Thursday, January 13, 2011

MEET XI'XI

Alright, all you CPC detectives: Have you figured out our mystery?

No? Yes? Maybe?

We’ll end the suspense for you right now!

Please join us in welcoming the new face of the Central Park Challenge: Xi’Xi!


Born in China with developmental and physical disabilities, Norma Xi’an McLaughlin, nicknamed Xi’Xi (pronounced She-She), was adopted as an infant by New York City residents Patrick McLaughlin and Cindy Klaja-McLaughlin.

Last summer, at age 3, Xi’Xi began attending YAI’s Gramercy preschool in Manhattan. With the support of YAI teachers, staff and her parents, Xi’Xi is overcoming mobility and communication struggles, and is reaching new milestones.

Though she previously could not walk without support, now she navigates her classroom relying on a walker only minimally. Her enthusiasm and ambition have even led her to start tackling stairs.

Xi’Xi’s speech has also improved significantly. She now engages with her classmates and teachers, making friends often.

Xi’Xi will join Sherri Shepherd, who is the celebrity spokesperson for the YAI Network. As a co-host of ABC’s "The View," Sherri has used her considerable platform to discuss both the disabilities field generally, as well as the work we do at YAI, specifically.

Sherri has both a professional and emotional connection to us: her son receives services from YAI.

We are very thankful to Jaden for his year of service to the Central Park Challenge, and to his family for sharing their remarkable journey with us. But just as the country crowns a new Miss America every year, so must we select a new ambassador for the CPC.

We are thrilled to have Xi’Xi join our team and hope you will be too. There is so much more to Xi’Xi’s incredibly moving story – and we’ll be sharing it right here. So check back early and often to find out more about Xi’Xi, and keep current on her progress!



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