LDSCNY celebrates 6 years with an awards night

The Learning Disabilities Support Center of New York celebrated its 6th anniversary with an awards night where program participants and supporters were honored.

The master of ceremonies for the ceremony and dinner, held on Friday, December 10, was Sarah Thompson, director of the Glebe Avenue Senior Center at 2125 Glebe Avenue. LDSCNY has had its office and computer lab in the senior center sponsored by the Bronx YMCA for almost a year.

LDSCNY founder and president Juan Cervantes said that in his remarks that the he was grateful for grants from The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund and Councilwoman Annabel Palma, as well as donations from community businesses and other elected officials.

“We have reached a point where LDSCNY has a long list of people who want to participate in our computer training and GED programs, in the morning and the evening, but we are limited in what we could do,” Cervantes said.

Cervantes called on elected officials and local businesses to support LDSCNY with monetary contributions, as the organization not only provides computer training to the learning disabled, but also a nutritional program called Healthy Living and motivational speaker series called Keys to Success.

LDSCNY programming has already grown by leaps and bounds since the once fledgling organization was founded in 2004 by husband and wife team Juan and Catherine Cervantes.

“The Learning Disabilities Support Center of New York has grown since 2004 with the encouragement and aid of many people, to whom we extend our deepest thanks,” said Catherine Cervantes, program director for LDSCNY. “The Learning Disabilities Support Center of New York provides supportive programming for those who have learning differences. Our goal is to make learning exiting so each individual can become successful.”

Awards and certificates of accomplishment were given to LDSCNY staff, volunteers and computer training programming participants. Powerpoint slide shows created by students were shown, and 20 students took home certificates for their hard work and dedication.

Comptroller John Liu personally stopped by to present an award to Aisha Ahmed, who helped the organization receive its first major grant from the New York Yankee Community Benefits Fund. Also taking home awards were Coucilwoman Annabel Palma, Thompson, Kathleen Walker, Karen LesPierre, Daniel Porro III, Rose Whaley and the Yankee Community Benefits Fund board. As part of the visit, Liu pledged to do his best to keep funding flowing to the senior center, which was almost closed last June due budget cuts before an 11th hour reprieve.

Assemblyman Peter Rivera, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Councilwoman Annabel Palma, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, the Bronx Y.M.C.A., Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and the New York Yankee Community Benefits Fund were all represented.

Bob Bieder, a Zerega community leader, said that he thought that the partnering of the LDSCNY with Glebe Avenue Senior Center helps both organizations grow stronger. He said that the organization has brought positive changes to the lives of the learning disabled.

“It wasn’t that long ago that people with learning disabilities were institutionalized,” Bieder said in remarks. “They are now living in our community. You have really showed them!”

To reach LDSCNY call (718) 483-9595.

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