2023 December Newsletter

CIDA’s 7th Anniversary:

As we embrace the festive spirit of December, we are thrilled to celebrate a significant milestone in our journey – the 7th anniversary of the founding of the CIDA. It’s a moment to reflect on the incredible progress we’ve made together and celebrate the impact we’ve had on our community. One of the standout achievements of 2023 was the grand opening of the CIDA Community Center. From workshops to community programs, the Community Center stands as an example of our commitment to creating a space that nurtures both personal and collective growth.

This year has also been marked by other great achievements, such as the start of the CoSpire Cafe and Art Initiative, the second Annual CIDA Gala, and the Very Special Art Festival at St. John’s University. Looking back on these accomplishments, we are proud of the enduring support of our community members. Your dedication has been instrumental in shaping CIDA’s success over the past seven years, and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Here’s to seven years of growth, impact, and community building, and to the many more milestones we will achieve together.

What’s Up at CIDA

CIDA Birthday Party


Over the past seven years, we have worked together to increase equity and inclusion opportunities for children and families with exceptional needs within our community.
This anniversary is not just a milestone; it’s a testament to the dedication, passion, and support of each and every member of our incredible community.

As we reflect, we are filled with gratitude for the positive change we’ve collectively achieved.

None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of our donors, volunteers, partners, and the entire CIDA family.
Your commitment to our mission has continued to fuel our growth and achievements.

JOIN US at our CIDA BIRTHDAY PARTY on 12/8 Friday from 2pm-4pm at the CoSpire Gallery Cafe

Thank you for being a crucial part of our journey.
Here’s to many more years of collaboration, growth, and positive change!

Holiday Gift Box Sale:

CIDA’s Holiday Gift Boxes are now on Sale!! Show your care for your loved ones with this amazing gift while all the proceeds will go to the CoSpire Program, which helps employ persons with disabilities. These boutique gift boxes offer a carefully curated selection of sweet and savory treats that make perfect party favors, meaningful holiday presents, or goodies for your cozy winter vacation.

More Cooking Class is Opening (Monday Afternoon: 1-3pm)

A second cooking class will be available starting this December at the CIDA Community Center! If you are not available for the Monday morning class between 10am-12pm, you can now register for a Monday afternoon class taking place between 1pm-3pm. Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity to learn important kitchen skills and make delicious meals with our Cooking Instructor Nathalie Reid!

Cospire Highlights

David Lee – Brand Associate of the Month!

We are thrilled to announce that David Lee, graduate of our CoSpire Workforce Development Program, was awarded the title of Brand Associate of the Month at Old Navy! We have watched David grow and develop as a worker and as a person during our time with him at CIDA, and we cannot think of anyone more deserving of recognition for putting in the hard work, demonstrating responsibility, and bringing a sense of joy to each daily task. We asked David how he feels about this wonderful news, and he told us, “I am proud of being Employee of the Month. I will work hard for the next plan and project that the store asks for.” Great job, David–we are so proud of you!

Benjamin Kim – USPS Employee!

This has been a month of tremendous blessings for the CoSpire family. Benjamin Kim, another graduate of the Workforce Development program, has been hired as a full-time mail sorter by the United States Postal Service! Ben was fast-tracked as a candidate after he scored a whopping 98% on the employee examination, and he is one of the hardest-working members of the CoSpire program. During his job search, he applied to over 100 jobs, and would tirelessly fill out applications on evenings and weekends in addition to interning at CoSpire and volunteering to assist CIDA staff. We know Ben will be successful in his new position and in his life, and we would like to wish him all the best going forward. We are so proud of you, Ben!

To learn more about the CoSpire program at CIDA, please visit www.cospireny.com.

Resource Page

Autism Resources for Parents

We added the Autism Resources page on our website for parents and professionals who wish to learn basic information including diagnosis, seeking help, educational methods and more. CIDA’s Community Parent Resource Center Team will continuously add and update these resources to inform families and the community. Video series in the Korean language will also be available soon. See here: https://cidainfo.com/special-project_autism-initiative/