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Achievement Centers for Children

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: We believe in creating a circle of care that encompasses the entire family, because, by helping the whole family, a child with special needs has the greatest opportunity to achieve.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My initial exposure to Achievement Centers was as a client. We have a special needs son that attended the summer day camp for several years and loved it. He couldn't wait to get on the bus in the morning even though it was a 40 minute bus ride. The counselors were excellent and the activities and learning opportunities were outstanding. He started going to the respite weekends about 5 years ago. These are weekends the kids or all ages attend from Friday to Sunday to provide a much needed break for the parents. Little did I know these weekends actually provide the kids more of a break from the parents than vice versa! He is beyond excited when he gets there and loves the weekends there. He is not alone. I see many others that are just as excited as him. This is such a great opportunity for them and they take full advantage of it. There are counselors that have been there since he started and they are all commited and understanding of all situations. It is frequently a challenging job to provide round-the-clock care for the campers and they always deal with situations calmly and effectively...true compassion.

My family and I were so impressed by ACC that I became a board member a few years ago. Only then did I see that ACC is so much more than I ever knew...we were involved in merely a fraction of the services. I have worked with professional organizations for over 30 years and the leadership of ACC is without peer, the employees are extremely dedicated, and the board is impressive both in its makeup and its commitment. This is a group that doesn't just use this board as a "resume filler" but are active supporting managment, organization functions, and fund-raising. I had a very high opinion of ACC before becoming a board member, but that respect has grown ten-fold since I have increased my involvement. Great, great important and valuable organization.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My mom started taking me to the Achievement Centers (ACC) for therapies when I was a baby and for many years I participated in many of the programs that the ACC has to offer. My favorite experiences were with Camp Cheerful and Champ camp where I was first a client and later, a camp counselor. Both experiences were amazing and helped me to be more independent and move forward with my life goals. I am now a 25 year old graduate student, working towards a Master's degree in Social Work. The staff at the ACC are amazing, especially the social workers that helped my parents navigate the systems I needed in order to get the kind of services I needed from schools, local and state agencies and any organization that might be of help. The ACC has a commitment to excellence and to serving every family in whatever way is needed. Their staff and their family centered approach helped inspire me to become a social worker. The Achievement Centers is an agency that truly fulfills its mission.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I served on the Board of the ACC for 7 years and was on the fund raising committee which raised several Million $ to finance the construction of their current facility and campus. Since retiring from the Board, I have been actively involved in the last two or three years in helping the ACC with their Oak Tree Society.The Oak Tree Society is the name for their deferred giving initiative. It is aply named and is a metaphore for their Mission which is "Out of acorns mighty trees can grow". The purpose is to raise awareness of the sterling mission which the ACC has in the Cleveland community and the range and depth of their services at their main facility and at Camp Cheerful. I have named the ACC in my Will with a bequest and we are encouraging others to do so as well. This outreach extends to the current and former Trustees and the community at large, utilizing an extensive prospect list which has been developed. The ACC is an organization near and dear to my heart. I have witnessed the differnce they have and can make in the lives of children with physical and mental disabilities and the families who have limited options for help. The staff is one of the most dedicated and committed of any I have worked with in the Not-For-Profit community. They are well trained, enthusiastic and creative in finding new therapies and methods for continual improvement in the outcomes of their patients. If one is seeking a worthwhile organization to which to donate time and financial support, the ACC should be #1 on the list!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Perched on top of Hannah, Ridge, Nick or any of the other very special horses stabled at Camp Cheerful’s fully accredited Premier Therapeutic Riding Center, youngsters challenged in so many different ways, are now a partnership of horse & trained volunteer/s focused on developing the confidence, strength, flexibility and overall well-being of that rider. Being a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and having volunteered in this field for nearly 10 years with the last three at ACC's Camp Cheerful, I can vouch for its efficacy and feel confident saying that this is one of the best run programs in the state, truly worthy of support. Gene Lovasy

