Tarik and Stevenson

“Most Generous, Kind, and Gentle Soul”

Our chairperson Tarik S. Khan, CRNP, was profiled in the “Life is Good” Heroes section!

Check it the story here: http://content.lifeisgood.com/generous-kind-gentle-soul/

My son Tarik Khan is the most generous, kind, and gentle soul. He is a nurse practitioner who volunteered several times in Haiti in medical clinics. There, he discovered no school programs for children with disabilities. He organized other volunteers to raise money and support an existing school by hiring a staff to create programs for children with disabilities. This is a 501(c)(3) organization. Every penny goes to the children for teachers salaries, books, therapists and 2 meals a day since the children initially were all undernourished. Learn more about Enabling Minds. Thank you.  – Patricia K.

See More Heroes or Honor Yours


Enabling Minds is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt non-profit whose mission is to improve the lives of persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in underserved regions throughout the world by promoting acceptance and inclusion. We began with a group of friends who share a common interest in helping less fortunate people around the world. Some of the friends in our group were involved in providing on-the-ground medical assistance to those affected by the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and had developed an affinity for the people and the culture of Haiti.


Thank you for a Wonderful Spring 2016 Fundraiser!!

Our spring fundraiser was held on Saturday May 14th at the home of our friend Gloria del Piano in Germantown, Philadelphia. We raised enough funds to support the full education and board of ten students with developmental disabilities for an entire year of classes!

Our event featured delicious homemade and restaurant prepared foods, appetizers, drinks, and even Enabling Minds cupcakes!
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Included in our silent auction items was an autographed copy of “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” tickets to sports, museum, and entertainment events, handmade crafts from Haiti, and a Vera Bradley Gift set.




We honored two individuals, Rana Baig and Patricia Khan! Rana and Pat’s efforts over the past several years helped Enabling Minds fund the education for 40+ students! Thank you Rana and Pat!!



Thank you all of the friends who helped make the evening a success including Gloria Del Piano, Marco Barbesta, Tracy Hagan, Fatima Baig, Arjun Pradeep, Azar Nafizi, and Ubah Ali. And thank you to the businesses who donated items for our silent auction: Late Show with Stephen Colbert tickets, Arnold’s Family Fun Center, Philadelphia Art Museum, Nancy Morozin at The Dining Car, The Philadelphia 76ers, AMC Theaters, Mackenzie Hilton at Time Restaurant, Dave and Busters on Columbus Boulevard, Trenton Thunder, National Constitution Center, Sesame Place, Philadelphia Flyers, funphillytours.com, Shriner’s Taffy, Johnson’s Popcorn, Penns Woods Winery, Brazilian Wax and Spa by Claudia of Manayunk, Requisite Fitness of East Falls, Longwood Gardens, Vera Bradley, Chaddsford Winery, and Farha Ali Photography!



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Thank you to everyone who supported us this evening to make our 2016 Spring Fundraiser a HUGE success!

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See our Students In Action- Thank you Chloe!

This month one of the teachers at the St. Charles Borromeo School was featured in a 2-minute video about her experiences in Haiti. Chloe Dirou is a teacher who is volunteering her year to teach French to the students at the St. Charles Borromeo School. Chloe has done a lot to support our students, and the second-half of this beautifully shot video features our students with their big brothers and big sisters and at the beach, where they spent one day this winter. Click here to see the video! 

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March 2016: Enabling Minds’ Students Participate in the 5th Annual Clinic Community Run!

On the first Saturday of March 2016, many of Enabling Minds’ students joined in the Medical Missions of Haiti’s 5th Annual Clinic Community Run. Social stigmas are one of the major challenges faced by persons in Haiti with developmental disabilities, and these beliefs unfortunately end up keeping these individuals hidden by their families and ignored by society. There are also perceptions that these individuals are incapable of achieving anything, and as a result they are excluded from schools, the workforce, and events in the community.

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On this bright sunny Saturday morning, our students lined up with their big brothers and big sisters and the rest of the community in anticipation for the start of the race. Many of our students had been looking forward to this event for weeks, and were eager to participate in the run with their adopted big siblings!


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They didn’t know many of the other people at the race, and many in the community had never seen a person with a wheelchair or with any disability joining in a race. But together they stood, with their running shoes and registration bibs tied, lined up and set for the race that lie ahead.

Erin Cottos, physical therapist, and long-time volunteer organizer of the Clinic Community Run observed, “We had over 200 participants in multiple races.”

“It brought my heart joy to see the smiles on these faces as they ran/walked through the streets,” Erin added.

Our students ran valiantly through the grassy plain of the start, through the dusty streets, and back around through the farmland on the seminary grounds.

Their big buddies ran hand-in-hand with them, so that they could accomplish their goal of completing the race with each other.

They crossed the finish line together, many with broad smiles and laughter.

Some were still breathless as they received their certificates, and they joined their fellow residents of the city of Croix-des-Bouquets as they basked in the glow of achievement.

Thank you to Erin Cottos, Dr. Dorsaint, Sister Gloria, Medical Missions of Haiti, our donors, and everyone who made these moments possible for our students!

