Elected Officials, Civic Leaders and Disability Community Honor County Supervisor Carole Groom
AbilityPath Holds Renaming Ceremony of its Burlingame Campus to the Carole Groom Learning Center
Burlingame, CA – AbilityPath, one of the largest and oldest nonprofits on the Peninsula serving children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families, celebrated the many contributions of San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom with a ceremony commemorating the naming of its Burlingame learning and employment training facility for adults with developmental disabilities to the Carole Groom Learning Center.
Groom, a former board member of AbilityPath, will complete her 12-year term on the Board of Supervisors in December. “With more than 20 years of public service, Supervisor Groom has been a tremendous advocate for the disability community,” said AbilityPath CEO Bryan Neider. “Naming one of our centers in her honor is a truly deserving recognition for her steadfast commitment to inclusion for people of all abilities.”
The programs offered at the Carole Groom Learning Center build on an individual’s interests and abilities to help them increase independence through classroom instruction, hands-on learning, and community outings. It’s a place where hundreds of adults with developmental disabilities learn valuable life skills, get job training, and take computer, art, or recreational classes.
“I am truly grateful to be honored in this way,” said Supervisor Groom. “The thousands of individuals and families who are receiving services throughout their lifetime at AbilityPath hold a special place in my heart. People with disabilities need more champions who embrace and advance diversity, access, and inclusion in all levels of our community – from the classroom to the workplace.”
San Mateo County Board Supervisor Dave Pine, who is also a member of AbilityPath’s Advisory Council, gave remarks at the naming ceremony. “Supervisor Groom is devoted to improving our community’s wellness and accessibility for those with disabilities,” Pine said. “Her commitment to a more just and equitable world has never wavered.”
Groom has partnered with AbilityPath on many projects throughout her tenure as an elected official, including affordable housing, accessible transportation, inclusive educational programs, and mental health services. She currently serves as Board Member of AbilityPath Housing.
“In the early 2000s, Carole played an integral role in helping AbilityPath establish its first inclusive preschool located in Burlingame, Learning Links,” said Neider of Groom’s many contributions to the disability community. “The developmental inclusive preschool model continues to be an innovative educational model. And through Carole’s incredible leadership and collaboration, the vision of inclusion in early childhood education became a reality.”
AbilityPath has been a cornerstone of our community for 100 years, providing a lifespan of support services to individuals with special needs and developmental disabilities in the greater Bay Area. Our mission is to empower people with special needs to achieve their full potential through innovative, inclusive programs and community partnerships. With educational, therapeutic, vocational, and family support services, we are distinctive in providing support to an individual throughout their lifetime. We collaborate with businesses, third-party providers, local nonprofits, and various organizations to bring the highest quality services to the children, youth, and adults in our programs. Together, we are creating a world where people of all abilities are fully accepted, respected, and included in all aspects of life – in the classroom, the workplace, and in our communities. Join us in “Inspiring Inclusion.”
About Carole Groom
Carole Groom was elected to the Board of Supervisors in June 2010 and served as President of the Board in 2011, 2015 and 2019. Prior to Supervisor Groom’s appointment in 2009, she served nine years on the San Mateo City Council, including two terms as Mayor, and on the San Mateo Planning and Public Works Commissions. Supervisor Groom’s legislative priorities include improved access to healthcare for all, environmental protection, maintaining and preserving our County’s parks, early childhood education and growing our local economy. She currently serves on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board of Directors, the Transportation Authority, and the San Mateo County Transit District’s SamTrans Board. In 2012 the California Assembly Speaker appointed Supervisor Groom to the California Coastal Commission where she continues to serve the Central Coast.
In 2009, she originated “Streets Alive! Parks Alive!,” in San Mateo County. In 2012, the San Mateo County Parks & Recreation Association honored her efforts with their “Champion of the Community” award. In 2017 Supervisor Groom took over Disaster Preparedness Day from retiring Supervisor Tissier. In 2018 Supervisor Groom introduced the event as a stand-alone event of education, outreach and fun with resources and classes that 3,000 San Mateo County residents took advantage of in 2022.
Since 2011, she has worked with the San Mateo County Office of Education and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to increase the reading proficiency of third graders countywide. This initiative, called the Big Lift, was formally launched in 2013 and seeks to raise the reading proficiency of third grade students in San Mateo County through key interventions including access to preschool, inspiring summers experiences, reducing chronic absenteeism and increasing family engagement from preschool to third grade.
In 2014, Supervisor Groom and Supervisor Dave Pine began the process of establishing Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), a community choice energy program to provide consumers with an option for more renewable energy sources. With the support of the Board of Supervisors and participation of all 20 San Mateo County cities, in 2016, the Joint Powers Authority was formally created to launch Peninsula Clean Energy. In 2017, PCE served over 288,000 residential and business accounts across San Mateo County.
Her professional experience includes 18 years as a Vice President of Mills-Peninsula Health Services. She also has served on the Boards of Directors of the San Mateo Police Activities League, Abilitypath, and Leadership San Mateo. Supervisor Groom resides in the city of San Mateo.
Contact: Julia Ballantyne, AbilityPath