MOTT Learning Center
E.H. Mott Learning Center Developed to Assist Youth and Families
“Our mission is to inspire at-risk children, youth and families who are impacted by psychosocial limitations and mental health challenges, to become advocates of their own success by developing their knowledge, skills and talents to build developmental relationships and assets,” said Hamer. “Our objective is to motivate individuals to improve their outlook on life by improving their way of thinking about how they learn, what they learn, and why learning is important. We offer smaller classrooms and more one-on-one personalized attention to learners from K through adulthood.”
However, the E.H Mott Learning Center (EHMLC) was not meant to be an ordinary school and the school that Hamer eventually founded is anything but “The E. H. Mott Learning Center is named in memory of my sister Eudeen, as she is the one who inspired me the most in pursuing my dreams,” said Hamer.
Carmen Hamer knew she wanted to help others ever since she was in middle school. She also knew that if she really cared about the welfare of others she would have to do something to make a difference. Hamer decided to make a difference by opening a school for those with special educational needs.
“Our purpose is to successfully partner with individuals and families to identify a specific combination of skills or competencies that will influence well-defined behaviors in a variety of situations. We use step-by-step strategies to express care, challenge growth, provide support, share power and expand possibilities for children, youth and families in the Orlando area,” stated Hamer, “Programs and services create an environment conducive to strengthening natural talents and abilities and enhancing one’s personal capacity to build effective relationships by developing their internal and external assets.” Unfortunately, for many years Hamer put her dream on the side to pursue schooling and work all while dealing with the unexpected hardships of life. But in 2007 Hamer retired and then in 2012 she moved to Orlando where she shifted all her focus back to her business. However, her years of experience in special education and business could not prepare her for some of the struggles that came with opening her own school. “My biggest obstacle in starting my own school has been financing. I decided to convert the business to a non-profit corporation,” said Hamer. “People seem more inclined to donate to efforts resulting from mass killings, natural disasters and other similar devastations; but trying to raise money for a private learning center has been an unbelievable challenge.”
Hamer did not give up and her experience and challenges helped her to have a better understanding of what creating a business is all about. She shares that understanding with fellow business owners who are just starting up. “I would encourage a new business owner to plan, prepare and to pursue your dream of owning your own business. Whatever you believe are you are purposed to do, build on that. Take your natural talents and combine them with the necessary education and experience, you become better equipped for the challenge.” Although, Hamer does not agree that everything will just fall into place.
“There is no greater frustration than dealing with the risk of failure after taking the plunge. You start with a dream and you can visualize that dream coming true. But, no matter how much you plan, prepare and pursue, there is no way to realize the potential obstacles and roadblocks. So, patience and perseverance are definitely needed to sustain,” admitted Hamer.
Despite the obstacles, Hamer did pursue her dream to help those with special educational needs and it has become a reality. She was successful in creating a safe place for people to express their creativity and learn. “EHMLC’s approach to learning is superior to any other school my children have attended,” said Raye Robinson, whose children are enrolled in the school. “Here, they are given the opportunity to learn in a creative, yet disciplined manner that caters to how they best interpret a skill individually, versus being forced to try to grasp a concept based on how the majority learns.”
Those employed at the Learning Center also appreciate its new and creative methods of education. “I think it is a nice outlet for creative thinking people,” said Raquel Legette, an employee at the school. “Everybody learns differently and it is nice that there is a school in the community that tailors to other people’s needs.” Hamer also wants to use her school to draw attention to invisible disabilities, also called "hidden disabilities", which are the disabilities that can be difficult for others to acknowledge. They can hinder a person's efforts to go to school, work, socialize, and more. Hamer takes pride in the fact that at the E. H. Mott Learning Center, they focus on those learners with identified learning disabilities in reading, math, writing and auditory processing, and other similar deficiencies and their services are offered to grades K – 12, and to adult learners who have a specific need. “God has gifted me with the opportunity to share my knowledge, skills and abilities to help these unique individuals “pave a new way” to learning,” said Hamer. “Under God’s tutelage, the E. H. Mott Learning Center can and will make a difference in helping to mold our children to be more productive, affluent and enriched learners and citizens”
You can help the Learning Center as they are trying to transition to a bigger facility by making a donation of any amount to gofund.me/ehmottlc-com; or individuals may choose to be a part of an enduring initiative, “Paving a New Way” brick campaign. For as little as $75, a donor, can choose a message to be laser engraved on a brick to be displayed on the grounds of the E. H. Mott Learning Center, located at 228 Hillcrest St. Orlando, Florida.