The Promise Story
Luke and Betsy Farmer
At the very center of Promise is a group of dedicated parents and family members led by a long-time advocate for children with special needs, Betsy Farmer. Betsy is no stranger to big challenges when faced with limited options for her son, Luke, who has Down syndrome. In 1987, Betsy created the award-winning Space Coast Early Intervention Center, which is now based in Melbourne, Florida. There, children with and without special needs, play alongside each other in a program designed to foster friendships, social acceptance and preparation for school life.
As Luke grew older, Betsy realized that career options for her son were also limited and narrowly defined. Once again, Betsy fought stereotypes and worked with the business community to expand the employment opportunities for individuals with special needs by establishing the Brevard Business Leadership Network. Since it’s inception in 2005, the BLN has provided Luke and dozens of other young adults with the opportunity to learn specific job skills in diverse business environments.
Throughout Luke’s life, Betsy has provided constant encouragement and stimulation, instilling in him an “I can do it” attitude. As friends and family went off to college and began independent lives, Luke wondered when he, too, would be able to “move out and live on his own” like his big brother, Josh.
After researching housing options, it was clear there was no such fun, socially stimulating and safe environment as the type she envisioned for Luke. With that realization, the idea for Promise was born.
Luke and his big brother Josh
The duo began talking with other parents and young adults with special needs and realized there were many families that had similar wants and needs. The Promise design has been a labor of love and will be a place where individuals with special needs can live a life full of opportunities and freedom never thought possible. Promise will be the place that families of the future Promise residents have only dreamed of. They can rest assured that their loved ones with special needs will be taken care of when they are no longer able.
“With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible.”