A precious treasure lies within you. Reveal it.
Cover Story— Barbara Cull– A Visionary and Advocate for Children and Families in Need
Exceptional Children’s Foundation– Life Measured in Love
Now is The Time to Claim Your Extraordinary Life
Mirror, Mirror of Myself
Enrico Thomas—New York’s Subway Artist Transforms His Abused Childhood Into a Life of Masterpieces
The Lighter Side 96
Don’t Misunderstand Me
398 Adopting Some New Resolutions
Cover Photo by Lisa Kelly
100 Writers and Contributors
The world is in your hands. You have the power to change it .
barbara cull Barbara Cull has dedicated her entire life to helping children and families challenged by learning disabilities, developmental delays, emotional challenges and chronic medical problems. As a person who struggled with a learning disability and raised a learning-disabled child, she thoroughly understands the time, effort and compassion required to work with these individuals to help them become successful and productive citizens. She has been recognized locally and nationally by the White House, federal, state and local authorities as an innovative leader in special education. She gained personal experience from a serious illness which almost resulted in her death. This gave her a renewed vision and she decided to use her second chance at life to prove that every child can reach his or her full potential. With that in mind she mortgaged her home to start Education Resources and Services (ERAS) to provide services to at-risk children. For the past 35 years, as the Founder and Director of the Kayne-ERAS Center in California, Cull has been determined to affect positive change in these precious souls. She has developed a best-practices educational model that received national and international commendation for its ability to be replicated in other communities. Both Cull and the ERAS Center have been honored with awards, including the National Association of Women Business Owners Joan Sheridan Memorial Award, Ernst & Youngâ€™s 1996 Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Champion of the Children Award. It was an enlightening experience to hear Cull speak of her work through ERAS, as well as her partnership with the Exceptional Childrenâ€™s Foundation.
A Visionary and Advocate for Children and Families In Need
68 | Exceptional People Magazine | January-February 2011
Monica: In 1980 you encountered a lifechanging event pertaining to your health, which gave you a new perspective on life. Barbara: Yes. I went in for a routine surgery, and there was a thing called a pulmonary embolism. I almost lost my life. It affected the healing process to the point where three times they lost me and three times they brought me back. The last time when I went to visit our higher power, I asked him if he would let me live to raise my two kids. I said I would devote the rest of my life to help make the lives of other children better and that I would find a way to take care of them as if they were my own, especially those with special needs. So for me it was a second chance to do what was intended for me. Sometimes you don’t wake up to these things unless you’re challenged. It took a year for me to get out of the bed because it took a year for the wound to heal. That time was probably a very important time for me to reflect on what I needed to do. I’ve been in education and in special education. I have a child who, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I was working at UCLA and had a several interns under me, would never have learned to read. In second grade they called me and said, “Your son’s a bad kid. He just punched somebody in the face.” I said, “My son?” I said, “We’re hippies. We To read more of this great interview, subscribe at www.exceptionalmag.com. Take advantage of our special promotion and receive a free two-year subscription by visiting: www.exceptionalmag.com/ celebrate_5_years.html.
January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 69
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