The Barbara Stone Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families, has named Lara Ceisel as its new executive director. Since 1991, the Barbara Stone Foundation has focused on awarding annual grants to Upstate organizations that create or maintain innovative programs and offer more equitable opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Since 2010, Ceisel served as the Area Director for Greenville County’s Special Olympics and as a Camp Spearhead supervisor. Her career had been dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities. As new executive director, Ceisel will focus on raising money and increasing the foundation’s visibility within the community so the organization can invest in visionary programs and initiatives that empower individuals with disabilities in the Upstate of South Carolina.
Ceisel is a native of Chicago, IL, and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Special Education. Prior to coming to Greenville in 2008 to work at the YMCA Camp Greenville, she was a program assistant at a Tempe Arizona Camp for children with seizure disorders, and dedicated her college years working full-time as a habilitation therapist with the H.O.P.E. Group in Phoenix, AZ, for individuals with autism.
“Lara’s passion and dedication to support individuals with disabilities through increasing recreational opportunities, improving accessibility and advocating for equitable opportunities make her a perfect fit to lead our organization,” said Jimmy Kimbell, Barbara Stone Foundation board president.
The Barbara Stone Foundation provided the first grant to start Greenville CAN (Collaborative Action Network) in 2013 after a needs assessment was conducted to identify opportunities to strengthen support systems for the disability community. Ceisel will also lead Greenville CAN’s network of self-advocates, service providers, families, caregivers and professionals committed to making the local community a better place for individuals with disabilities.
“It’s a dream come true to continue the work that Barbara Stone started so many years ago and to have the chance to continue my passion with the foundation. Working with, advocating for and learning from individuals with disabilities is a privilege and right where I want to be,” said Lara Ceisel, Executive Director of The Barbara Stone Foundation. “It’s been a life-changing journey over the years, and now I get to continue Mrs. Stone’s legacy for a more equitable and understanding community.”
Twice a year, the Barbara Stone Foundation requests that 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in the Upstate apply to receive their grants. More information about the grants can be found online at www.barbarastonefoundation.org/grants/application-process/.
About Barbara Stone Foundation
Since 1991, the Barbara Stone Foundation has provided funds to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. The mission of the Barbara Stone Foundation is to raise funds to enhance the quality of life for citizens of Greenville County with developmental disabilities, head and spinal cord injuries, and autism. For more information, visit www.barbarastonefoundation.org.
About Grenville CAN
Greenville CAN was started in 2013 as a network of self-advocates, service providers, families and community stakeholders working collaboratively to take actions that will strengthen Greenville, SC and make it a better place to live and work for individuals with disabilities. The organization addresses community needs by linking organizations together, leveraging available resources to expand capacity and advocating for system and policy change. Greenville CAN believes the best way to increase services, programs, access, opportunities, and resources in our community for individuals with disabilities is through collaboration and partnership. For more information, visit www.GreenvilleCAN.org.