Karen Uschold, Vianney Charitable Works’ founder, executive director and school principal, began teaching children with disabilities out of necessity. Her own daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia at age seven. Three years later, her younger son was diagnosed with autism. Unwilling to accept the bleak futures the doctors, social workers, and therapists painted for her children, she researched teaching techniques and therapies that would help and eventually overcome the challenges her children faced. The success she achieved gathered the attention within her home school community, of parents with children who had disabilities. Soon, she began formally tutoring other children, using the same techniques that had worked so well with her own children. It wasn’t long before she began tutoring children full time.
In early 2012, she met a teenage boy with a learning disability who suffered from depression and anxiety. The public school system was unable to offer him the special education and emotional support he required. Children’s Aid was also involved, and deemed him to be ‘at risk’. In order to raise the funds required to help this young man, Karen founded Vianney Charitable Works, a non-profit organization. Through Vianney, Karen was able to tutor the young man full time in his high school courses, as well as support him in collaboration with professionals in the community to teach him coping mechanisms to deal with his anxiety and depression. Today this young man is a productive member of society.
Vianney continued to grow as an independent learning centre offering hourly, part time, and full time tutoring, educational therapies, workshops, and parental support and respite until 2016 when Vianney became a recognized private school.
This designation has allowed Vianney to offer its services to more families and children of all learning abilities or disabilities such as gifted, dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, autism, and global learning disorder within the community and we look forward to our continued growth and expansion.
In August 2018, Vianney Academy assumed the major operations of Vianney Charitable Works and the school transitioned to operating as a full-time tutoring centre and continues to maintain the style of a traditional school. Vianney Charitable Works now supports the families and students of Vianney Academy by providing financial aid while the resources available to Vianney Academy allow the continued pursuit of their joint mission: meeting the student’s educational, physical, emotional and social needs in order to maximize learning potential. We look forward to our continued growth and expansion.
Karen Uschold – Founder
Karen Uschold has over 20 years’ experience working with youth, most of whom have not been successful in the public school system. Her experience ranges from working in group homes to tutoring and teaching children with learning disabilities. Using the individual child’s strengths, various therapies and innovative teaching methods designed by her, she has been able to overcome many of her students’ learning disabilities during her 10 years of running her homeschool. Karen has extensive experience working with children with disabilities such as dyslexia, ADD, ADHD and mental health challenges such as autism, severe depression and anxiety. Karen holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in psychology from the University of Toronto and is an NILD certified educational therapist.