A Viscardi grad set on bringing alumni together
Kate Weglikowski was born with cerebral palsy and a binaural hearing loss. At a young age, she required intensive physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Knowing that Kate had special needs, her parents enrolled her at the Henry Viscardi School at The Viscardi Center. She spent fourteen wonderful years at Viscardi, which would fundamentally shape the rest of her life.
The staff at the Henry Viscardi School imbued her with confidence and a “can do” attitude. In addition to meeting Kate’s educational and therapeutic needs, she credits the school for developing a sense of belonging and facilitating the development of lifelong friendships. As a student, she participated in extracurricular activities such as wheelchair hockey, Friday Night Rec, and her personal favorite, wheelchair basketball.
Kate fondly remembers her hero, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr.: “Dr. Viscardi was an extraordinary man who had a significant impact on my life and so many others. He created a place where people with disabilities can thrive and enabled them to achieve what their able-bodied peers can do, albeit sometimes in a different way.”
Kate knew that whatever she did with her life, she wanted to make an impact. She continued her education at Hofstra University, where she received a BA in Public Relations and minored in Communications. After graduating from college with honors in 2009, she worked at the Town of Hempstead Executive Board as an office assistant for six years. One of her passions is volunteering for the Games for the Physically Challenged, having competed as an athlete in the Games for thirteen years. She currently serves on the Games Committee.
As a Viscardi alum, Kate has always enjoyed staying connected with the Center. In spring of 2018, she had the amazing opportunity to explore her interest in event planning as a volunteer with the Special Events office. Then, in February 2019, Kate was given the incredible opportunity to head the Viscardi Alumni Association. In this role, she aims to build a strong network that brings generations of alumni together.
“It feels so good to be home, and to help others, and more importantly, to give back to a wonderful organization that has given me so much. I hope to continue Dr. Viscardi’s legacy.”