Students and Parents Looking Forward to Upcoming ARC Broward Graduation Celebrations

In two weeks, 24 ARC Broward Preschool and seven ARC Broward School of HIRE Education students will be graduating the evening of Thursday, June 9.

Both ceremonies will be held at the Sunrise Civic Center Grand Ballroom. The preschool commencement begins at 5 p.m., and the School of HIRE Education is at 6:30 p.m. A reception for the graduates, their families and friends will follow each ceremony.

ARC Broward, a nonprofit human services organization dedicated to providing services to children and adults with disabilities and other life challenges, is extremely proud of their accomplishments.

“We take great pride in the success of our students. From preschool to adulthood, watching them grow up and achieve these milestones is a rewarding experience for our staff, the families and friends who have supported them along the journey,” ARC Broward President/CEO Dennis Haas said.

Celebrating its 60th annual graduation, the ARC Broward Preschool provides early education and therapy service to toddlers and young students, age 18 months through five years. The school’s educators consist of certified teachers, teachers’ assistants, licensed physical and occupational therapists, licensed speech language pathologists and board certified behavior analysts. Some of the daily routine includes individual and small group activities, independent activities and multi-sensory learning in the classroom, cafeteria and therapy gym, as well as on the playground.

For Jason and Gina DeGesero, their experiences with ARC Broward’s Preschool have been all positive. They had a previous understanding about the organization from friends who had children at ARC Broward. Their identical twins, Xavier and Oliver (left), will be part of the 24 preschoolers graduating on June 9.

“ARC Broward is a place of love and compassion. Having our two boys attend the preschool was the best decision we ever made,” Gina said. “Even when they had to switch classrooms, the teachers were knowledgeable and thoughtful making the transition as smooth as possible.”

Xavier and Oliver started at ARC Broward in February of 2014. After graduation, they will be transitioning to Parkside Elementary School in Coral Springs.

“We are very happy for them, but at the same time sad about leaving ARC Broward. The staff there made it feel like a home for Xavier and Oliver. We are one of several parents who have peace of mind knowing our children are loved and in a safe environment,” Gina said.

Since its inception in 2013, ARC Broward’s School of HIRE Education is an opportunity for Broward County students, ages 18-22, with developmental disabilities to obtain and sustain a career/workforce education, community-based instruction and independent living skills. A unique option for post-secondary students, the school provides them with the abilities to prepare them for a career after high school. The students are presented with four vocational track choices, including: culinary arts; electronics recycling; child and/or elder care; and office/clerical work.

One of the seven students graduating this year is Ciarah Oglive (right), who enrolled in the program in November of 2013. She immediately developed an interest in the child care career track and has received extensive training in the field while applying her skills in ARC Broward’s preschool classrooms.

“Ciarah has done a remarkable job during her training. Our Preschool
Supervisor was so impressed that Ciarah was hired to work as a teacher’s assistant in August 2014,” Director of Workforce Development Jody Ellis said.

As required to work in the preschool, Ciarah completed the 45-hour child care licensing course. In November of 2015, Ciarah was employed at Heron Bay Elementary to work in the after school program and was awarded the
“Employee of the Month” honors this March.

“The School of HIRE Education taught me to be more independent, and it increased my confidence.” Ciarah said. “I have learned job skills, and I am starting to talk and be more social. Everyone has been so nice to me.”

“She has shown tenacity, dedication and strives to attain her goals. Ciarah is a very caring person who has the desire to help others and is seen as a role model by her peers,” Jody said. “She has a bright future ahead of her.”

“Our graduation ceremonies are always very inspiring. ARC Broward is glad to have made a difference in the lives of those we serve and will continue to find new ways to reach out to people with disabilities and other life challenges,” Dennis said.

The Sunrise Civic Center Grand Ballroom is located at 10610 West Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise FL 33351. For more information about ARC Broward and its children’s programs, please visit (  


Since 1956, ARC Broward has worked hand-in-hand with the community to provide the encouragement and opportunities that create life-changing outcomes so that people with disabilities and other life challenges can live, learn, work and play in their communities.

The not-for-profit organization operates three “mission-based” enterprises that provide training and employment opportunities for individuals served while generating revenue to help fund services. These include the ARC Broward Learning Institute, ARC Broward Culinary Institute and ARC Broward IT Asset Recovery and provides services through 21 programs in nine locations across Broward County. To learn more or to donate visit ( or call (954) 746-9400. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.