What We Do
Nature Links for Lifelong Learning is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing educational programs for young adults ages 18 to 30 with middle range intellectual disabilities in the greater Miami area. After finishing high school, these young people have few opportunities to continue developing their unique abilities through further education, job training, or community and social engagement. All too often they have no better option than spending their days at home in front of the TV. Many young adults with disabilities have the capacity to join the workforce but require further development before entering a job training program, and those for whom employment may be out of reach can learn to live more independently, become engaged in their communities, and achieve personal growth. Nature Links programs bridge this gap, guiding youth with unique learning differences and their families through the transition from high school to adult life. Through our programs, students build independent living skills, make friends and community connections, and prepare for jobs or further training. We respond to the individual needs of our students and are creative in forging activities within a curriculum that follows themes based on the natural world. We believe that our environment, both natural and urban, is a unique place for our students to learn models of job readiness, stewardship, and citizenship that benefit both them and their communities. We all learn from each other.
Nature Links President Dr. Gregory Bush started the organization when his daughter with special needs was approaching high school graduation and he found a lack of programs that could serve as a stepping stone for her between high school and the labor force. Concerned about the long-term welfare of his daughter and her friends, he created Nature Links to support and enhance these young adults’ independence through a curriculum that would foster connections with the surrounding community and environment.