May marks a bittersweet moment as STARS bids farewell to a visionary leader, David Henderson, whose compassionate stewardship has left an indelible mark on the organization and the hearts of all who have had the privilege of knowing him.

David Henderson, retiring President & CEO of STARS, reflects on his tenure with humility and gratitude. “I was privileged to be CEO when STARS celebrated its golden anniversary,” David recalls. “There were times during the pandemic where STARS future was uncertain, so it was an honor to stand with founder, Mary King, and toast the historic occasion.”

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Las Madrinas

Mary King’s world unexpectedly came to a crashing halt one Saturday as she attended a high school speech and debate competition. An advisor and high school teacher in California, she frequently attended these events and was prepared for another day buzzing with activity. Amid the throng of excited students and teachers, the STARS visionary caught the glance of a familiar face. It was her neighbor, who informed her that her young son Miles was involved in an accident. Her then husband was with him at the hospital.

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Give The Gift Of Joy!


STARS was honored and privileged to be recognized for its work along with the Civitan Foundation at the 2024 East Valley Prayer Breakfast held on April 16, 2024. Hosted by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, our President and CEO, David Henderson, and our CIE participant, Erik G. were able to share their experiences with the attendees and communicate a message of dignity, hope and opportunity.

Thank you to all of our invited guests: Jennifer Settles, Marcia Chiariello from U-Haul, KC McLane from Canteen, Jayme Ambrose of Adobe Health and Wellness and our Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Rock Stars Erik G. and Jackson S. Thank you as well to our STARS employees Tom Kowalczyk, Kris Chilvers, Jess Gestrin, Chad Oldenburg, and Baylee Lane and to our long-time and visionary leader David Henderson.

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The Development team was privileged to present our mission to the Apache Junction City Council. Mayor Chip Wilson graciously extended the opportunity for us to discuss potential partnerships aimed at supporting adults with I/DD within the city.

We express our heartfelt gratitude to Eli Richardson, City Manager Bryant Powell, Mayor Chip Wilson, Vice Mayor Robert Schroeder, and all esteemed members of the Apache Junction City Council for their receptiveness and engagement.

In April, our Day Training For Adults (DTA) participants enthusiastically embraced the challenge of hunting down Easter eggs. Thanks to the meticulous efforts of the STARS’ Direct Support Professionals, the eggs were cleverly concealed in strategic locations, prompting participants to search diligently to uncover each hidden gem!

When someone is eager to join the Arizona workforce but requires support due to cognitive or developmental challenges, STARS CommunityWork is ready to help them achieve their dream of securing a job that not only comes with a paycheck but also provides a meaningful day-to-day routine.  Join us for an eye-opening tour on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 10-11am at the Osborn Campus to experience our CommunityWork program in action!

What to expect on a tour? During the CommunityWork tour, you’ll see how we work closely with both our community partners and participants, ensuring we get the job done. You’ll get a glimpse of the entire process, from intake to assembly, quality control, and back to our community partners. It’s a hands-on experience of how we operate together to achieve our goals.