Updated: Aug 2
From a simple dream to a life-changing reality.
Our story began with a simple goal: offering hope to children, particularly those with cerebral palsy. Discovering that very few options outside of institutions existed, a group of parents began a small program in a remodeled house on Colonial Drive. The program provided an early intervention classroom and therapy services. The dream of offering hope to children began to take shape. More importantly, it started to grow.
In 1980, thanks to the generosity of Jack Holloway (founder of ABC Fine Wine and Spirits) and some of his friends, we moved to a larger facility on South Orange Avenue in Downtown Orlando.
We needed more space, and because there was a decrease in the number of incidences of cerebral palsy and an increase in children with other types of disabilities and developmental delays, including Down syndrome, autism, spina bifida, and speech and hearing delays, we expanded to offer help to all those children and their families.
In the 1990s, to meet the growing needs of the community, we opened campuses in East Orange County, Winter Garden, Lake Mary, and Kissimmee. In 1999, the community helped us raise money through a capital campaign to build and furnish a 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art children’s center which was designed pro bono by the architect firm SCHENKELSHULTZ. To honor the contributions of Jack Holloway it was named the Holloway Center.
We continued to grow, and with a Community Development Block Grant and a capital campaign, we built a new facility in Pine Hills. In 2009, thanks to a generous donation from Jackie and Charlie Bailes and many other community members, we opened the UCP Bailes Campus in East Orange near UCF. This 35,000-square-foot facility was the first elementary school as well as a pediatric therapy center with a vision to be a fully inclusive school. In 2012, we moved the existing campus to a new facility in Winter Garden. In 2015, we purchased a new 15,000-square-foot facility for the UCP Seminole Campus and moved the existing UCP Osceola Campus to a new 36,000-foot facility.
Today, our dream continues to inspire. We provide customized support, education, and therapy for children with and without disabilities.
In 2016, UCP's impact continued to grow as they merged with The BETA Center, allowing BETA's services to remain available to Teen Mothers and their Babies at our UCP Downtown/BETA Campus on Lake Underhill, expanding their mission to help ALL CHILDREN unlock their potential.
Unlike similar organizations, we provide a comprehensive SET (Support, Education and Therapy) of services to more than 3,500 children, teenagers, young adults, and their families. Services are provided at eight locations throughout Central Florida: Downtown Orlando, Lake Mary, East Orange, West Orange, Pine Hills, and Kissimmee.
In 2020, we secured the land, broke ground, and began construction on our new UCP Healthy West Orange campus in Winter Garden. The campus opened at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. Our UCP Bailes Community Academy also became our first K-8 inclusive campus.