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School receives Porto Charities grant

Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Vienna was awarded a grant from Porto Charities Inc., a non-profit that supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The grant enables the school to employ Celeste Fernandes, who has Down syndrome, as an instructional assistant.

Fernandes graduated from the George Mason University in Fairfax Learning Into Future Environments (LIFE) program and has worked in child development centers and elementary schools for the past three years. She is a parishioner of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna.

Porto Charities, in conjunction with Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools and the George Mason LIFE program, has created a pilot program where Catholic schools employ adults with intellectual disabilities. The pilot program supports the larger mission advocated by Bishop Burbidge for inclusivity in diocesan schools. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019