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first introduction to the Achievement Centers for Children was around age 10. My dad was a board member and I remember him talking about the ACC all the time! I saw over the years how much it meant to him and my mom and new by their passion and dedication to the ACC, it had to be an amazing place for children and families with disabilities. As I grew up, I decided to go to school for a degree in education with a focus on children with special needs. Becoming educated and working with special needs children throughout college, gave me an even bigger appreciation for everything the ACC does for children and families in the Cleveland area. I decided to start my professional career in Cleveland and new I wanted to be apart of this amazing organization when the time allowed. I joined the Friends group in 2010 and the Sparkle, Shimmer Shine Committee in 2011 and its been just an amazing experience. The services the ACC provides and the professional and educated staff are top of the line. I've seen first hand how the ACC has benefited a countless number of families and how children with disabilities continue to beat the odds as a direct result of the ACC. The Achievement Centers for Children continues to give hope to families and I am honored to support this organization in any and every way possible. I hold a special place in my heart for the ACC and Cleveland is extremely lucky to have a place like this in our own backyard. Cheers to the Achievement Centers for Children- there is just no place like it.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 5

Majestic Steel USA has enjoyed a philanthropic partnership with the Achievement Centers for Children since 2005, sponsoring the "A Most Excellent Race" (which supports Achievement Centers' Camp Cheerful in Strongsville, OH) event and other iniatitives at various levels of financial commitment during this time. Since 2011, Majestic has been title sponsor of this event, and we have seen the level of our organizational involvement and ownership in the event expand tremendously. Simply put, our relationship with Achievement Centers is a PARTNERSHIP; mutual benefit is the outcome of this collaboration, and our associates are able to expand their skills and perspective as a direct result of this partnership. We clearly see the invaluable service Achievement Centers provides for families in our community, and are honored to be affiliated with the positive impact and tangible benefit they provide our community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a mother of a son who has Cerebral Palsy, I can't express enough what a wonderful place the Achievement Centers for Children is. Jared began at ACC when he was 8 years old and was only walking a little and had limited speech. ACC is so unique because they never say never and they focus on the entire family and the goals that they have for their child. They never gave up on Jared and he is walking independently most of the time and his speech is awesome! He loves participating in conversations. ACC is also unique because of the breadth of services they offer. As your special needs child goes through different stages, ACC is there to help you along the way with each of these stages. The special needs world can be so confusing and ACC helps us navigate it. I don't know where Jared and the entire family would be without ACC. Thank you for all that you do!

Review from CharityNavigator

Board Member

Rating: 5

They say that you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. The same applies to The Achievement Centers for Children (ACC). As a Board member, I am humbled by the selfless generosity and support this organization receives from Northeast Ohio's business and philanthropic leaders. Likewise, I am humbled by the passion and commitment of the volunteers and staff of this indispensible community resource. I am, therefore, extremely proud to tell my friends and associates about my involvement with the ACC.

The ACC is not only a resource for children with disabilities; it is a resource for families. Parents of disabled children tell us story after story of the ACC’s ability to provide the tools to accurately respond to the needs of a child with autism, or other developmental disabilities. Addressing the needs of a disabled child requires guidance, patience and love. The ACC provides these things, but most of all, it provides hope and understanding.

In 30 years from now, we may find cures for many of the ailments that afflict children today. But it is a certainty that new challenges and new needs will present themselves in the future. The ACC has adapted its services to the changing needs of the community since 1940 and is fully focused on perpetuating this tradition.

R. Anthony Brice
Board Member since 2007

Review from CharityNavigator

Karen85

Client Served

Rating: 5

As the mother of two disabled children, I have come to rely on the ACC to help my family navigate the cumbersome and often confusing world of special needs. My sons, now 21 years old, began early intervention therapies in infancy . As the boys grew and their needs changed, the ACC provided the necessary help and pointed us in the right direction to help our sons be the best they could be. The support, encouragement, and direction of the ACC was provided to us as a family, not just a service for our sons and that made all the difference. An annual one week stay at Camp Cheerful is always eagerly anticipated, not only by the boys who love the experience, but also by "mom and dad" who get a much needed respite from the everyday responsibilities of caring for special needs children.The goal of the ACC is to SERVE, to make life better for those who struggle with disabilities, and they let nothing get in the way of that goal...not race, not creed, not gender, not economic status. All children who come are served. This is a charity well worth your support. Karen Kaye Sorace-Thomas

Review from CharityNavigator

Board Member

Rating: 4

I have been a board member since 2008. This organization is exceptional in the way that the management team is always striving to move the organization forward. The management team along with the staff is always striving to help these children rediscover hope, build dreams and find new direction. The services provided by the Achievement Centers for Children second to none. The children can receive therapy, work in the pool, attend camps with horseback riding, and participate in adaptave sports such as wheelchair basketball and football just to name a few. The Achievement Centers for Children is a special place.

