NAPLES, Florida (August 3, 2022) – The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON) has recently hired Allison Occhionero, a participant of the STARability Foundation’s Trailblazer Academy, to join the Visitor Services team.

STARability is a regional leader in providing innovative, results-driven programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Southwest Florida and beyond. The Trailblazer Academy offers community-based skill development experiences for young adults, whether they are on a path to life enrichment or have vocational aspirations.

Allison has visited CMON during her participation in the Trailblazer Academy for vocational training outings with other trailblazers. She expressed interest in making her role helping at the museum more permanent and worked with the STARability Foundation and CMON to begin the hiring process.

“We are so appreciative of the museum’s employment opportunity for Allison,” said Allison’s family. “CMON’s commitment is a shining example of how companies can make a profound impact on inclusive opportunities and are ready, willing, and able to provide the best employment source. These partnerships are fantastic, and we are grateful for the connection between the STARability Foundation and CMON.”

Since its foundation, CMON has strived to be an inclusive and welcoming organization that encourages positive conversations and the creation of safe spaces for people to be their authentic selves and to learn from one another in service of a rewarding experience and fostering innovative ideas.

CMON and the STARability Foundation partner in several ways, including vocational training through the Trailblazer Academy and CMON’s selling STAR*made Studio’s handmade goods in the museum store. CMON is also proud to offer monthly Exceptional Nights, created specifically for children with physical and/or neurological disabilities, Autism, and other sensory integration disorders. Lighting and sounds are muted, cool-down spaces are available, and participation is limited to keep crowds to a minimum. The whole family is encouraged to attend to make the evening enjoyable and educational for the child.

CMON CEO Jonathan Foerster added, “We are excited to bring both Allison’s talents and her perspective to the CMON team. We hope her hiring will inspire others to explore their potential, including the many neurodiverse children who frequent our museum.”

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About the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON)
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples is a brain-building powerhouse and Southwest Florida’s first museum devoted for children and families to learn through play. With hands-on exhibit galleries, the accessible museum invites visitors of all ages to journey through the swamps of the Everglades, weave through a maze, climb a two-story banyan tree, or experiment with the water play station. Children can become a weather forecaster, a farmer, a chef, a fisherman, an artist, an architect or a veterinarian; explore the cold of an igloo, the whoosh of the wind, the sound of the sea, and the effects of gravity. Throughout the day special activities encourage our guests to get involved, try something new and be energized. CMON offers a variety of interactive exhibits providing kids with education, play, learning, science, technology, engineering, inventions, space exploration, art, math, storybooks, creation, building, sensory, and child development.

Contact: Laura Bright
Chief Advancement Officer
Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples
239-260-1604 |