When Linda Young became the foster parent of 13-year-old Brian, she was aware of the challenges ahead. Training classes and monthly support meetings by The Up Center's case managers helped prepare her for the journey with a child who had been abused and neglected. But there was one more need to address. Brian was autistic. Linda turned to The Up Center's Day Support program, a therapeutic environment that offers those with disabilities art and exercise activities, computer use training and regular community trips, to provide a social network and outlet for Brian. Linda never gave up hope that one day Brian would be able to engage in communication in his own special way.
"Today, Brian communicates through a picture exchange system, which is his version of sign language and facial expression. And that's a start," said Linda. "I believe that people with special needs also have special talents. Brian is removing fear of autism from others. After they meet Brian with his sparkling eyes, big smile and gentle manner, everyone falls in love with him. And that's a start for the rest of us," added Linda.
With the help of the agency, Linda formally adopted Brian last year, giving him more than just a house made of brick and mortar, but a permanent place to call "home."
Award-Winning Author Supports Up Center Books
Charlie Gunter Photography
November 5th was a night to remember as Michael Ruhlman, author of 12 books, including the bestselling "The Making of a Chef" and "The French Laundry Cookbook," entranced foodies and book lovers alike at an Up Center book signing event. More than 100 friends and supporters of The Up Center enjoyed his inspiring speech of his journey to the top, starting as a writer of a small hometown paper to an award-winning author and judge of The Food Network's "Next Iron Chef," as well as 20 scrumptious appetizers, prepared by the Culinary Institute of Virginia. The 20 featured recipes came from the author's newest book, Ruhlman's 20. Proceeds from the sale of the book went directly to Up Center Books to support the agency's transitional jobs and on-the-job training program that helps the homeless and low-income individuals create a pathway out of poverty.
This is just one of the one of many monthly book signings at Up Center Books. Stayed tuned for an exciting event line up in 2012!
|(From Lt. to Rt.): Chef Nystrom, |
Michael Rulman, Andria McClellan
|(From Lt. to Rt.): Dia DuVernet, Michael Ruhlman, Leah Gottlieb |
Donations Making a Difference
Thanks to the support of Food Lion, Mayflower Marathon and numerous volunteers and staff, more than 150 families had a Thanksgiving meal to enjoy.
Jimmy Fulcher, (pictured left with his two sons) gave 700 cans of vegetables, worth more than $400, to The Up Center's Food Pantry recipients.
In addition to individual donations, The Up Center secures grants from corporations and foundations, including:
- $10,000 from the Sentara Health Foundation for Seeking Safety and Trauma Informed Care
- $10,000 from the United Way Women's Initiative for Seeking Safety
We can continue to strengthen our community one family at a time. So, what are you waiting for? Make a difference and donate today!
In The News
See what the press says about The Up Center.
December 9, 2011
Dia DuVernet Among Hampton Roads' Top 25 Women in Business
Dia DuVernet receives the 2011 Women in Business Achievement Award for her contributions to the local economy and for mentoring others. Click here for official news release.
December 7, 2011
There are more than 200 boys, like Jalen featured here on this WAVY clip, that on the waiting list for a mentor. To become a positive role model, contact Jonathan Watford at 397-2121.
December 5, 2011
Local volunteers show the dramatic feats accomplished through mentoring!
November 11, 2011
Obici Healthcare Foundation gives $2.6 million in grants
The Up Center is a recipient of the grant.
November 2, 2011
Up Center Books receives $470,000 federal grant
Norfolk's community paper captures the grant announcement as well as the impact to the local community.
October 31, 2011
The Up Center Secures $470,000 Federal Grant to Expand Transitional Jobs Program
The Up Center was recently awarded a grant of over $470,000 from the Administration for Children and Families for Up Center Books, a program which trains and employs individuals facing barriers to employment, including homelessness, past incarceration, low education attainment and substance abuse recovery.
October 20, 2011
Social Security Administration looks for answers in captivity case
The Up Center's Sam Hochberg offers advice on how people can protect their loved one's finances in this WAVY-TV clip.
DEC. 11 / JAN. 12
|The bi-monthly newsletter of The Up Center|
|Learn how we are impacting the lives of more than 10,000
people each year in
Event & Class Calendar
For event times and additional info, click here.
12/26 & 1/2
Art of Debt Mgt.
1/5 & Norfolk Up Center
First Time Home Buyers
& 1/19 Up CenterStep Up for The Up Center
1/29 Dominion Tower, Norfolk
How You Can Help
2012 Step Up for The Up Center. Begin training for our annual stair climb March 25th.
Donate. Financial donations are tax deductible. Book donations are needed to fuel Up Center Books' job training program.
Volunteer. From light clerical duties to community book drives, volunteers really
make a difference.
Other Ways to Get Involved
Become a Foster Parent
If you have ever considered fostering a child, visit our Foster Care FAQ page.
Mentor a Child. Help out a child by becoming a positive role model.