Perspective of a Longstanding Donor

CAA is such a great organization; I am amazed at its growth in just a few short years, all because of the persistence of leaders like DeAnna and Pam.

I trained and worked as a high school English teacher, many years ago.  My students were awesome.  Many of them were “Communication Skills” students, 9th and 10th graders who could barely read.  How they had graduated to the high school was perplexing.  They had a reading teacher, and I was their writing teacher.  There wasn’t much to that for most of them.  Getting the thoughts down on paper was working, but getting capital letters at the beginning of sentences and periods at the end was not working for all of them.

I couldn’t believe that so many people were so challenged.  I sent the most writing-challenged to the counselors for evaluation.  They came back to me with the answer that yes, they had identifiable problems, but no, the services were not available to help them.  Ugh.  At the same time, I continued my education by taking special education teacher classes, and getting my Master’s Degree in Education with a secondary emphasis.  The topic of my thesis was based on audio versus visual learning in the classroom.  I didn’t prove much, but I learned a lot about people and their brains.

That was many years ago.  I left the education field and went into the business world, which is where I met DeAnna Pursai, at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. She and Pam were getting into the non-profit world.  I was amazed at their goals, which aligned with my own experience.  By this time, I had my own special needs son, whom my husband and I helped navigate through both public and private education.  Today he is a successful special needs adult.

Donating to CAA helps other special needs adults to grow, prosper, and enjoy being successful.  Success is different for every human.  I encourage donating to CAA, so that more adults will have the opportunity to find their success.


Erin Benford
(408) 644-5159
CalBRE# 01372912
Condos to Castles in Silicon Valley