From the president
I am pleased to recommend Zachary Ehrlich — a student at the University of Central Florida (UCF) majoring in the pre-clinical track of our health sciences program — for a Newman Civic Fellowship. From 2020 to 2022, Zachary was a member of the UCF LEAD Scholars Academy, a selective leadership development program that focuses on academics, leadership, and community service. He has maintained a 3.95 GPA while gaining valuable volunteer and clinical work experience with organizations in our community. Among those organizations is Love Serving Autism, where he has served under the direction of the organization’s founder and CEO since 2017. As a volunteer, he works with children with autism — teaching tennis skills and promoting communication and social skills through peer interaction. When their programming expanded to Orlando, he was asked to increase his responsibilities and serve as lead and coordinator of the program. In this new volunteer role, he recruits and trains new volunteers, manages schedules, and works with program participants and other stakeholders to increase success and impact. Zachary is responsible and compassionate. He exemplifies servant leadership and scholarship, and I am proud of how he represents our university and community.
I have been volunteering for the organization Love Serving Autism for about 5 years under the direction of Lisa Pugliese-LaCroix (founder and CEO) in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. I work with children with autism ages 7-18 teaching tennis skills/techniques and promoting communication and social skills through peer interaction. Upon expanding their locations, I was asked to be a part of the Orlando/UCF program. Given my experience, I was asked to lead the program as coach/coordinator. I chose to take on this role as a volunteer position. In addition to coaching, for the past year, I have successfully led the program by recruiting and training volunteers, creating class schedules, and working with UCF faculty/PALS/RCW, as well as communicating weekly with the parents and families.