2011-09-07 / Local News

JCC intern secures grant funds for ACHaD Swimming program

By ALLISON CRADIC Katz JCC Marketing Dept.


Jennifer Morganstern, a Katz JCC intern, accepted a grant for adaptive equipment for children and adults in the JCC’s ACHaD (special needs) swimming program from the Erick J. Umstead Memorial Foundation. Joining Morganstern (second from left), were (from left), Theseia N. Tribble, Sabrina Umstead-Smith, and her husband Roosevelt Smith. Jennifer Morganstern, a Katz JCC intern, accepted a grant for adaptive equipment for children and adults in the JCC’s ACHaD (special needs) swimming program from the Erick J. Umstead Memorial Foundation. Joining Morganstern (second from left), were (from left), Theseia N. Tribble, Sabrina Umstead-Smith, and her husband Roosevelt Smith. For many students, a summer internship is an opportunity to learn about an interesting career path. For Jennifer Morganstern, her internship at the Katz JCC became much more—it became proof that hard work and perseverance pay off, and in turn, help others.

Morganstern, a longtime Katz JCC member, is heading into her junior year at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. During the spring, she began thinking about her summer plans and decided to reconnect with Brian Adler, director of Fundraising and Development at the Katz JCC, to see if he knew of any opportunities.

“Brian offered me a chance to work alongside him as an intern in the Fundraising and Development Department, where I was so lucky to gain knowledge during the rewarding experience I had at the JCC this summer,” Morganstern said recently. “It was really great that I was entrusted with doing real, meaningful work, but even more exciting when the grant proposal turned into a reality!”

Her summer began with writing a grant proposal to the Erick J. Umstead Memorial Foundation for funding to purchase new adaptive equipment for children and adults in the JCC’s ACHaD (Achieving Community Hopes and Dreams) Special Needs Department. Her summer internship ended with the JCC receiving a grant to purchase the equipment she had requested— and she had the special honor of accepting it.

“We are very proud of Jen’s work—she made the decision to elevate her internship experience by diligently working on the ACHaD grant proposal and pursuing funders to bring the project to fruition,” Adler said recently. “It really was quite an achievement.”

Morganstern was able to secure an impressive amount of new equipment to assist the young participants on the ACHaD Sandbar Sharks Swim Team. The swim team, comprised of 9- to18-year-olds, is coached by Barbara Dillenschneider and Debra Lischak.

The equipment includes four sets of flotation devices, specifically developed as adaptive swimming tools. Each set includes a body sling, hip float, and therapeutic posture pillow, all designed to safely and comfortably assist individuals in the water.

“The adaptive equipment will help us increase the skill level of our participants so they can swim competitively with their peers,” said Dillenschneider.

The Katz JCC in Cherry Hill serves individuals with special needs from children through elderly adults with a variety of physical, developmental, neurological and learning challenges. The resources provided by the JCC enhance the social, emotional, and physical development of participants through supportive special needs programs and activities that facilitate a sense of empowerment and independence within the Katz JCC and larger South Jersey community.

ACHaD counts on the generous support of donors to continue offering programs to individuals with special needs. To make a donation or become a sponsor, contact Brian Adler, director of Fundraising and Development, at badler@jfedsnj. org or 424-4444, ext. 1283. Visit www.katzjcc.org to learn more. .

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