Manage episode 373817813 series 3498670
DeAnna Pursai is s special education teacher, and the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the College of Adaptive Arts. She has also been named an "Architect of Change" by Maria Shriver, and co-awarded the Delta Kappa Gamma State Distinguished Career/Professional Service Award with CAA Co-Founder and Dean of Instruction, Dr. Pamela Lindsay. And her list of accolades goes on and on.
Growing up alongside her sister Angel, who has Down Syndrome, Deanna learned the importance of inclusion and opportunities for all, which shaped her life, and sparked her unique mission. Her transformative journey led her to become the Co-Founder of the College of Adaptive Arts in Silicon Valley in 2009. CAA is a place that provides an equitable, lifelong collegiate experience for adults with disabilities, and its remarkable growth has led to serving 216 adults over nine states in person and online, and securing a dedicated space at West Valley College.
Tune in to learn about the profound impact DeAnna's sister had on her life and how it sparked her passion, key strategies that have been essential to the success of the organization, the impact CAA has had on the Silicon Valley community, how having a guiding mission and vision has been instrumental to the organization's success, the awe-inspiring stories of CAA students and staff, and how building a robust team cultivates strong community relationships.
"We have a really clear vision and mission, and everything we do needs to align with that vision and mission." - DeAnna PursaiShow Notes:
- DeAnna's CNN Hero story
- How Deanna's sister Angel was her inspiration to become a special education teacher
- How people with Down syndrome do not have access to higher education
- The story of the College of Adaptive Arts, Silicon Valley
- The CAA and West Valley College collaboration
- The importance of cultivating community relationships
- About CAA's outstanding teachers and professors, many of whom have differing abilities
- CAA's different value proposition -- If you show up amd have a desire to learn, you get full credit
- The huge impact CAA students have on Deanna's life
- Opportunities at the College of Adaptive Arts
- The challenges CAA face as a non-profit in Silicon Valley
- CAA's mission and vision
- How having a guiding vision has been instrumental to CAA's success
- Deanna's dream to become the Special Olympics model for lifelong learning
- How vulnerability plays a crucial role in the success of CAA