Review from CharityNavigator

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a current Board Member of the Achievement Centers for Children (ACC) and have served for the last two years. I am truly honored to serve this organization for what they give to the children and families they serve. ACC changes the lives of so many families. It only takes ONE conversation with a parent whose child had been through the ACC program to truly understand the impact of this organization. “You gave us our family back” is a common theme from these parents. The staff is truly dedicated to helping these children and it shows through every encounter with the organization. I serve on many boards, but only one nonprofit – that is ACC. I cannot think of a more deserving organization of my time. They help children achieve what many of us take for granted. Sincerely, Mike Bunker

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved with the Achievement Centers for Children in the summer of 2011. I was thoroughly impressed with the care and expertise they give to the children they serve. The ability to see first hand the great work they do, and the success they have to show for it has been exceptionally rewarding.

Review from CharityNavigator

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served as a director of several non-profit organizations in various fields throughout the U.S. and have never been as impressed as I am with the Achievement Center for Children. The staff is motivated, highly credentialed and dedicated, the facilities are well equiped and the clients and their families receive attentive care. However, I have been even more impressed with the ACC's effort to attract top caliber directors from every sphere and then to challenge them and rely on their volunteer efforts to further the goals of the ACC. This is clearly not a Board of Directors that meets periodically to rubber stamp the recommendation of management.

Greg17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Members of The Brewer-Garrett Company spent a Day of Caring at the Achievement Center’s Camp Cheerful. The Brewer-Garrett team brought over 30 volunteers to Camp Cheerful for the day. They furnished and installed new exhaust fans in the equestrian stable to provide much needed ventilation for the horses in the spring and summer. They also reworked plumbing for the horse wash that tended to freeze in the winter to allow for ease of use year round.
Brewer-Garrett’s controller, Rick Marconi, encouraged anyone to come out and help. “We have engineers, accountants, field technicians, project managers and sales reps working at Brewer-Garrett. To get everyone involved, we needed to do more than just technical work. The leadership at Camp Cheerful was great to work with and ensured everyone had something to do.”
Other projects included pressure washing and staining two decks, painting the inside of one of the cabins and repairing bunk beds for the overnight campers. In addition, pool chairs and life preservers were pressure washed and cleaned.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a current Board Member of the Achievement Centers for Children (ACC) and have had a tremendous experience working with ACC staff, management, and other board members the past four years. The mission of the ACC focuses on the entire family while assisting children with disabilities and this holistic approach makes a huge difference. The ACC staff is very talented and extremely passionate and dedicated to the programs they deliver to children and their families. I can't imagine having more confidence in a not for profit organization to be good stewards of their resources as well as helping the community in so many ways!!

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am very fortunate to be a current board member and the immediate past chairman of the board of the Achievement Centers for Children (ACC). I have thoroughly enjoyed representing this phenomenal organization in our community and cannot recommend the ACC more highly. As a board member I have had the benefit of witnessing the great work the ACC does for children with disabilities and their families for the last seven years. At our board meetings and special events I have met the parents of the children we serve and heard their stories. I can assure you that there is rarely a dry eye in the room following the true success stories of the children and families we serve. These families often find themselves in the most painful and challenging time of their lives as they struggle to manage the news that their child has a disability...then they find the Achievement Centers and realize there is someone else out there that cares and will help them navigatge this new world...that there is real hope for their child to reach his or her potential...that there is a place they can go for answers, therapies, education, recreation, friendship and support. The Achievement Centers is an amazing place, led by a worldclass management team, with an incredbibly caring and passionate group of employees that gives 110% to the children and families they serve. I highly recommend this organization to families looking for assistance for their child, to funding sources looking for a great place to support and to anyone that shares a passion for helping children with disabilities and their families.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son received PT services for gross vestibular issues for about 1.5 years from the Achivement Centers. The counselors were professional, patient and kind - they truly care about the patients that they serve and love their jobs. My son loved going to the Achivement Centers for his therapy sessions. This organization is exceptional in all regards. THis organization changed our life so much that I now actively volunteer at the organization.

Review from CharityNavigator