How You Can Help

Enabling Minds’ students with developmental disabilities at St. Charles Borromeo School are completely funded through donations. A donation of $25 will sponsor a student’s education for one month (including dance and Special Olympics activities, school breakfast and lunch), and $300 will sponsor a student in school for the entire year. We still have a few students who need to be funded so they can complete the school year! All donations are 100% tax deductible and any amount is greatly appreciated. Help us give the gift of an education to a student in need!

Kindly visit: www.enablingminds.com/donate
Enabling Minds Tax ID: 46-5226427

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Winter 2016: Enabling Minds Class Trip to the Beach!

Do you remember your first time seeing the ocean? For many of our students, their first time experiencing the ocean was in late February 2016 when Enabling Minds took a field trip to the beach!

Erin Cottos, a physical therapist Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis and volunteer on the trip noted, “It was priceless to watch their faces as many saw the beach for the first time.”

Back in 2014, Enabling Minds students visited the magnificent pool at the Kaliko Beach Club near Haiti’s western shore. As an added benefit to our students, Sister Gloria Ines Ramirez, the school superintendent and administrator of our program, tries to arrange at least one major field trip for our students each year.

Erin, who also works with many our students in her role as a physical therapist, added “There was lots of smiles, laughter and pure joy on the faces of everyone as we enjoyed this time together.”

Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 1 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 4 Orville at the BeachEnabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 2 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 3 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 8 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 6 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 7 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 9 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 12 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 11 Johnsly and Erin at the beach Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 11 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 20 Sister Consuelo at the Beach Getting ready to jump in! Beach Guy 3Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 12 Enabling Minds Students Day at the Beach 5

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Enabling Minds’ Students Celebrate Carnaval!

Carnival 2016 3Last month, Enabling Minds’ students with disabilities and their big brothers/big sisters joined together one morning to enjoy the Haitian holiday of Carnaval! To begin the day, the children and their big siblings watched the inspirational French film “All Our Strength.” This movie, based on a true story, tells the story of a child named Julian who uses a wheelchair for ambulation. Julian challenges his father to compete with him in the grueling Ironman Triathlon in Nice, France. In the film, the entire family rallies around the father and son so that they can achieve this incredibly challenging feat.

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The students and their big siblings enjoyed “All Our Strength.” We showed this film to teach the students and their big brothers and sisters the unlimited possibilities of persons with disabilities, and that great potential can result when they work together. This movie was primer for this weekend, the first weekend of March 2016, when the children and their big siblings will join hand in hand to complete in a race in the community!
After the film, clad in fancy masks and white dress, the students with disabilities and their big brothers/sisters participated in Carnaval! The school-wide Carnaval celebration consisted of dances, songs and music by the students in the schoolyard, and was presented for their families, who looked on with pride.

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By the smiles on the children’s faces, it was clear that the students were delighted to share the day with their big brothers/big sisters and their families. It was beautiful to see moments of collaboration and unity after the Carnaval program that day, and to see the growing between Enabling Minds’ students and their big brothers and sisters!

How You Can Help. . . 
Enabling Minds’ students at St. Charles Borromeo School are completely funded through donations. A donation of $25 will sponsor a student’s education for one month, and $300 will sponsor the education of a student for the entire year. We still have 16 students who need to be funded so they can complete the school year! All donations are 100% tax deductible and any amount is greatly appreciated. Help us give the gift of an education to a student in need!

Kindly visit: www.enablingminds.com/donate
Enabling Minds Tax ID: 46-5226427

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Our Students Now Have Big Brothers and Big Sisters on Their Side!

From the beginning, Enabling Minds’ students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have been accepted by their peers at school. Our students have also helped to change perceptions of persons with disabilities, and are a source of pride for their school and amongst their fellow students. Now many of our 45 students have the support of “big brothers” and “big sisters!”

Our Big Brother, Big Sister Program. . .

In the fall of 2015, an effort to maximize the growth of and opportunities for our students with developmental disabilities led to the launch of our Big Brother, Big Sister program. This program matches up local high school students and our students with disabilities. These high school students first attend sensitivity training so they can learn about students with disabilities. Then, they are then paired with their little brother or little sister.

Once matched, the big brother/big sister spends approximately two hours a week with their partner to do an activity or to play a game. Each high school student will also organize a game for their younger “sibling,” taking into account their physical and intellectual limitations. These may include reading activities, puzzles, music, sports, painting, or other creative activities. The big brother/ big sisters are also invited to one or more field trips with their little brother/sister so they can bond and help build a genuine relationship together.

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Our big sisters/brothers placed their hand painting print next to their little sisters/brothers to symbolically mark their collaboration together this year.

At the conclusion of the school year, high school students in this program will complete an assignment in both written and spoken French about their experiences. They will articulate what this program has meant to them and their little brother/sister and how this program has changed their perceptions of people with disabilities.

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Christelle and Herold (pictured right) in class

Objectives of the Big Brother, Big Sister Program:

• Establish thoughts, dialogues, debates, and discussion around the theme of ability/disability
• Establish role models for the younger students as they attempt to build their autonomy and practice good behavior
• To sensitize the older students to disability awareness and learn how to relate to student peers and other persons with disabilities
• To create lasting bonds between each big brother/sister and little brother/sister sibling

Click here to read our interactive report!

