KEYS is a fundraising and advocacy effort dedicated to advancing the post-secondary options of young people with disabilities.

KEYS is spearheaded by parents, educators and other committed individuals who working to ensure that people with disabilities have increased opportunities and options for life long learning resulting in fulfilling and enriched lives. .

Over 15 years, KEYS has:

  • Raised $416,000, awarded $362,750 in scholarships to 222 individual students;
  • Purchased tablets for time management, job skills development and class assignment completion, 30 students used in classroom for 3 years;

  • Purchased commercial grade copier and shredder for office skills instruction for 30 students; used in classrooms for 8 years;

  • Purchased culinary equipment for culinary instruction for 30 students, used in classrooms for 8 years;

  • Funded life & social skills Summer Institute instruction for 28 young adults & older teens with disabilities in 2017 and 32 young adults & older teens with disabilities in 2018;

  • Purchased commercial grade equipment for coffee shop product and customer service instruction as well as management of money and business instruction;

  • Endowed a scholarship for students with disabilities at Tallahassee Community College;
  • Worked with TCC to create the Eagle Connections Program for students with cognitive disabilities for collegiate, life skills and job skills instruction.

  • Purchased instructional supplies for the Adult & Community Ed Transition programs for the last approximately 7-8 years.

KEYS is a proud not-for-profit partner of the Foundation for Leon County Schools which serves as its fiscal agent.

We could not be more proud of our KEYS Scholars, and we are grateful for the community support that allows these exceptional adults to live meaningful and fulfilling lives.

“Dear KEYS Committee: Thank you so much for awarding me this scholarship. It is much appreciated and I look forward to putting it to use as it helps me reach my ultimate goal to become a social worker.”

Briana • KEYS Scholarship Recipient


Through KEYS’s 15 years of awarding scholarships, the vast majority of our 194 scholars have enrolled in Tallahassee Community College in pursuit of an Associate of Arts degree with many going on to pursue higher degrees.

Adult & Community Education “ACE”
Transition Program

Many students with disabilities working toward a diploma require ongoing support to maintain a life as employed, independent, and active adults! The Transition Program at Lively Technical College helps to ensure a seamless transition from school to independent adult life for young people with disabilities.



KEYS partnered once again with Lively and Leon County Schools to host a six-week Life & Social Skills Summer Institute teaching vital skills including grocery shopping, cooking, hygiene, emotional self-regulation, budgeting, table manners, appropriate behavior in public, use of city buses, and social skills.


KEYS is excited to continue its collaboration with Tallahassee Community College’s Eagle Connections Program, now educating 11 students with cognitive disabilities.


Our Board

KEYS is founded and run by 100% volunteer committee and through donations by a caring community.

Heather Telfer, Co-Chair
Stephanie Whitfield, Co-Chair
Shelby Green, Treasurer
Allison Tant, Chair Emeritus
Lydia Bell
Cindi Goodson
Karen Hickey
Linda Krikorian
Allison Leatzow
Julie McBride
Heidi Metcalf
Mary Petrandis
Laura Redfern
Lillie Thomas
Kristy Ward


KEYS realizes that students with disabilities are underserved and have limited post-secondary opportunities. We know that students with disabilities are skillful learners and want what we all want for ourselves and society — to become vital and contributing adults.