July 29, 2015 — The MDRT Foundation has awarded a $2,000 grant to The Children’s Institute (TCI) to further develop the vocational and social skills programs at their Center for Independence (CFI). Established in 2012, CFI serves adults over the age of 21 with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities.

Through its global grants, the MDRT Foundation is committed to building stronger families and communities around the globe. This year, the MDRT Foundation will award nearly $1 million in MDRT member-endorsed grants to more than 100 charitable organizations worldwide.

Representing the MDRT Foundation, Brian Tarpey, President of The Tarpey Group, LLC. presented this grant to TCI at their Donor Appreciation event on Thursday, July 16.

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“Autism is not a sickness of the will,” explains  Kim Rushmore, Program Director of The Center for Independence, “People with autism have hopes and dreams just like the rest of us. However, they have a unique set of needs. We provide services that respond to those needs, so children, young adults, and adults with autism can experience success in learning as well as in other areas of their lives.”

Bruce Ettinger, Executive Director and Superintendent of TCI, has run the organization for over 30 years. He attributes the organization’s success to innovation, open-mindedness and flexibility. “At TCI,” he says, “disability does not define the individual. We recognize the potential in each of our students and adults and develop individualized plans that lead to many individuals experiencing success for the first time. ”

Originating as an orphanage in 1883, TCI evolved into a school for students with disabilities in 1963 and has been a pioneer in serving individuals with special learning needs for more than fifty years. Today, TCI includes two non-profit schools approved by the New Jersey State Board of Education and The Center for Independence, a program for adults 21 and over, approved by the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities. TCI’s Verona campus is home to the pre-school, elementary and middle school programs; while the Livingston campus houses the high school, young adult and adult programs. Together, the comprehensive services offered at TCI have been hailed as a national model.

About the MDRT Foundation:

The MDRT Foundation was created in 1959 to provide MDRT members with a means to give back to their communities. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated more than $29 million in more than 70 countries throughout the world and in all 50 U.S. states. These funds were raised by MDRT members and industry partners. For more information, visit  mdrtfoundation.org.

About MDRT:

The MDRT Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Million Dollar Round Table, The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®. MDRT is an international, independent association of nearly 42,000 of the world’s best life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 80 countries and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional product knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of sales excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. For more information, visit  mdrt.org.