Who would have thought that in 20 short years ago, Thea Furbert would morph from barely knowing what autism was to being lauded for her advocacy on the international stage?
This weekend, the Board Chair of Tomorrow’s Voices, which is located in Bermuda, was the recipient of the International Advocacy Award at the Autism Law Summit which was held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Ms Furbert co-founded Tomorrow’s Voices in 2007 as services were lacking for the families of children who were diagnosed with being on the autism spectrum. Since then, Tomorrow’s Voices has become the face of autism in Bermuda. Ms Furbert has constantly empowered herself and her staff by participating in and offering training opportunities on a regular basis.
Over the years, Tomorrow’s Voices has rendered services to hundreds of families in Bermuda, something Ms Furbert is extremely proud of.
She speaks to SheHub just hours after receiving her award, saying she was shocked to be recognised for her work.
“I had no idea I was going to receive this award. I was surprised and overwhelmed at the time as we are in Bermuda and it’s so small compared to the rest of the world. To be honoured for my contribution in supporting those with autism and developmental disabilities in Bermuda and being internationally recognised for that has been so phenomenal.
“I am in my own little world and I do not even think about people watching what I am doing and so it was an honour to be recognised by those who are movers and shakers, many of whom have assisted in insurance reform in the US. As of this month, all 54 states are covering autism services in some shape or form.
“It was such an honour to be here. Jahnae Harvey, who is the senior therapist at Tomorrow’s Voices, and I attended the Summit and we attended many workshops. It was awesome to hear international speakers discuss what they have done within their communities. We met a number of people who I will continue to grow professional relationships with regarding youth services along with services for teens and young adults.”
Ms Furbert adds: “I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve the families in Bermuda. All that I’ve learned at this Summit will be poured into the people of Bermuda and can assist our board and organisation as a whole. We are hoping there can be reform so that there can be changes in the lives of the children and young people affected by autism so that they can became great people in our island community. I was proud to be a part of the event this weekend. It has touched me enough to advocate more for the children in the island.”