Our Story 

The Maren Fund, Inc. sprang from a personal passion. When my own daughter, Annie, was turning 5 years old I realized that she would need support outside of school to learn how to read and understand math.  The search for help began and, fortunately, through my search and with the support of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis, a friendship developed with Dana Halle and the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County.  


Dana created The Learning Program of Orange County based on years of solid research - it is an evidence-based program created to educate parents on "how" their child with Down syndrome learns.  The Learning Program of Orange County mentored us with materials and information and we began providing Learning Program classes here in St. Louis in 2007 - 12+ years ago!  


We started with a pilot program of 12 children/families, experienced significant growth and elected to create a 501(c)3 in 2011 to allow us to expand the scope of our programs and services. Currently we support over 120+ children/families with 190 enrollees in our multiple programs/services and we continue to expand each year.  It's an exciting time and I hope that you will join us as we continue this great adventure.

"We believe in the academic ability of individuals with disabilities and we support parents, children, and young adults in their educational journey throughout life" 

Our Mission

Proud Partner

The Maren Fund is pleased to be a partner program of The Learning Program of Orange County, supported by the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County.  As a LP Partner, we are better equipped to share methods and strategies for the cognitive development of children with Down syndrome.

Our Team

Julie Williams

Founder & Executive Director


* Funded by a private donation

Maura Foley 

Director, Children's Programs and Services


Shari Max 

Program Manager


Brandie Martine

Administrative Assistant


Cathy Busch

Volunteer Bookkeeper


Our Support

The Maren Fund, Inc. has worked hard to be fiscally responsible: We survive primarily on donations, grants and tuition.

The majority of our administrative support is volunteer, keeping our overhead costs down to 4 percent of our total expenses.

The majority of funds raised or grants received go to support our incredible and highly-skilled teachers and therapists, whom we sub-contract. With low staff turnover, our teachers and therapists have longevity with our program, making our classes highly effective.  

Tuition helps cover our expenses. Our philosophy is that finances should not be a barrier for attending, therefore financial assistance is available as needed and 10% of our budget is set aside for scholarship support.



Grants & Funds

© Copyright 2019 by Maren Fund