MECS Programs

HIP Kids!

The Hidden Inspirations Project (HIP) helps to establish social networks and family support systems through a program that merges music (universal language), science (brain and body functions), socio-medical presentations (Aspergers Syndrome) and social sensitivity (to accept and respect differences in others). HIP Kids conducts meetings once a month, and all are welcome to join! For more information on HIP Kids, or to schedule a presentation for your group or school, contact us

Click here to read about the President of HIP Kids!

Social Ambassador Scholarship

MECS believes that differently abled students should be able to reach their full potential through education. That’s why we offer the Social Ambassador Scholarship program, established in 2009 with funding from The Stafford Foundation (TSF). Each year, scholarships are given to students has managed medical challenges and contributed to the development of the HIP Kids Project. Last year, we gave scholarships to a male student with chronic asthma and allergies at Bowie State and to a female student with Crohn's Disease at Winston Salem State University. This year, Trenton and Tatia presented two scholarships to Gwynn Park High School seniors. One student manages Atrial Septal Disorder (a congenital heart disorder) and another student manages Crohn's Disease. If you would like to apply, please contact Tatia Gilstrap.

Other Community Programs

MECS is committed to not only fostering a great environment for better peer understanding of differently abled youth through our programs, but also helping to connect teens with the resources they need. Please check out the descriptions below for links to some great community-based organizations that share our mission!

HSC Foundation, a long-standing disability advocacy organization in the District, has opened the National Youth Transitions Center, a one-stop shop with a variety of services aimed at people with disabilities and injured veterans, ages 14 to 26. HSC also offers several awards – check out their website to apply! 

The HSC Pediatric Center, located in North East Washington, DC,  is a result of a partnership between HSC and the Children's National Medical Center, and is focused on providing the best possible care for children with special health care needs. Many hospitalized patients are able to see medical specialists from CNMC right at HSC, without the need to travel from one hospital to the other. Dr. Joette James in the Neuropsychology Department is a great resource for those with hidden disabilities. More information is available here.

Check out the Prince George's County website for a list of early childhood programs offered by PG county schools, including special education services. 

Resource Connections of Prince George's County partners with people who are authorized for services by the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). They provide eligibility assistance, case management, resource coordination, and support of each person's goals and dreams.

The Arc is a large grassroots organization committed to the welfare of people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc of Prince George's County is one of over 700 Arc chapters nationwide. The Arc provides support through a variety of programs and services that match each person or family's individual needs, to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are given the skills, access, and information they need to fully participate as citizens in their communities.

The Epilepsy Foundation, headquartered in Landover, Maryland,  works to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; to improve how people with epilepsy are perceived, accepted and valued in society; and to promote research for a cure. Their website provides a long list of resources and educational materials.

DC Autism Parents (DCAP) is a non-profit organization created by parents of children with autism for parents of children with autism. It offers a variety of programs for parents and youth with autism. 

The Maryland Coalition for Families for Children’s Mental Health (MCF) grew out of the joint effort and commitment of eight family and advocacy organizations: each working on behalf of children with mental health needs and their families. MCF believes that children and youth with behavioral health needs are valued and require individualized services to achieve their full potential. MCF provides a variety of services, and a list of resources is available on their website

The Children's Guild is a nonprofit, child-serving organization dedicated to serving children and adolescents with trauma disorders, who have been traumatized by life experiences or who have autism spectrum disorder and/or multiple disabilities in Maryland and Washington D.C. Founded in 1953, The Children's Guild has become one of the largest providers of special education, group living, treatment foster care and family mental health services in Maryland. They offer special education day schools for kids aged 3 to 21, in Baltimore City and Prince George's county. Check out their website for more programs! 

The Mason LIFE Program, hosted through George Mason University, is an innovative post-secondary program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who desire a university experience in a supportive academic environment.