Walmart Foundation Awards Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress $25K

Press Release ( - Burlington, MA - Aug 02, 2017 - Following a competitive review process, the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress has been selected to receive $25,000 through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to fund expansion of the organization Your Next Star employment initiative.

Your Next Star came about because of the MDSC’s increasing awareness of the challenges facing adults with Down syndrome looking for meaningful work opportunities in their communities. According to the MDSC’s research, employees with Down syndrome and other disabilities typically show more loyalty and lower turnover than their non-disabled peers. And their job performance ratings are the same. But they have drastically higher unemployment rates.

Your Next Star was developed to open the eyes of employers in Massachusetts to the power of people with Down syndrome in the workforce, and help them find the qualified candidates they need.

“We are so grateful for the Walmart Foundation’s wonderful contribution to fund our Your Next Star Program and employment opportunities for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities,” said MDSC Executive Director Maureen Gallagher. “People with Down syndrome have so much to contribute to the workforce  and everyone can relate to the need for good employment opportunities,” Gallagher said.

The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program plays an essential role in the Foundation’s mission to create opportunities so people can live better. The Program provides grants to 501(c)(3) organizations ranging from $25,000 to $200,000, depending on the type of program. The Foundation’s State Giving Program invests in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The Walmart Foundation has a State Advisory Council in each state, made up of Walmart associates representing local communities. Each Council helps identify local needs within its state, reviews all eligible grant applications and makes funding recommendations to the Walmart Foundation. Councils base recommendations on alignment with Foundation focus areas, state or community needs and program eligibility criteria.

“We believe that your organization is doing important work within the communities you serve, and we are proud that we are able to support you in your efforts,” Walmart said in a statement.

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