Ma’Kayla Hunter: Executive Director
My name is Ma’Kayla Hunter, and I am the Executive Director at Greensboro Cerebral Palsy Association. I am originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, but I currently live in Graham, North Carolina, and service the Greensboro community. I received my Bachelor in English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and continued my academic career at UNCG to obtain my Master in Public Affairs with a Nonprofit Management Concentration. As I have enriched my skills through helping organizations with marketing and resource development, GCPA provided me an opportunity to combine all of my talents in one position. As Executive Director, I am able to make the biggest impact through listening to our community and stakeholders, fulfilling children and family needs within our services, and expanding our resource capabilities to ensure GCPA is here to serve the community for decades to come.
Taylor Swink: Program Director
My name is Taylor Swink, and I am the Program Director at Greensboro Cerebral Palsy Association. I am originally from Southern Pines, North Carolina, but I currently live and serve within Greensboro, North Carolina. For 32 years and counting, I have worked with children who have developmental delays and disabilities. In my experience, I have found the most enjoyment and success with building relationships with the children and their families, as well as acting as a partner to the families. This has allowed me to instill hope and partnerships in parents that thought they would be alone during their experiences. Completing this work creates a positive impact on the development of the child, as well as the capabilities and strengths of the parents. Overall, I actively work to ensure families are equipped to assist their children with developmental delays, increasing the child’s development through awareness and quality support.
Whitney Gansman: Physical Therapist
My name is Whitney Gansman, and I am a Physical Therapist that administers therapy within Greensboro. I am originally from Richmond, Virginia, but I currently live in Summerfield, North Carolina. I received my undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Vanderbilt University. Then, I obtained my Doctor of Physical Therapy from Duke University. With administering early intervention care to children, it is critical in helping children maximize their motor abilities and learn how to access their homes, and communities (schools) as independently as possible. At GCPA, I teach families, caregivers, and teachers the best strategies to promote movement in children. Research shows that independent mobility positively impacts cognition. Physical therapy is individualized to each child and can look very different depending on a child’s needs. I help children, families, caregivers, and teachers with play skills, balance, mobility (with and without equipment such as gait trainers and wheelchairs), posture, developmental skills, and motor planning.
Sarah Cunningham: Speech-Language Pathologist
My name is Sarah Cunningham, and I am a Speech-language Pathologist (SLP) that administers services within Greensboro. I am originally from Kernersville, North Carolina, but I currently reside in High Point, North Carolina. I received my undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, and continued my educational experience within Psychology, minoring in women’s studies. I also received my M.A in speech-language pathology from UNC Greensboro. Within my role at GCPA, I provide early intervention therapy services in the areas of communication (speech-language development) and feeding. I address the communication needs of children that are delayed or disordered in this domain. I teach children, families, caregivers, and teachers how to use strategies that will help children communicate more effectively. This enhances learning and relationships and can even decrease frustrations and worrisome behaviors. SLPs can also specialize in feeding, as this skill involves the same oral-motor musculatures as speech. Most children with disabilities or developmental delays have feeding differences. With my help, families, caregivers, and teachers can learn to improve oral-feeding skills so that mealtimes are successful, nutritious, safe, and pleasurable.
Trish Zola: Occupational Therapist
My name is Patricia (Trish) Zola. I have lived in Greensboro for just over 30 years now, but my hometown is in St. Louis, Missouri. I have my Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri, and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University. I am employed as an Occupational Therapist at Kerr Connect, LLC and contracted with GCPA Infant Toddler Program. Early intervention occupational therapy services are important for our young children and their families to support optimal participation in daily activities such as play; social interactions; learning; feeding; dressing. Occupational therapy helps students to do their best by teaching motor skills, establishing foundation skills, providing activity modifications, adaptive devices, or equipment, teaching compensatory strategies, assessing and addressing neurodiversity, sensory processing and self-regulation differences. I provide coaching, training, and education to families, and classroom staff; coordinate with other therapists and classroom staff for our team to provide a multidisciplinary approach to help our students and families have positive and meaningful experiences across the child’s earliest occupations and to have access to peer opportunities.