Wish comes true for 15-year-old to attend Camp Allyn in Batavia

Ja’Shawn Evans (left) poses with his new bike, which was delivered to his home by Joe Pintueles (right) of Montgomery Cyclery. Ja’Shawn was nominated by Stepping Stones for the United Way/Cincinnati Enquirer Wish List program.

For 15-year-old Ja’Shawn Evans, it’s shaping up to be a summer of surprises.

Thanks to the generosity of fellow Cincinnatians, Ja’Shawn received a new bike and will be attending a week-long “staycation” camp at Stepping Stones this summer. Ja’Shawn, who has Down syndrome, was nominated by Stepping Stones to be a part of the United Way/Cincinnati Enquirer Wish List program. A 30+ year tradition, the Wish List is an annual campaign that solicits donations from Enquirer readers to fund “wishes” for area individuals and families in need.

Ja’Shawn lives with his mom, Shawntel, and younger siblings Jasmine, James and Anthony in Over the Rhine. He will be a ninth grader at Clark Montessori High School in the fall. Ja’Shawn’s family also received a gift card through the Wish List program to purchase needed household items such as bedding and pots and pans.

“Ja’Shawn loves his new bike. He really needed it,” Shawntel Evans said. “He can’t wait to go to camp. He’s looking forward to making friends, being in nature, the arts and crafts. We are so thankful that there are people who took the time out to do this for us.”

Ja’Shawn will attend an outerspace-themed week of camp for teens with disabilities ages 12 and older. The six-day session will be hosted at Stepping Stones’ 47-acre Allyn Campus in Batavia, which is owned by the Rotary Club of Cincinnati. Stepping Stones’ overnight camps feature theme-based art projects and challenges, swimming, boating, hiking, archery, putt-putt-golf, cooking, and more. Other weeks’ themes include art, magic, movies, “myth busters,” rock music, and more. Registration currently is open for Stepping Stones’ summer programs, which run through August 3.

Stepping Stones is a United Way partner agency serving more than 1,000 people with disabilities in day and overnight programs that increase independence and promote individual success. The 55-year-old agency provides educational, recreational and social programs at locations in Batavia, Indian Hill, Monfort Heights and Norwood. For more information: www.SteppingStonesOhio.org.