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Photos courtesy of QCP
Photos courtesy of QCP
Terri Ross (right) will take over as QCP's executive director after Charles Houston (left) retires at the end of June.

A Jamaica-based nonprofit that provides services and support to children and adults with developmental disabilities will soon have a new leader at the helm.

Charles Houston, who has been with Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) since 1981, will retire from his position as executive director at the end of the month.

“When I came to QCP, it was partially because of my predecessor,” Houston explained. “I just really felt like I really had a home here. And that feeling continues.”

Houston’s passing the torch to Terri Ross, who’s currently the QCP director of adult services.

“[Ross] knows our programs, the people in our programs and our staff very well,” Houston said. “[The executive director] is really responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of the agency … [Ross] has done a great job in the time she has been here to help people work together.”

The agency was first founded around 1950 under a different name to serve children with cerebral palsy, Houston explained. From there, the nonprofit grew, and today serves thousands of individuals and employs more than 600 staff members.

“We later took a name (QCP) that still identified us as a Queens-based organization,” Houston said. “We serve, and continue to serve, many people, in addition to children with cerebral palsy.”

Today, QCP offers children’s services, adult day and residential services and vocational opportunities. Its mission is to support each individual in making the most of his or her talents, abilities and interests.

Teamwork at Volunteer Site with Robert and Joe

“QCP is, I think, really fortunate to have people who are really committed to the job and committed to working together,” Houston said. “When you’ve got a larger organization, it’s harder … but I think that QCP has been able to maintain that focus and, really, everybody here is committed to making life for the people who come to us for services as complete and full as possible.”

To learn more about the organization, visit their website.

Ricky Volunteering at Food Pantry

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