The WOW Center, a nonprofit organization that provides an array of support, programs and activities to adults with developmental disabilities, broke ground for its new Learning Center on Thursday, Jan. 29, joined by numerous Florida elected officials and supporters.
The new Learning Center will allow The WOW Center to add two new programs — Home Economics and Transition to Employment — to its current offering, as well as relocate two of its existing programs that are currently housed in an outdated 1940s-era building to a new facility. The expansion also will allow The WOW Center to increase its enrollment by 40 percent to meet the needs of the individuals presently on its growing waitlist.
Many officials and business supporters attended the groundbreaking ceremony, celebrating together with 150 guests and individuals participating in the programs.
State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, a strong advocated for individuals with disabilities, commented during the ceremony: “I am so excited for the future of The WOW Center. It is a home away from home for so many amazing people in our community, and I am proud to support them.”
Enrique R. Martínez, board chair of The WOW Center and president and managing director of Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic, added: “This is a fantastic organization I am proud to be supporting for more than a decade. The WOW Center plays an important role in our community and positively impacts the lives of adults participating in the programs on a daily basis.”
Natalia Wong, executive director of The WOW Center, added her comments.
“With our ever-growing waitlist the need in the community for our program and the new Learning Center is evident,” she said. “Every individual on the list is eager to participate in the opportunities we offer. This has inspired us and given us the passion and perseverance to push ahead with this project. Our extended services and new location will help them to achieve their dreams and goals and have the daily WOW experience,”
The WOW Center has been serving adults with developmental disabilities since 1972. This center started as a parttime program with a small group of participants. Throughout the years it has grown significantly and been at capacity since 2004. The board of directors launched a capital campaign at the center’s Annual Fashion Show Fundraiser to raise $1million to be able to service many more individuals who are eager to participate in the array of opportunities the center offers.
For more information about The WOW Center, visit wowcentermiami.org