UCP director learned early

April 30, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - Some of Jennifer Maust's earliest childhood memories center around the examples set by her mother on responsibility to one's community.

"My mom set the bar high," said Maust, the Hagerstown center director for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Maryland. "She would say she believes things can be done if only you try."

Maust's mother, Kathleen Vogt Hall, currently works with the FBI Office for Victim Assistance in Washington, D.C. Hall has been associated with United Way, Chamber of Commerce and the local management board for Washington County.

That philosophy has been Maust's for many years, and especially since she joined UCP as employment services director in 2005.

Maust is responsible for serving and creating opportunities for individuals with disabilities and overseeing the center's College 4 Living program, an initiative she co-created.


The agency's programs and personnel will be available to the public Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the new Hagerstown UCP Center at 118 E. Oak Ridge Drive at South Pointe.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony, an open house and tours of the new and expanded UCP facility. Its former office was in the 600 block of Salem Avenue.

"It's all about matching clients with jobs they can handle," Maust said. "We do assessments based on the needs of the employers and the abilities of the employee."

From the Hagerstown office, Maust oversees UCP programs in Allegany, Washington and Frederick counties.

In Washington County, approximately 100 adult clients with cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilities are served.

"About 21 are in residential settings, and we have approximately 50 clients who participate in our day program," Maust said.

Services are available for them and for others who utilize the agency's transportation fleet to get to and from the day programs or their employment.

The College 4 Living is a six-week program that about developing a bridge for clients, Maust said.

"It teaches living and vocational skills in a day setting and then preparing for employment, either paid or volunteer," she said.

Maust, 33, previously served as Western Maryland representative for U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., a job her mother also held. Maust also was Western Maryland staff representative for former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

Maust volunteers with the Hagerstown City Police Department Victim Assistance Unit, serving violent crime victims, and participates as a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

Maust received her undergraduate degree in human service management at the University of Phoenix, where she continues to pursue her master's in business administration.

She lives in Smithsburg with her husband, Christopher, and has three children, Alexandra, Olivia and Gabriel.

Maust said she also learned from her mother never to make promises she couldn't keep.

"We had to step things up, and we have," Maust said. "I get to see every day the growth and impact we make."

For more information on UCP services, call 301-790-1493.

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