Dear friend of UCP.

Through determination, persistence, and support we can go further in life than we have
ever imagined. For many of the people we serve, attaining a life without limits may seem impossible. However, Sharita Taylor doesn’t believe in limitations.

Sharita was born with autism and in the beginning; doctors did not have high expectations for her. “They said I wasn’t going to be able to talk normally,” she explained. “Like do anything that I am doing now. Look at me. I am standing on my own two feet.”

After graduating high school, Sharita needed a place that will allow her to grow and mature into an adult that can be proactive in the community and set goals for her to achieve.

That is when Sharita’s mother found United Cerebral Palsy. “(My mom) found UCP and decided I needed something to do other than play on my laptop all day,” said Sharita. “I love my mom. Because of her, I now have something to do, people to see and meet, and challenges to face. I came here to learn and to do the job properly.”

UCP’s Community Employment guides employers in hiring potential employees with disabilities. They support them through the process.

Thanks to people like you who support United Cerebral Palsy, kids, teenagers, and young adults have the opportunity to one day achieve their goal of working and becoming part of society.  But they urgently need your help. Your generous gift will give other families the tools to find resources to beat the challenges of disabilities, whether it be Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, seizure disorders or a host of other conditions.

Sharita became one of UCP’s affiliate’s contract employees at PNC’s Processing Center. She works in the Statement Prep and Image Retrieval Department. “I love the atmosphere and I love the people here!” says Sharita. “They make me feel at home. I love my job too!”  Sharita says that jumping from job to job is challenging for her, but she just tells herself to focus.

By always focusing on her abilities and not setting limits on herself, Sharita is a shining example of how individuals with disabilities are contributing members of our community.

Sharita’s story is like many of the young adults with disabilities we serve – finding a purpose in life and how can they work towards their dreams.

Sharita, now 26, is not only standing on her feet, but she is skating on them, too. Sharita is achieving on her dreams. She will represent the United States this March at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria –  “… my jaw just dropped on the floor and I looked and was like ‘Oh Wow! What?’” Sharita said of her reaction to the invitation to the games.

Sharita’s dream is for people to see her in a different light, to see her sister and friends from Special Olympics in a different light. “We are not just people with disabilities; we can turn it into abilities.” Sharita said.

We admire Sharita’s work ethic and dedication to reaching her goals. Her story could not be complete without a strong support system created by her family, UCP, and supporters like YOU. Will you ensure that people with disabilities have the support and guidance to achieving their dreams?

You now have the opportunity to show what you can do to help support those children and adults with disabilities and their families. Please consider giving to United Cerebral Palsy today. Thank you in advance for your generous consideration.

Kindest regards,

Richard Forkosh

Interim CEO & President