We love volunteering with UCP. While we have been blessed with two wonderful [now adult] children, both healthy, we know that this is not the case for every family. My nephew was born with CP and has gone on to lead a great life as an adult through the help he received through UCP in Los Angeles.
We volunteer with UCP in Central Florida as our way to 'pay it forward' for all that UCP has done for my nephew.
UCP instills confidence and a 'you can do it' value to those impacted with CP. Locally in Central Florida, UCP reaches out to people with a range of challenges, and seeing the work they do is nothing short of amazing.
We so GREATLY look forward to our next volunteer event with UCP.
While we volunteer to help and make a difference, at the end of each event, we find that it is us that are truly enriched through the event[s]. UCP always makes the volunteers feel welcomed and valued as part of a volunteer event. We have new friendships with people we might never have met but for volunteering with UCP! As volunteers, we all have the goal to make a difference in our community, so with that like-minded passion, as a team of volunteers across all generations and backgrounds, we find we have so much in common, it's something that defies words....I guess maybe 'passion to help others' is about as close to describing as I can come.
Please consider coming out and getting involved with this great organization. When I volunteered for my first event, alone and knowing no one, what I left with was fulfillment and joy of doing something wonderful, and enrichment of a great new group of volunteer friends.
UCP you do SO much GOOD for those you serve in Central Florida, but what you may not know is that there is a secondary need you meet by allowing us to bond as passionate volunteers, like-minded and committed to completing a successful event, and through this, forging lasting friendships in the volunteer community.
THANK YOU UCP! You are awesome!
My son has special needs (autism) and this school has been amazing for him. I have seen such a difference in him in just a matter of a few weeks. The teachers, staff and administration have been so wonderful.
Good, good people... They are experts with children with special needs. They have been at it for years now. I should know, they helped me and my family, as I was a child with special needs. I now am a contributing member of society here in central Florida. I would not be, if not for the help of UCP.
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 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!
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.
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.
I am a board member and a former family member. The work that the teachers and therapists did with my granddaugher was nothing short of remarkable. She will be entering kindergarten this fall and is on pace with her peers. UCP is a wonderful blend of hard work and lots love. If you would have met my granddaughter four years ago you would never have imagined that she would be where she is today. Miracles do happen every day at UCP!
I find UCP of Cenral Florida to be a place where the children come first and they recieve extraordinary encouragement,. They are treated with kindness and given real strength.
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.
UCP is the premiere place for children with and without disabilities to learn and grow. I am honored to have volunteered with such an amazing organization throughout my life, and have learned so much about pediatric healthcare and interventions as a result of my time at UCP. Each child's life is enriched to the nth degree by the love and compassion they are shown, paired with the encouragement to push to achieve their best potential. I love UCP!
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.
We love UCP!! I have watched this incredible organization grow over the last several years and am continuously overwhelmed by the dedication and loyalty of the staff and volunteers...as well as how much each child who has passed through the doors of UCP LOVES being there, and exceeds numerous expectations and goals because of being there. I have several friends who have children at two different UCP campuses, and who's lives have been changed because of the teachers, therapists, staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to change the lives of children!
Thank you for your love and attention for our son, Nicholas. We are thrilled to hear that Ms. Merry Casey will be looping up with Nicholas' class to teach him in 1st grade next year. It's loving, enthusiastic, caring teachers like her that make UCP Bailes Campus such a terrific school. Her visit see him in the hospital last week meant the world to him.
Since Nicholas has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, we really worried about having a school that would be attentive to his emotional needs (with several hospitalizations a year) as well as adapting to his physical needs since he walks with a walker. UCP has been so phenomenal for him. He's not only feeling very loved, but despite significant speech delays and fine and gross moter deficits, he's on grade level for starting first grade next year.
The Integrated Arts are what drew us to the Bailes Campus. Volunteering with Ms. Lang I have seen first-hand the connections this makes for the students with subjects such as math, science and social studies. Their little faces light up as they learn through movement, music, papier mache and paint subjects that they would usually have to be still for. These students wiggle their way through poems, crawl their way through nutrition, and bounce their way across make-believe globes, too busy laughing gleefully to realize how much they are learning.
Project-based learning...I'm gonna say it again....Project-based learning. I taught at a Maitland Middle School for eight years, including two while implementing the IB programme, and so I know from an educators perspective how important hands-on activities are to learning. With the pressures of standardized testing, even many good schools have allowed these activities to go by the wayside for more pencil and paper drills. At Bailes, the opposite is true. As a parent I am thrilled that pencil and paper have to take a backseat part of the day to that of learning through actual experiences.
PTA - sounds like a buzzword or just a title for a group, but it is more than that at Bailes. We are truly striving for "P"arents, "T"eachers, "A"dministrators and even students to work together as a community to hear concerns and work together for the best health, safety, education and happiness of the students.
The quality of care and education at UCP is extraordinary! The staff is caring and dedicated and huge improvements in the ability of the students is regularly observed. This organization is a true blessing to our community!
My son MIchael was born at 24 weeks old, and started attending United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida when he was 2 1/2 years old. When Michael started school he didn't like to socialize or be in groups. He just turned 8 years old, and cannot stop talking. The bigger the crowd the better for him. He does things that his father and I never dreamed he would do, and I know there is more to come. The people who work for UCP want to be there and they want serve the families, this environment gives parents peace in knowing their childfren are in happy place where the limits to what the children can achieve and learn are boundless.
I have visited UCP of Central florida on several occasions. Everytime I am lifted by the smiles and laughter of the children there. Their happy faces always brighten my day. Their laughter is infectious. I have three grown up boys, and I know from experiance that childrens faces always tell the truth.
These faces here tell me they are happy. So somebody is doing something right.
I had the opportunity to volunteer in the kindergarten inclusion classroom. The students are experiencing a nurturing learning environment enhanced with technology and the arts.
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.
UCP of Central Florida provides excellent charter schools for children with all kinds of disabilities (developmental and physical). Their 6 campuses are in excellent locations around the Orlando area. But the real key to their great services is their amazing staff! They are professionals and they love the kids they serve. The bottom line is that they make these kids dreams come true. One of their tag lines is Life Without Limits-- UCP of Central Florida students dream, design and achieve their own lives without limits, which for children with these challenges doesn't happen without a lot of dedicated staff and leadership.