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How You Can Help. . .

Enabling Minds’ students at St. Charles Borromeo School are completely funded through donations. A donation of $25 will sponsor a student’s education for one month, and $300 will sponsor the education of a student for the entire year. All donations are 100% tax deductible and any amount is greatly appreciated. Help us give the gift of an education to a student in need!

Kindly visit: www.enablingminds.com/donate
Enabling Minds Tax ID: 46-5226427

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Enabling Minds has achieved the “Gold Participation Level” for non-profit organizational transparency from GuideStar®


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Spring 2015: We did it!!

Linda5Mission accomplished!! We have fully funded classes for the rest of the 2014-2015 year for our students in Haiti! Because of your gracious support, we have funded the education of 32 students with developmental disabilities this year, most of whom are going to school for the first time in their lives!! We have also raised 15% of what is needed for next year’s classes! Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated. If you would like to help us continue to fund our 2015-2016 class, please visit www.enablingminds.com/donate

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Recap of 2014: A great year for our students!

2014 was a great year for Enabling Minds. We finished our first school year in June with 22 children with developmental disabilities going to school (most of whom were going for the first time in their lives!). In September our students resumed classes, and we also inspired Sister Gloria, superintendent of St. Charles Borromeo School in Croix-des-Boquets to begin a new class for children with developmental disabilities at another school that she oversees in Corail, Haiti!  This year Enabling Minds also became a tax-exempt non-profit!

I also wanted to take a moment to let you know how your past support has helped our friend Stevenson. . .

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When I met Stevenson on his first day of school at St. Charles Borromeo School in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti in October 2013, he was tentative, quiet, and shy. Even though it was Stevenson’s first time in school setting, it was clear to the volunteers and staff that Stevenson was a special child. He had an easy smile, and seemed to be perpetually upbeat. Although malnutrition is extremely common in Haiti, twice during that week Stevenson offered another volunteer and I his entire pack of crackers and bottle of fresh water that was sent over to school for him from his orphanage.

When I returned to the school in January 2014, Stevenson seemed to be a different person. The apprehension around the other students without disabilities was gone. He had made so much progress that he was integrated into a general education classroom. In pictures, he no longer hid his hands, which were affected by a congenital condition that left him without fingers or toes. Stevenson was confidently writing words on the chalkboard in front of the whole his classroom, and was enthusiastically thrusting himself into his Special Olympics games.

Stevenson Special Olympics

This fall, Sister Gloria wrote to me to say that Stevenson was continuing to thrive in his new classroom. She also noted that through our partnership with Special Olympics, Haiti, Stevenson was invited to compete in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, CA next July!!

The educational success of Stevenson and other students with developmental disabilities is made possible because of the support of donors like you. Enabling Minds is entirely supported by financial gifts by donors, and the money we raise goes to our entirely to our project in Haiti. We take no salaries, and our visits to the school in Haiti are self-financed.

In the past month we have raised $4,000 and are we are now only $5,500 away from fully funding this year’s project in Haiti for children with developmental disabilities! Click here to make a donation to our classroom: www.enablingminds.org/donate 

All gifts to Enabling Minds are graciously appreciated, and 100% tax-deductible. $25 a month will sponsor the tuition of a student like Stevenson for the year, and $50 will sponsor a student’s tuition AND school breakfast and lunch for the entire year.
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Thank you for being a part of this!

With gratitude,

Tarik S. Khan, RN, CRNP
Founding Member and Chairperson
Enabling Minds


Trip to Kalico Beach Club

On January 24th , 2014 the students in our program at the St. Charles Borromeo school in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti took a class trip to the Kalico Beach Club in Arcade, Haiti. Robert Amir Berry made a phone call and arranged to have our children visit the pool at the beach club free of charge and after some planning from Sister Gloria and funding from Enabling Minds, we chartered a bus and went!

At 7:30AM we loaded up the bulky white bus with food, drinks and snacks, and 21 animated students, many of whom brought along a parent as a chaperone. Amanda, Amir and Tarik from Enabling Minds joined the students, most of whom had never to a pool or had gone swimming before.

During the bus ride to the resort we sang some of the songs the students learned in their class, ate snacks, and enjoyed the sights of the countryside and the warm fresh air that gently drifted in through the open windows. When we arrived at the beach club, our students curiously descended down the long driveway that lead to the retreat. The bright blue pool that awaited us was framed with comfortable lounge chairs, and was partially shaded by tall palm trees. In the background, cheerful contemporary Haitian music played.

The students enjoyed their day off by wading in the pool, playing in the water, catching horseback rides on the shoulders of the volunteers and staff, and lounging in the shade. In the afternoon our group enjoyed a picnic lunch which including rice, stewed chicken, and orange Tang. As the day came to a close, we headed back to Croix-des-Bouquets. Patrick, the music/dance teacher, played his drum

and lead us in song, while Gerline displayed her musical prowess on the whistle. It was a

great day filled with smiles, laughter, and happiness!