All About RAISE
Praise For RAISE
Our Expert Team
Our mission is to build confidence, promote independence, and teach employability skills to adults with special needs and provide guidance and support to their families.
Make your dreams a reality.
of RAISE graduates have obtained community employment, moved to independent living, or enrolled in post secondary education.
of RAISE participants were hired for employment opportunities in the community after graduating from the program.
of RAISE participants have received their first paycheck through RAISE.
of family members attend RAISE Your Voice, a monthly mental health support group led by RAISE professionals.
hours of paid work have been completed by RAISE participants.
Job Coach volunteer hours are dedicated to support RAISE employee participants annually.
Hours that employee participants are paid by RAISE to work at partnering agencies in our community each year.
Number of volunteer hours that the Professional Leadership team dedicates to RAISE each year.
Now in its 8th year, RAISE is an in-person, work ,and social skills training program offered by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando alongside 6 partnering Jewish agencies. RAISE provides paid, job coach-supported employment at each of these locations along with guidance to help participants transition to jobs in the community.
See what family members are saying about RAISE.
Ashley has a job that was made in heaven. Ashley is doing well at the office of Opera Orlando. She works two days each week for four hours each day. She has varied tasks and takes instruction well. She works with and meets very lovely people.
My main thought to share with you is that RAISE and its network of resources really cobbled together a position that takes into account Ashley’s skill sets and her love of acting and the arts. I cannot thank the RAISE team enough for searching for Ashley’s real desire for a job and then finding the perfect situation. Ashley very much enjoys working in the office by addressing envelopes, alphabetizing CD’s and books, and shredding old documents. She has great pride seeing her name in print listed in the program as wardrobe assistant.
Thanks to RAISE for offering Ashley a most wonderful position at Hillel last year where she gained confidence and independence. We are grateful that our daughter had this opportunity.
Rene and I have no words to express our sincere appreciation for giving Daniel an opportunity to participate and be part of RAISE. From the minute we heard of your program we had a feeling this one was going to be a unique program, and we weren’t wrong. The success of RAISE is the amount of time you, Rachel and the rest of your team put on each individual person and their needs. Daniel came to you after years of trying to fit in and find a job in a society that is not open to individuals with special needs. RAISE gave him support, training and confidence.
As we move forward into this chapter in life with his new job in the community we are so confident that he will do well. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.
Rene and Mary
Thank you for making this such an inspiring time for Jay and us. RAISE has truly been a significant milestone for Jay. He has learned work and life skills that will continue to help him grow. As parents, we have discovered strengths in Jay that would have remained hidden but not for RAISE. At the same time, we now have a better idea of the areas in which Jay would need to work on. Ranu and I have come to count on RAISE as one big family. We take this opportunity to thank you all for what you have done for Jay and continue to do for countless young men and women.
After spending two decades in the field of healthcare in New York City and Orlando, Loren redirected her leadership skills, focusing on the planning and managing of hundreds of educational, philanthropic, and musical events across Central Florida and nationwide. These wide-ranging experiences, coupled with her passion for inclusion, prepared Loren to build and manage RAISE from a vision in 2012 to reality.
Rachel holds both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Special Education. She has over 25 years of experience in helping children and adults with disabilities reach their full potential. In addition to being a faculty member at Seminole State College since 2002, she has been a social skills coach in Central Florida for over 10 years bringing both her professional background and her leadership and organization skills to RAISE.
Carol is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is the Director of Social Bridges®. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s degree in Education/Drama Therapy.
Ken has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Learning Disabilities, and a Doctorate in Education, specializing in Special Education with state certifications in Specific Learning Disabilities and Administration and Supervision. He is the former Director of Exceptional Student Education in Orange County, 1991-2011.
Sandra is a former Special Education teacher and Program Coordinator at UCF and in Orange County Public Schools. She holds a Master’s degree in Special Education and a Bachelor’s degree in K-12 Library Media Science. She has a certificate in Special Education Meditation from the Justice Center of Atlanta.
Amy is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She has extensive experience working with individuals dealing with mental health issues. She currently writes social skills and employability training curriculum targeting adults and teens with Down Syndrome.
Bill has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in special eduation from Cleveland State University. He spent 36 years teaching in Cleveland Heights-University Heights and Seminole County Public Schools prior to his retirement in 2016. His teaching career was spent working with special-needs children in elementary and middle schools.