Applications are currently being accepted for the annual NJCTS Tim Howard Leadership Academy, an intensive four-day program promoting self-empowerment, self-leadership, and resilience for teens living with Tourette Syndrome. The participants, ranging in age from 15 to 17, will train and house at the Busch Engineering, Science and Technology Building on the Piscataway, NJ campus of Rutgers University from August 6 – 9.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by uncontrollable movements known as tics. As many as 1 in 100 people show signs of TS or other tic disorder which is frequently accompanied by mental health disorders including ADHD, OCD, and anxiety.
Created in 2014 in partnership with superstar soccer goalkeeper and TS advocate Tim Howard, the Academy is the only program in the country where participants have the opportunity to learn from neurologists, geneticists, psychologists, social workers, and others about their diagnoses. The teens will also take part recreational activities and smaller “Team Talk” sessions with Academy coaches – young adults with TS with personal experiences to share.
Participants come from throughout the United States and beyond. In past years there has been representation from Canada and as far away as Australia. They share personal experiences about life with TS in a safe environment with other teens who share a TS diagnosis. Many lifelong friendships have started at the Academy.
To qualify for the Academy, applicants must have a TS diagnosis, be able to stay in a dormitory for four days and three nights, and complete an application that includes parent, teacher and doctor input forms. The program is open to teenagers who will be entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school (or equivalent) or just completed their senior year of high school by June 2020. Final applicant interviews will begin in March so those interested are encouraged to get their applications in as soon as possible.
The Academy is free and includes room accommodations and all meals. Learn more about the NJCTS Tim Howard Leadership Academy and request an application at www.njcts.org/academy.
NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS), the nation’s first Center of Excellence for Tourette Syndrome, is a not-for-profit organization committed to the advocacy of children and families with Tourette Syndrome and its associated disorders. Dedicated to delivering high quality services to these individuals, the Center recognizes the importance of educating the public, medical professionals, and teachers about this disorder through programs and affiliations with public schools, health centers, and universities. To learn more about Tourette Syndrome and the programs available from NJCTS, visit www.njcts.org.