Heartland woman hopes to empower people with disabilities through continued education

One Metropolis college student is working to make a huge impact on her community
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 5:13 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2023 at 7:50 AM CST
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METROPOLIS, Ill. (KFVS) - A Heartland college student is working to make a huge impact in her community.

She is working with special needs students who have finished high school but are not ready to move forward.

Hadley Stephens is the founder and executive director of Rolling in Faith. She hopes to empower those she works with to make a difference in their neighborhoods.

“It’s just so crucial that there’s these programs reaching out to these Individuals and their families,” said Stephens.

Stephens started the non-profit Rolling in Faith five years ago. It’ll soon expand to add school programs called the Holland House.

Each class could have 15 students. Stephens explained the experience.

In the mornings it will be a college-like experience, where students will have classes such as functional math, functional reading and a Bible class.

One day a week the students will have lunches where they’re able to prepare their own lunches in a fully functioning kitchen with the help of staff and volunteers.

In the afternoons, it’ll be more geared toward their individual goals, community service, outings, field trips and more.

Jaclin Holder, a member of the Rolling in Faith community, and her dad Ted said this is needed in the region.

“It’s really a blessing, truly a blessing,” said Holder.

Volunteers say Stephens’ vision is truly a game changer. Linda Mathis has been by Stephens’ side for several years.

“It’s very critical, ‘cause when they get out of high school, they don’t have anything. And I think it’s very critical in this little small area that they’re able to have a place to go and feel involved and feel important,” said Mathis.

The program is open to anyone in the Heartland.

“It is critical and it’s truly the difference between life being lived the way it’s supposed to and a life of depression, loneliness and anxiety,” said Stephens.

For more information about the class, visit them online.