WELCOME TO BAFOL!
The history on how Booker Autism Foundation of Learning, Inc. (BAFOL) became a synonymous name is rather interesting, but not too far fetch from traditional stories that you read/hear about.
BAFOL was founded in 2012, by The Honorable Reverend Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker and her husband, after she tried for years to obtain treatment services, nontraditional services, and individualized scholastic services for her eldest son (Jeremy) who is Bipolar 1, ADHD, and is on the Spectrum of Autism- she decided to open up a service, herself. At the time, she often relied on private schools, churches, and other agencies to assist her with raising her son. After obtaining her own education in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Holistic and Alternative Methods of treatment, she started searching for ogranizations that had a political stance for Autism. The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker dreamed of a place where applicants for ASD were not judged based on severity of disability, but viewed as a “Child of God” that needs help, and set out to start her own organization. And, by adding her voice to Autism Society of America's organization, it started her out on the correct path towards building a better future for her children and other children like her own children.
She raised funding for Autism Society of America (ASA) through her own personal company at the time (Runway Fashions) that was titled "Runways for ASA," She had a successful fashion show that raised over raised $525.00 towards the 1Power 4 Autism Campaign. But, with everything that she has had to overcome with raising four special needs children, she has never stopped looking for ways to help others keep on dreaming! ASA has been her starting point. And, speaking with individuals like Actress Mrs. Jenny McCarthy Walberg, helped her to keep focused. You can read more about ASA at (http://www.autism-society.org/get-involved/advocacy/). She advocates for them and ASA added BAFOL as a verified member of the Autism community. You can read more about that at this link (http://22.214.171.124/search_site/detail.cfm?program_id=29430). Her dream became the nontraditional, growing, thriving, and respected nonprofit organization Booker Autism Foundation of Learning, Inc. or simply put/said “BAFOL” today!
BAFOL had humble beginnings with a gala in 2012 and no official office; all being conducted from The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker’s home. Initially, she contacted other Autism organizations to partner with in bridging the gap of ASD activities, information, etc., but the organizations wanted a fee to have BAFOL's FREE SERVICES announced on their websites or asked her this question, “Why Are You Trying To Reinvent the Wheel?” The first few years were slow and The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker worked with a small number of families needing ASD support within her own community.
Within a few years, it became evident to The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker that no one seemed to be focusing their attention on an untraditional ARTS Based School or program with public access for young children—for FREE. The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker discovered that most ASD agencies would not work with kids that had no income or insurance to afford the necessary treatments. Or, would give them the time that was needed to see any REAL results. The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker felt a calling to work with these families and with the help of the newly formed website, a few volunteers, she began to let people know she would help regardless of payment. It was at that time, The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker decided to go outside of the local community where BAFOL was started (KY), and acquire assistance from other “Like Minded” individuals who wanted to assist in the Mission and Vision of BAFOL.
The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker had worked in the field of childcare (with children from all walks of life and inabilities), since 1997. She knew personally the struggles of families dealing with various issue that ranged from Sensory Disorders to poverty. In looking at the families that were being offered minimal assistance, she noted that the agencies were not specifically addressing the individualized ART as Education style of learning; without having an open mind. About three years after being founded, while always looking for that perfect volunteers or other organizations to work with for ASD dissemination, The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker came into contact with Actress Mrs. Trisha Mann Grant, who had helped her connect with other celebrities that when she was working with. Like, her husband Actor/Singer Mr. Anthony “Tony” Grant, Actress/Singer Mrs. Shirley Murdock, Actor Mr. Christopher Williams…just to name a few people. With Mrs. Mann-Grant’s assistance, the news of BAFOL’s organization improved dramatically, and the growth on the internet presence skyrocketed.
Several years after starting BAFOL, the physical operation of our program is conducted with third party companies (community centers, churches, parks & recreation facilities, etc.), during the summer breaks. Today, we have a 90% success rate in the placement of our services for the undeserved children in several states. As a matter of fact, did you know that in 2013 after seeing a documentary that followed children and their families that were active in the military, The Honorable Reverend Doctor Lady Jasmine Lynette Booker decided to reach out to the USA Army regarding BAFOL working with them towards Autism Awareness. They were very passionate about and proud to offer their veterans who have lost some of their own independence fighting for the independence of others. As well as, their bands to assist with FREE events that we would host. While many still believe that it’s not possible to run or operate successfully this type of organization, BAFOL has successfully created programs of ART as Educational training. Which, does indeed prove that through the success of our Mission, families can play together and stay together!
Today, our organization, is still 100% volunteer ran and operated (personally funded by Rev. Booker and Mr. Booker), out of several states (KY, IN, GA, TN and growing). The BOOKER'S personal mission, is to provide a program and a place where children who do not fit into the "traditional scholastic service types" and/or who have disabilities (like their son Jeremy), that needs to have FUN , feel at home, blessed, and loved. Keep Psalm 54:4 in your heart.
WE ARE THE BAFOL FAMILY!
The Normandy Building
101 N. 7th Street
Louisville, KY 40202