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Even when you know all the great work that a client does, it can still be impressive to hear it when it’s all listed out together.

That’s what we got last week when leadership from our wonderful client Melwood gave a presentation to the Charles County Commissioners, another G.S. Proctor & Associates client.

Melwood President and CEO Larysa Kautz, along with Vice President of Government Relations Jewelyn Cosgrove and Director of Community Engagement Marchesa Whittington gave the commissioners an overview of Melwood’s past, present and future. They made a special point to highlight the win-win situations created by connecting people with disabilities with job opportunities throughout the region.

The vision of Melwood as an organization is to create a world where people with disabilities are fully included. To that end, since its founding in 1963, Melwood has worked with both children and adults to integrate them into every aspect of society.

“We serve people with disabilities in every possible way that we can — to live, work and play in the community,” Kautz said. 

Melwood now serves more than 2,500 individuals with disabilities across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. It coordinates employment for more than 1,000 people. Through Camp Accomplish, more than 500 children discover fun and adventure together.

The organization also uses its beautiful properties to host retreats for veterans, field trips for school children and outings for corporate teams.

The commissioners were extremely receptive to the presentation and eager to find opportunities to visit, collaborate and connect businesses with Melwood’s jobs services program.

“People don’t know all the work that you do for so many folks out there — and also in Prince George’s County — but I think you’re to be commended for it,” Commissioner Gilbert “B.J.” Bowling said. “I’m proud to support you.”

The arrival of COVID-19 has meant a re-evaluation of our educational system at every level. It’s been a constant challenge for educators and students.

Yet the College of Southern Maryland has continued to find innovative and creative ways to move forward with its mission, serving its students and preparing them for productive careers that will help shape our communities in the years ahead.

April is National Community College Month, and there’s no better time to shine a light on one of our favorite clients.

Though classes have been primarily online since last spring, the college has worked extremely hard to maximize the opportunities it offers. Just this month, the school offered a virtual juried art exhibition, a virtual poetry reading, virtual presentations on social justice and more. CSM’s robotics team participated in a remote skills event to test themselves against students from across the nation.

The college has also recognized the unique financial challenges brought by the pandemic. Since its onset, the university has worked to maximize all available resources and has awarded more than $9 million in financial assistance to students through a mix of federal and state grants, scholarships and monies raised by the CSM Foundation.

Its Student Government Association officers, who earned their positions via a virtual election campaign, has redirected more than $80,000 of their student activities’ budget to the Students Helping Students fund, the Student Emergency Fund and the Help-a-Hawk fund – that has distributed 10,255 pounds of food to needy students – to date.

Yet the college continues to move forward to be prepared for a post-pandemic reality in which students return to full-time, in-person, hands-on educational activities. Construction is now underway for CSM’s new Center for Health Sciences building at the school’s Hughesville campus. 

The facility will feature specialized laboratories for programs in nursing, emergency medical services, rehabilitation, wellness and fitness, pharmacy technician, medical assisting, health information management and medical coding, and medical laboratory technology.

At G.S. Proctor & Associates, we are proud to partner with the College of Southern Maryland and to hold them up as a shining example of what can be achieved when each new challenge is viewed not as an obstacle but as an opportunity.