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27 Reviews
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June 30, 2011

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June 30, 2011

I have been involved with UCP for several years. I've seen the organization grow by leaps and bounds, helping more and more families every day. The board is engaged and supportive of the innovative ideas that have made UCP so impactful in our community. UCP is respected and looked upon as a leader in the non-profit sector. The staff at UCP has a work ethic unlike I have ever seen. These executives, teachers, therapists, accountants and support staff are admirable. I look up to them. Yes, they create miracle for families minute by minute. To me, that is expected. What is not expected is their amazing level of stick-to-it-tive-ness and their never give up attitude. Budget cuts, poor economies, competitive hiring environments, you name it - these people are strong willed and committed. When you see that, it gives you faith and belief in the work that they do, not just in the faces of the beautiful children, but in the team that makes the miracles happen.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping my community by serving on the Board and as Board Chair. It's a level of pride that is hard to describe.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more money and force the government officials to spend time with our teachers, parents and children so they would make better decisions for the future of our state.

June 29, 2011

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June 29, 2011

The hard work and dedication provided by UCP staff on behalf of the children of Central Florida is second to none! The way in which the staff approaches each individual child’s needs allows the child to develop at their own pace while remaining with their peers. The staff includes the families in every aspect of learning. As a board member, I have been so impressed at the way UCP handles “inclusion”. Children are learning at an early age that “everyone matters” and that everyone should be afforded the opportunity to live productive lives and be a valued part of society. I am proud to be a member of this board!
Terry

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

During each board meeting we receive a progress report on one or more children. I have see children that have come to the organization being told that they would never walk and through the hard work and dedication of the staff have walked across the stage at graduation!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not make changes to the work being done at the centers, however I would provide more funding so they could reach more children!

June 29, 2011

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June 29, 2011

What I love most about UCP is that its tireless staff and administration never forgets that the organization's biggest accomplishments are helping children reach significant milestones. Everytime I am involved with a UCP meeting, activity or event I hear amazing stories about the incredible progress that the children make at school. I am proud to a part of UCP.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My experiences with UCP has led to my own personal growth. UCP helps me put things in perspective and reminds me the importance of giving.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to fill every seat in the classroom!

June 28, 2011

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June 28, 2011

My wife introduced me to UCP when she was a physical therapist for the organization. I had the opportunity to meet other's she worked with and there was one common theme with everyone I met....., they cared. Beyond the job and beyond what was asked of them they truly cared about those they treated.

There was countless stories of parents who were told their child would not walk, talk or complete simple tasks before coming to UCP but after a few months at UCP they were seeing miracles come into motion before their eyes.

Seeing these examples first hand made me want to get involved and help the organization however my skills and time could.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through joining UCP at activities in their classrooms including Book Buds. The teachers were amazing and kept the children engaged and included in everything that was going on. Therapist could enter the classroom and work with the children all while these activities were going on. The commitment to the children was awe inspiring and the environment showed the power of a team working together to fully engage a child with special needs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to help them grow further so everyone in our community with a need can gain from the services UCP offers.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

June 27, 2011

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June 27, 2011

My first introduction toUCP of Central Florida came through a professional colleague. He told me that the organization was unlike any he had ever had the pleasure of serving and that the Executive Director, Ilene Wilkins was an amazing person - both professionally and personally.

My
first visit was to tour their Administrative Offices and the Child Development Center located in downtown Orlando. Shortly after my arrival on site, the fire alarm sounded. The reaction of the UCP staff was immediate and focused - anyone who had arms was to pick up a child. Since I qualified, I did as I was instructed and picked up a 7 month old Down syndrome child who quickly wrapped his arms tightly around my neck (and my heart). The patience, professionalism and total dedication of the UCP staff on that very rainy day struck me. Their sole focus was on the safety of their 'kids' and nothing, not even their own personal safety, could deflect that focus. We all stood outside in a cold, pouring rain for nearly an hour while firemen checked every inch of the building. The staff sang songs to soothe the children; they checked every child individually and gave their own sweaters/coats to protect the children.

I have long been an advocate that staff professional responsibility, dedication and reliability is a direct reflection of management. In this case, however, I quickly realized that the staff did not display the conduct they did only because their management trained them well, but also, and possibly more so, because they truly love the children they so carefully and conscientiously care for. I am truly blessed and honored to serve these wonderful people as a member of their Board.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing personally the success their therapies, counseling and loving care have had on children who attend their campuses. One such child has, in a few short years, gone from being totally noncommunicative to singing in front of thousdands of fans at a natioanlly-ranked basketball team's basketball games.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Improve their internal and external communications.

June 27, 2011

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June 27, 2011

Since coming on the Board in 1988, I have seen the most remarkable transition from a two-story building to six flourising centers, which serve the children of Central Florida. The tireless dedication these staff members have to the children is incredible. I do believe in miracles, since I have seen so many over my long tenure with this organization.
Dr. Ilene Wilkins and her staff do an amazing job keeping this organization one of the most respected in our area. If you know anyone who may need their services, you should not wait another day to get in contact with them.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When I attend the Graduation, you see children walking across the stage, when their doctors had said they would never walk. That is just one of many miracles witnessed.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I cannot think of any change I would make. Dr. Wilkins does an amazing job.

June 26, 2011

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June 26, 2011

My daughter began receiving services as an outpatient at UCP when she was 16 months old. She started going to pre-school at 3 years and continued to receive therapy at UCP. Because of UCP's educators and therapists, we were able to transition Isabella to a regular classroom the year before Kindergarten. We chose to do so, because we lived 30 minutes away and the commute to her assigned school was only 5 minutes away. Isabella finished her Kindergarten year at the top of her class because of the foundation that UCP provided her from such an early age. We were blessed when Early Steps referred us to UCP because we found the support, education, and therapy our daughter and family needed. For this, we will forever be grateful and I will always continue to support UCP in any way I can. Thank you for this gift.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter was able to transition to a regular classroom a year before starting Kindergarten despite her diagnosis and challenges.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

raise more money to build more schools and facilities similar to the UCP Bailes Campus in East Orange County so that we could service more children in the community.

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