On May 8th, the Brevard Center celebrated its eleventh Spring Convocation. Fifteen students and their families joined the Brevard Staff and Dan McManmon, CIP President, to honor their accomplishments and highlight their successes. There were laughter and tears, as the students and staff recalled anecdotes from the past year and reflected on their achievements.
Jennifer Kolarik, Lead Career Coordinator, presented the Science Lab at Eastern Florida State College with the award for Internship Sponsor and acknowledged that they recently honored our student, Trey H, as their Student Employee of the Year. Jodi Pierce, Lead Social Skills Coorindator, presented Dr. Sandra Wise and Webster University with the plaque for Member of the Community. We acknowledge the 800+ hours that our Webster Mental Health Counseling Interns have spent assisting our students, as well.
Staff spoke of the hard work and effort that our students showed throughout the year. Awards were given to the students for their accomplishments. Outstanding Progress was achieved by Samantha F, first year student, for her exemplary progress across program areas. Wellness Excellence was accomplished by Megan M, second year student, who participated in the most 5Ks of all the students and staff. Bryson B,second year student, received the award for Recreational Excellence for attending almost every weekend activity. Academic Excellence was earned by Logan G, first year student, who works diligently and independently on his college homework. Lauren S was given the award for Career Excellence. Social Thinking Progress award was earned by Thea J, for being a great role model and kind friend to all of our students during her first year at CIP. Executive Functioning Progress was given to second year student Cole C, for being organized and self- initiating. Outstanding Attendance went to Benny B, first year student with perfect attendance. Life Skills Progress was achieved by Alex H Cruz, and Community Service Excellence was awarded to Stephanie S for her hours of dedication to her community.
Lauren S was our 2014-2015 Student of the Year for the Brevard Center. Lauren came to CIP in August of 2014, with her associate’s degree. She participated in the CSTEP program to build her confidence and career skills. Throughout the year, Lauren has interned at the Melbourne Library, for as many as three full days a week. The staff at the library were so impressed with her skills and work ethic that they encouraged her to apply and interview for three positions. Lauren didn’t stop there. She has interviewed with ULTRA software, completed the training, and begins job shadowing for a paid position while waiting to hear back from the library. In all program areas, Lauren meets and exceeds our expectations, showing diligence, hard work, and high motivation. She is a role model and mentor for her peers, and they often seek her company and advice. Our staff are impressed with her exemplary progress in her first year at CIP.
Lance Haskins, Wellness Coordinator, was chosen as Staff of the Year for the Brevard Center for 2014-2015. Lance has been with CIP for over six years, helping to motivate our students in their workouts and encourage their continued awareness of nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits. He doesn’t limit their workouts to our Center; on many weekends, you can find Lance participating in 5 Ks with our students or teaching them to surf the waves at our beautiful beaches in the Surfing Club. He has also completed a Certificate in Asperger’s Studies from Elms College Division of Communications Sciences and Disorders. A martial artist, published author, and Taekwondo world champion, Lance brings his skills and commitment to our team and students.
One of the best, but most difficult, moments of our Convocation this year was saying so long to our Program Director and dear friend, Joan Williamson. Joan retired from her position as Brevard Program Director, after 14 years with CIP. Joan and Dr. McManmon established the Brevard Center from the ground up — scoping out the site, acquiring property and housing, building a relationship with the Melbourne community, and creating the second CIP location. Her staff and students appreciate the guidance and support that they received from Joan throughout the years and shared stories and memories. We had a short presentation with video clips from alumni, parents, students and members of the CIP community, reflecting on their memories of Joan’s help and kindness. The Brevard Center and staff will miss their leader and mentor, but look forward to continued success in helping our student achieve their dreams of independence. The Spring Convocation for the Brevard Center was a great day!