On Tuesday June 21st, at the JF&CS Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors, JF&CS volunteer Brett Skloff was presented the Simone Lottor Exceptional Service Award.
Brett has been volunteering with JF&CS since 2020, serving as an active member of the CHAI Services, Business Advisory, and Risk Management Committees. While his committee work is important to him, Brett’s true passion is volunteering to teach math to CHAI Works program participants.
Each week for more than two years, Brett has led an online teaching session for CHAI participants with developmental and intellectual disabilities, helping them improve math skills and foster self-confidence. In Brett’s speech about receiving the award, he told the story of the impact he’s made on one particular CHAI participant:
“One particular student, her name is Claire*. And she would log on to math every week. She has Down Syndrome. And every week, she would volunteer and the first thing she would say, Brett, I just want to let you know that I have Down Syndrome. And math is hard for people with Down Syndrome. And I always respond ‘Okay, well, we'll work through it. We'll figure it out. What kind of figures are number ones, we'll work through it.’ And every week, same thing. Months go by, you know, six months go by. And eventually, one day she stopped and I never heard it [her disclaimer} again.”
Brett knows that through small actions, he makes a large impact in the lives of CHAI participants. Alex Tierney, the Assistant Director of Day Programs at JF&CS, commended Brett for his kindness and patience as a teacher. Alex spoke about the mark Brett has left on CHAI participants beyond just math:
“I’ve had multiple parents since Brett began with us call and email me to say that their child is solving larger and larger addition problems on their own or that they’ve taken up an interest in math that they never even had before and can’t wait to attend Brett’s classes on a topic they’ve avoided their entire lives. I’ve also seen the enthusiasm in the participants themselves – I recently attempted to run a math group myself and I mostly heard that “Brett does it this way” or “I like this group better when Brett is here” before they logged out of the meeting.”
JF&CS is proud to recognize and honor Brett’s volunteer work with the Simone Lottor Award. Thank you to Brett for using his skills to improve the lives of our CHAI participants and for his dedication to helping others.