People of all backgrounds, abilities, and ambitions can live full and fulfilling lives when given the opportunity. And UCLA is brimming with opportunity.
UCLA is also home to the nation’s top graduate school for education, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 college rankings. And it just got better. Recent support for UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies is opening possibilities for children with special needs.
Helping Every Child Learn
To advance that mission, the Philip and Aida Siff Educational Foundation gave $2 million to establish the Noah Erenberg Endowment Fund, which will further UCLA’s work supporting K–12 teachers and strengthening classroom settings for children with learning differences. Professor Connie Kasari, an international expert in autism research and treatment, will lead UCLA’s efforts.
“About 20 percent of children in each classroom have learning differences, and, too often, their needs aren’t adequately addressed,” says Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. “This gift is an incredible investment in UCLA’s work, which will focus on low-income communities where children and families are most in need of help.”
The man who inspired the fund illustrates what is possible for these children. Artist Noah Erenberg has spent more than 25 years producing vivid pieces, most recently shown at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. His work draws from his experience as an individual on the autism spectrum, even as it enables him to live an independent life.
Honoring Erenberg’s journey, the foundation is eager to give future generations the chance to follow his example. Elena Siff Erenberg, Noah’s mother and foundation president, says, “This endowed gift will help UCLA improve the way K–12 schools support children, like my son Noah, who have learning differences but also have the potential to lead fulfilling and successful lives.”
Published December 2018