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Michael Polinsky's Page

Michael Polinsky

Michael Polinsky

Hello,

Thank you for visiting my page! The Central Park Challenge is about celebrating everything that YAI is and I'm excited to be a part of this year's event. Last year, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Hicksville IRA and my 45th birthday!

Thanks to the outstanding direct care staff, the Hicksville IRA is a supportive, encouraging, and enriching place to live. The residence is a place where each individual can reach their goals and live in a safe and positive environment.

Below is a letter from a family friend who described her experience at last year's CPC. To me, this letter embodies what CPC is about. This event is much more than just a fundraiser, CPC is a day to gather together and truly see beyond disability. I hope you'll be able to join me on June 2nd!

"Dear Bernice,

I want to take this opportunity to share with you my personal sentiments during the Central Park Challenge this year. I am not a stranger to the challenges of the developmentally disabled, as I have worked as a speech pathologist for more than 48 years. Yet, this event brought forth a renewed sense of hope of what a community of friends, families and even strangers can do for those who need a helping hand to live a full, happy and resourceful life. As I walked the path in Central Park on Saturday morning, I met so many of the young adults who live in residual programs.

They demonstrated so much warmth to each other and towards me, a complete stranger. With enthusiasm, I heard about their recreational plans, such as going to a baseball game or a trip they had already taken. I heard about their homes, their new apartments and new jobs. For some, the walk may have been difficult, but the smiles prevailed to the end, where many took group pictures with pride. Families and friends observed with pride as well.

It was very apparent to me that none of this could have been achieved without the direct support staff. I can not say enough about what I observed during the day. They directed the adults for which they were responsible , with kindness, encouragement and complete acceptance.

The relationships were obviously built on their mutual respect. It is so easy to reject a person whose behavior is frustrating or erratic but the staff have the patience to listen. This staff ’s inspiration and encouragement, I believe, is the driving force for these adults to achieve their potential.

The positive attitude of the staff is half of their success and the other half is their excellent training for the job. They take on new challenges each day and and I only hope they are given the proper resources and compensation for their commitment.

We are living in a difficult time, where difference is not always accepted and many people do not feel a responsible toward their fellow man in this world. We could learn so much from these young adults who Iive with their challenges, support each other with kindness, and friendship and make a big difference in their lives with each and every small effort. I was surrounded my love during this beautiful Saturday morning and I felt it confirmed my belief that we as a community, a society can effect change.

With love, Marcia"

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