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Lilly Abreu with member of Self-Advocacy Voices


Lilly Abreu has been a teacher and mentor of children and adults with disabilities since 2000, when she joined the faculty of The Woodlands Foundation’s first Notes From The Heart music camp.

Self-Advocacy Voices

In 2020, when the Notes From The Heart music camp went to a virtual format because of the pandemic, Lilly perceived that participants in virtual programming were thirsty for more opportunities not only to make music together and see their friends, but also to discuss important issues like self-advocacy, leadership, public speaking and independent living. The potential of each person was clear, if given the opportunity and a platform to flourish.


After brainstorming the idea with Mark Steidl and associates Tina Calabro and Allison Fromm, Lilly founded the Self-Advocacy Voices mentorship incubator program; Anne Alter and Ron Kludo joined the core team shortly after bringing their expertise to the team.

Self-Advocacy Voices logo

Self-Advocacy Voices is a space for adults with disabilities to give voice to their interests and passions through public speaking. Participants select a topic, work with a mentor, and present at a Saturday meeting, along with a guest speaker. The idea is that this program will give the participants the tools to increase their opportunities to attain valued roles within the broader communities of their choice.


Additional benefits are: connections and learning from peers, professionals and mentors; increased self-confidence and self-esteem; increased comfort with public speaking and self-expression; and advancing disability inclusion and awareness in the broader community. Visit the Self-Advocacy Voices website for more information.

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