President & Founder
Nancy Boyer, M.Ed, is the founder and president of Next Step Berks, an organization based in Berks County, Pennsylvania dedicated to serving adults on the autism spectrum and senior citizens. Nancy’s passion for advocacy began more than 20 years ago when her daughter, Vanessa, was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Due to the lack of local support at that time for children with autism, Nancy co-founded a support group for families seeking intensive, science-based, early intervention. Later, she began dreaming about a future community for Vanessa that accepted, supported and authentically included her.
Nancy began her search by looking at national solutions that address the escalating numbers of adults on the autism spectrum who are living without services or housing options. This research led her to the conclusion that families and communities, working as partners, can solve these problems together. Communities in every state have created inspiring solutions that make sense for families in their area. After visiting several impressive sites across the nation, Nancy knew Berks County could be the next to create a successful community of inclusion.
Nancy’s 25 years as an elementary school teacher – 20 of which were served for the Wyomissing Area School District – have helped to prepare her for an advocacy role with Next Step Berks, with strengths in flexibility, multitasking and long-term planning. Her dedication to her teaching career and long-standing commitment to advocacy for autistic individuals show she possesses the dedication needed to serve Next Step Berks. However, her strongest qualification for this position comes from her devotion to Vanessa.