BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - “Unless U” is the brainchild of Lindy Cleveland. It’s a school offering continuing education to adults with special needs who have aged out of special ed courses in high school.
Lindy, who is a Samford graduate, was inspired by her brother Jordan who has down syndrome. Once he was out of high school Lindy noticed his isolation and lack of learning. Then she saw the movie The Lorax based on a book by Dr. Seuss. The story includes this quote which grabbed her heart. " Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not."
Lindy was determined to make things better. Five years ago she started Unless U with a few students in her parent's rec room. Now there are more than 50 students and 12 staff members. Every one of them know the quote by heart. At "Unless U" they attend all sorts of classes including reading, writing and math. There are also classes in job skills, fine arts and even cooking and pilates. Lindy says watching them learn is a great reward. "When I walk in and see something click with a student that they've learned. It's a really good day." For now, the classes are in borrowed space at Shades Mountain Baptist Church but they just broke ground for a new building in Vestavia Hills and are working to raise another $300 thousand so they can move in debt free.
Through it all, Lindy says the students strengthen her Christian faith. “What amazing people they are. It’s just a joy and blessing to be a part of it and to get to walk through this life with them.”
You can also nominate someone you know for “Doing Good” at this link.