Words and Pictures
The leadership, staff and Board of UCP Central PA would like to extend our deep appreciation and gratitude to the attorneys and staff of the law firm of SchmidtKramer--especially partners Chuck Schmidt, Gerry Kramer, and Scott Cooper--for their unwavering support of the Expressions Contest (and its precursor the Attitudes Essay Contest) for the past 15+ years. We also would like to thank the thousands of students who expressed themselves—mostly in written form, but more recently also in pictures--as well as the hundreds of parents, teachers, and administrators who encouraged and supported their efforts.
Originally introduced in 2002 as an essay only contest (aptly titled the Attitudes Essay Contest), it was opened up to various styles of writing and also pictures in 2014. The format of the newly-named Expressions Contest provided more options for contestants to express themselves while still staying true to the purpose of the original essay contest: to educate and help raise awareness and understanding among the community at large around the issue of disabilities.
The subject matter of the contest—the reality of life with a disability and/or the aspiration of life without limits for people of all abilities—was never an easy one to tackle. And yet, students of all ages (from 3rd through 12th grade) did so with clarity and compassion, with humor and raw emotion, and in many instances with outstanding insight.
Individually, the submissions touched on such intangibles as acceptance, friendship, achievement, accessibility, independence, perseverance, confidence, hope and joy. Taken as a whole, they reflected the wonder of what life without limits can mean for those whose lives have all too often been constrained by limitations. That is the message that has always been at the heart of the UCP/SchmidtKramer Expressions Contest.
On learning of the decision to discontinue the contest, one teacher shared her appreciation for what the contest was all about:
“We are just so thankful that you have reached out to young people over the years, giving them an opportunity to think about and react to issues that they may otherwise not have considered.”
~ Brenda Reed
Eagle View Middle School
Contest Sponsor SchmidtKramer
For over 60 years, UCP Central PA has promoted a vision for the community of a “life without limits“ for people with disabilities. For the past 20+ years, the law firm of SchmidtKramer has been a staunch supporter of UCP’s mission and vision, and a committed partner in our fundraising and outreach efforts.
The UCP/SchmidtKramer Expressions Contest is the latest manifestation of that partnership.