Prominent Disability Rights Advocate Has Passed On.

Photo of Laurie Hoirup.

Laurie Hoirup March 14, 1956 - July 4, 2016

Laurie Hoirup was born March 14th, 1956 in Springfield Illinois. Born to Dorothy and Arthur Loser. At 18 months old, doctors diagnosed her with Duchene's a rare type of muscular dystrophy with a short life prognosis. Laurie survived past the predicted age of 2. Then at 4 years of age, she eventually was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type II. She started grade school, got her first wheelchair at the age of 6, and like all her friends, she hated doing all her chores. She climbed trees being hoisted with ropes by her girlfriends to the tree house, was carried down mountains, swam, horseback rode, camped and hiked. Laurie started high school and continued making lifelong friendships. She did, and experienced all the crazy high school shenanigans of her peers, enjoyed her Camaro, boys, dances and shopping. Her friends did all her personal care at school and helped make a normal life for her. Laurie excelled in both Mingus Union and Richmond Burton High. She attended Arizona State University

Where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and San Diego State University where she received a Master’s degree in Rehabilitative Counseling and was named the Student of the Year. She also received all her teaching credentials and was a substitute teacher for several years. During this time, along with being a living example of creativity and teamwork, she often made Disability Awareness presentations to her students. She married John Rainey and had again surpassing all medical expectations and barriers, had 2 children, Chad William and Jillian Amber Rainey. She took off work to be a stay at home mother for a short time. Laurie divorced in 1988 and soon met the man of her dreams Jacob Ralph Hoirup Jr (JR) in 1990. Laurie was very active in her SMA conferences as well as fundraising walks. Laurie dealt with many hardships as a child, accessibility challenges, issues with independent living, discrimination and a progressing disability. That never stopped her. Laurie worked at Community Access Center in Riverside from 2002-2006 as a Program manager and eventually became the Executive Director. She was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve as Deputy Director of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities from 2006-2008 and then was made Chief Deputy Director from 2008-2011. As a prominent disability advocate, she empowered and touched so many lives. Laurie served on several committees including the California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) Planning Committee and many school committees, at the time of her passing she was the President of the Association of California State Employees with Disabilities (ACSED) and the North California Publishers and Authors (NCPA). She retired early as her health was declining. Laurie wrote a first place award winning Memoir about her life, "I Can Dance..My Life with a Disability" followed by her children’s book "Being Different is Okay”. Her sequels will soon follow.

Laurie always said, “Get out and do what you love, even if it has to be modified because you have to be a risk taker to get old and enjoy the people and world around you." Laurie Hoirup departed this life doing what she loved most and surrounded by her family and friends on July 4th, 2016. She is survived by her husband JR, mother Dottie, half-brother Artie, two children Chad and Jillian, and her 4 grandchildren; Michael, Liam, Jeremiah, Tobias. Her Legacy will Continue.

Donate to Cal YLF…

Donations to the Sustainability Fund for the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF) are requested in Laurie’s memory. She was dedicated to helping youth with disabilities become employed and self-fulfilled adults who are able to advocate for their own needs as well as give back to their communities. In addition, she served on the YLF Planning Committee and encouraged ACSED to support YLF and her daughter, Jillian, has worked at YLF in various capacities.

Memorial Service:
Come show your love and support to Laurie and her family! This is a Celebration of Life for the impact Laurie had on so many lives! Enjoy some refreshments, laugh, cry and remember the good times. Sign language interpreters and captioning will be available.

Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 1:00pm
The Old Sugar Mill Winery
35265 Willow Ave, Clarksburg, CA 95612

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Invest in Youth – Tomorrow's Leaders
250 by 25!

A Message From the Alumni of the YLF Project

As alumni of YLF, we are committed to making sure that all high school students have the opportunity that we had participating in this innovative, effective project.

What is YLF?

YLF is a unique program created to empower and significantly enhance the personal, academic, and career potential of young people with disabilities through leadership development, resource identification and peer mentoring – ultimately making our communities and world better for all. It uses adult role models, especially project alumni, to show students how to effectively transition to meaningful careers, independent living and civic engagement. Originally created in California in 1992, YLF has been shared and is now in more than 25 states and territories.

Why We Need You

In 2016 we will celebrate our 25th year of THE CALIFORNIA YOUTH LEADERSHIP FORUM FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (YLF). Thousands of alumni of the project describe it as their most life-changing experience ever. This unique, critical project needs to be shared with all young people with disabilities but may be in jeopardy due to increased competition for other services.

What Will Your Support Accomplish?

Expand our services to more youth, including creating: regional trainings, career focused trainings in critical career areas such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Healthcare Services, Finance and the arts; employment internships and mentorships. We will be able to accomplish these goals by administering future activities under a private nonprofit dedicated to serving youth.

Our Goal

We plan to raise $250,000 by 2016 – our 25th project year. Please join us and invest in youth – tomorrow's leaders. While we need 1000 people to give $250 to meet our goal, donations of any amount are welcomed and appreciated.

Make a Donation to YLF!
Watch Our YLF Delegate Video!