Making a Difference

Making a Difference

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The theme for this year’s Annual Campaign has been “Empowered. Because of You.” The “You” includes a variety of supporters such as donors, Board Members, business and community partners, clients and their families, and school alumni and their families.

But the “YOU” also includes the people behind the scenes. The staff members who work and interact with our clients on a daily basis make a significant difference. As a result, the young children, students, and adults who receive services from ECF are empowered because of our staff members.

We invite you to check out the stories, testimonials, photos, and videos below to learn how our staff members and our community activities help our clients become empowered.

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“My confidence is getting better and better; I’m doing drawings and paintings I never thought I could do. I’m trying new things – thanks to ECF.”

~ Jose, Art Center Program client

“My students motivate ME.”

~ Jolene Walker, ECF Kayne Eras Center School teacher

“Vernell has developed the self-confidence to perform without any stage fright or doubt. Prior to being a student at the ECF Kayne Eras Center School, Vernell had no plans for his future. Now, he feels empowered to become a high school graduate, and he hopes to become a professional musician.”

~ Francziska Steagall, Assistant School Director, ECF Kayne Eras Center School

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 “Andres no longer has tantrums like he used to, now, he happily plays with other children on the playground at Early Start – as well as with his brother and sister at home.”

~ Andres’ mom

“Early Start is not just for children. We also offer resources that help parents.”

~ Karen Gilman, Early Start social worker

Life-PAR“Over the past 30 years, Betty (left), an instructor, and Cindy, an ECF client, have become an effective team. When Cindy came to PAR, she was shy and needed a lot of direction. With Betty’s guidance, Cindy has come out of her shell, become more independent, and improved in her job performance.”

~ Dana Ostrowski, PAR Services – East

“When adults with developmental disabilities are placed in community jobs, the entire community benefits. It’s great to be a part of the process.”

~ Shirley Bianca, Supported Employment

Life-DAC“Randy, a program participant, also serves as a volunteer at PAWS/LA. As a result of his successes at ECF, he is able to assist PAWS/LA by unpacking boxes of cat and dog food, separating the food into specific quantities, and taping them for distribution.”

~ Helen Lewis, DAC Program Supervisor

Life-Art2“Since Erin has been at the ECF Art Center, she’s been much happier. I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that she has art in her life on a daily basis. She has learned new skills thanks to the incredible art instructors who respect her as an adult.”

~ Danielle, sister of Erin, Art Center Program client

“When an ECF adult client recently moved to a new residence, the ECF staff went above and beyond to make sure she was comfortable with the transition. They monitored her emotional condition and statements to anticipate her needs. Thanks to the ECF staff, she’s happy at her new home.”

~ Paula Lenarsky, client family member

Please check back often, as this “Making a Difference” page will be updated frequently.