Our Founder: Evelyn Deloris Pinson
During her second term as director, the staff increased to ten people, including a food service person with enrollment increasing to 65 children. Because of this growth, she redeveloped the employee handbook. During year two, Fall 1999, the after-school program grew to 40 children increasing the number of schools serviced. In 2000, the PACT program increased to 75 children, summer enrollment to 80children, and she increased the staff to 13 persons, including two food service employees. During years 3-5, the program increased to more than 100 children and 17 staff members.
Mrs. Pinson, as a single mother of two, special needs son Aaron and daughter Audrey, has relied on family to help with Aaron. In April 2006, she was challenged with finding someone to care for her special needs son. It was at that time, she decided to resign her position from the Greenville County School District and establish Upstate Circle of Friends with a summer program for special needs children. During that first summer, five special needs children were served.
In May 2006, UCF served 5 special needs children. In May 2007, UCF served 20 special needs children and 50 at-risk youth from Fleetwood Apartments and Aladdin Manor Apartments. Because of this growth, her staff increased from 2 in 2006 to 10 in 2007. In the fall of 2007 she began an after-school program for at-risk youth through a partnership with the Department of Juvenile Justice and served 15 youth. In the summer of 2008, UCF enrolled 130 youth. Twenty special needs children wereserved, and 110 at-risk youth were served. Having no other programs in Greenville County like this, parents with special needs children have had previously had to give up their careers to stay home and care for their children. UCF brings hope to families by helping with economic hardships that accompany single parent/special needs responsibilities.