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Sunshine School enriches life for individuals, families March 17, 2019 at 1:00 a.m.
Cyndi Bilyeu Chief Executive Officer Sunshine School & Development Center

Tell us about your organization:

• Mission: Developing and enriching the lives of individuals and families through therapy, education and support.

Sunshine School

Who: Sunshine School and Development Center

What: Dinner, live and silent auctions, music

When: April 6

Where: Horton Farms in Gravette

Tickets: $150

Attire: Country chic

Information: (479) 636-3190 or

• Services provided: Therapeutic day treatment services for preschoolers with developmental disabilities, Parents as Teachers home visiting program, Arkansas Better Chance preschool program, occupational, physical, speech-language and behavioral-mental health therapies, community support programs, including independent and supported living. In addition we have services that support these programs such as nutrition, transportation and nursing.

• Service area: Benton and Washington counties

• Average number of people served annually: Around 500

How is your organization's mission unique? One of the things that I think really makes Sunshine School stand out is our multidisciplinary and goal-oriented approach for each of our services. Each person that we work with has goals and objectives that they are working on -- and each person has a team that is working to help them reach those goals. Parents, teachers, aides, therapists, social workers, nurses, direct support professionals and more all work together to make sure we are meeting the unique and individual needs of each child or adult.

Why do you work for a nonprofit organization? Do you have a personal connection to the mission? If so, what is it? Sunshine School provides such a wide variety of services that I think most everyone can find a connection to what we do. Personally, as a mother, I really can connect with the families that we serve and their desire to help their children and adult loved ones reach their full potential.

What part of your job fills the most of your time? One of the things I love about my job is that I get to do a variety of things. I spend time in programs, fundraising, general administration, and this last couple of years I have spent more and more time in Little Rock working with our provider association to make sure those we serve are taken care of through laws and regulations.

What have you learned on the job that you didn't expect? How much change there would be at the legislative and state government level that affects the way we provide services.

What challenges face your organization? Like other Northwest Arkansas employers, we struggle with workforce development. We are always looking to attract new employees to our highly talented and compassionate staff.

Are there volunteer opportunities in your organization? What are they? Yes! We love our volunteers. We have opportunities for both groups and individuals. Groups can spend time at our facility helping in a variety of ways, and individuals can serve on committees or help out in the classroom.

What upcoming fundraisers and/or other events does your organization have planned? April 6 is our annual Sunshine Gala. It will be held at Horton Farms and is a great night with a "country chic" theme. Jack Links is our presenting sponsor, and we have a great program, a delicious dinner, live and silent auctions as well as fun music. You can purchase tickets on our website at

NAN Profiles on 03/17/2019

Print Headline: Personified


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