Donald Campbell is a lifelong resident of Atlantic County, growing up in Egg Harbor Township and attending Egg Harbor Township High School. He graduated Atlantic Cape Community College and Stockton University with his bachelor's degree in Political Science. Donald went on to Widener University Delaware Law School and has his JD.
Donald has cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture. His personal experience of living with a disability, his robust humor and positive outlook make him a perfect fit to lead this new Center in its inaugural journey. He is excited at the prospect of being able to combine his knowledge of special education and disability law with his passion to advocate along with others who live with disabilities.
As a person living with a disability, I joined the CIL to further develop my advocacy skills and to give back to an organization which has given so much to me.
Tatsiana DaGrosa is a Parent Group Specialist for the SouthEastern region of New Jersey and a Co-Director of the START-Engaging Parents of Students with Disabilities in Schools Project. Tatsiana is also a Special Education Volunteer Advocate (SEVA) and a Trainer for Southern New Jersey.
Tatsiana is bi-lingual (Russian and English). Born and raised in Minsk, Belarus, Tatsiana moved to the USA in 2002 to continue her education in the restaurant and hotel business. She earned her Master's degree in Hospitality Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2012.
Tatsiana's advocacy journey in special education began when her son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 5. Today Tatsiana is a parent co-leader of the Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG) and a member of the PerformCare Family Leaders group. Tatsiana also serves on the NJDOE Title 1 Committee of Practitioners (T1COP) and the Children and Youth Subcommittee of the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD). She is a graduate of the NJCDD "Partners in Policymaking" Class of 2013.
Tatsiana believes in a strong partnership between families and schools to help all children reach high levels of social, emotional, and academic learning. She also believes that all families, schools, and communities have something great to offer and learn from each other. Tatsiana's favorite quote is by Nelson Mandela "It always seems impossible until it's done."
I earned my associates in psychology from RCGC and my BA from Stockton. I recently obtained my master's in counseling from Stockton as well. I will be a mental health therapist. I have a medical condition, dysautonomia, as well as a learning disability. Both of these disabilities have led me to find creative ways to navigate experiences that are not designed for such challenges. I have also had to advocate for myself from a young age. Advocating for myself has created opportunities to also advocate for others. I have spoken to politicians related to the needs of health care and worked with local groups on spreading awareness on mental health. I also have spread awareness on Dysautonomia, by sharing my story and petitioning my hometown, and senator to create a proclamation in support of Dysautonomia Awareness Month (October). While in undergrad, I created and co-facilitated a group for students with chronic illness.
I have held leadership roles in and off campus, which has allowed me to learn about local resources and organizations. I understand the value of being able to connect between different organizations, for the best outcome. Previously, I was a crisis counselor for five years. I have also worked on a research team studying eating disorders and stigma, which our poster was presented at the Association for Psychological Science convention and published in International Journal of Psychological Studies.
I am interested in the mission of the Center for Independent Living as a person with a disability and as a mother to an adult with complex neurodevelopmental disabilities. I was a junior in high school when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990. The Olmstead decision supporting the rights of people with intellectual disabilities to live in the community and not institutions was decided in 1999, one year before my son, Alex, was born. Decades later, the rights of people with disabilities to be supported in their communities, make choices about where they live, go to school, and find meaningful work continue to require advocacy.
I was asked to serve on the board of directors of CIL and felt honored to be asked. My oldest daughter has cerebral palsy and is on a kidney wait list. I was on the original board of directors for CIL's predecessor, the Total Living Center, so this is like coming full circle in time.
I served the public with the Social Security Administration for more than 31 years concluding my time with the Administration as its Public Affairs Specialist for the State of New Jersey.
I am currently a United Methodist pastor. For more than 25 years of my life I hosted radio and television programs and I also have written for newspapers as both a columnist and a reporter.
I have 2 young adults with special needs and feel that I can contribute to this organization.
I joined the CIL to tell my story and help others. Also to provide knowledge about my experiences and to improve upon my self advocacy skills because I'm trying to become self advocate certified.
I have worked in Atlantic County as a Social Worker for the past 14 years and the work has been more of a calling, not just a career. I am truly passionate about helping our local community connect to resources and find services to help them reach their goals. I enjoy the opportunity to work with diverse populations and using my skill set to assist with whatever is needed
Bambi is a rescue from Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue.
She received her Canine Good Citizen Certificate and went on to become a trained comfort dog.
Bambi has participated in a children's reading program at the Brigantine branch of the Atlantic County Library System and is now proving her calming effect with the consumers at Atlantic.
She loves greeting all new comers to the center.