an individual contribution is already funding two scholarships to the Texas Advocates Conference, August 3-5, 2018 in Grapevine, www.texadvocates.org.