History & Achievement

FCSN History: “To Dream the Impossible Dream”

Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was formed in 1996
by ten families of children with special needs. They wanted to support each other, share ideas, and educate
the community about those with special needs. In 2001, FCSN embarked on the Dream Project, and in 2006
built a community center (Dream Center) in Fremont. Today, FCSN’s vision is to build a “Dream Community”,
a community of love, hope, and respect for the special needs, provide a village of support, and deliver

Since its founding, FCSN has connected and aided more than 800 multi-ethnic families. With two centers, FCSN
now provides 40+ comprehensive programs for special needs individuals of all ages and their families. By 2014,
FCSN has over 200 students in its Vendorized Day Programs, 100 staff (including full and part time), and over
800 family members.

FCSN 30 Second Organization Introduction Video


FCSN Milestones & Achievements

Since 1996, FCSN has reached many milestones and has been awarded over
20 Resolution of Commendations from public officials including the U.S. congressman,
California state governor and legislators, Santa Clara County and Alameda County
Board of Supervisors, and city mayors and councilmembers.


  • First “South Bay Integrated Family Support Group” meeting in Saratoga
  • “Friends of Children with Special Needs” becomes an organization


  • First publication of the FCSN newsletter
  • Family Support Gathering begins at the Asian Pacific Family Resource Center in San Jose


  • Fremont Local Group starts
  • 10 Board Members elected at first annual FCSN meeting
  • President and officers elected at first FCSN Board meeting


  • “Dream Community” is proposed as FCSN’s long term goal


  • FCSN parents form Peralta Dream LLC and acquire a piece of land, which became the future
    site of FCSN East Bay Center (Dream Center)
  • Service Above Self Award, San Andreas Regional Center


  • First FCSN gala: “Make Our Dreams Come True”


  • First fundraising concert: “Campus Folk Song”
  • East Bay Center (Dream Center) groundbreaking ceremony


  • FCSN Booth (a small toy store) opens in Cupertino (now closed)
  • South Bay Adult Day Program starts in Cupertino


  • FCSN reaches 25 local programs


  • Grand opening of Fremont Center
  • East Bay Adult Day Program and Supported Living Services launches
  • Asian American Hero Award for Health and Human Services, Santa Clara County Supervisors


  • Recipient of the Joan Kilburn Visionary Award from the California State Developmental Disability Council


  • FCSN establishes temporary South Bay Center at Taiwanese American Presbyterian Church


  • East Bay CIDP begins



  • Respite program begins


  • Soap Project begins


  • FCSN reaches 200 consumers (adult students) in vendorized programs and 100 staff members


  • South Bascom Property acquired as future site of South Bay Center
  • Service Provider of the Year, San Andreas Regional Center


  • Special Needs Got Talent
  • Bernie Graf Excellence in Service Award, Developmental Disability Council of Alameda County
  • Non-Profit of the Year, ICAF Unity Day



  • Grand opening of Bascom Center in San Jose
  • Innovation Award from San Andreas Regional Center for Friends Coffee & Tea


  • Grand opening of Friends Coffee & Tea
  • “Leadership in Community Service” from State Assemblymembers Kansen Chu, Ash Kalra, and Evan Low

FCSN’s List of Awards:

  • June 2018– “Leadership in Community Service” from Assemblymembers Kansen Chu, Ash Kalra, and Evan Low
  • Nov. 2017– “Innovation Award” from San Andreas Regional Center for Friends Coffee & Tea’s employment Innovation
  • June 2015Bernie Graf Award for Excellence of Service” from Alameda County Developmental Disabilities Council for FCSN East Bay Adult Day Programs and Living Services
  • 2015– “Non-Profit of the Year” from ICAF Unity Day
  • Nov. 2014Service Provider of the Year Award” from San Andreas Regional Center for FCSN South Bay Adult Day Program
  • May 2011– “Community Service Award” from Alameda County Board of Supervisors in for FCSN’s contribution to the community.
  • Sept. 2010– “Profiles of Excellence” from Channel ABC 7 Public Affairs for FCSN outstanding services and support to the families with developmentally disabled children.
  • 2007– “Joan Kilburn Visionary Award” from California State Developmental Disability Council
  • Sept. 2006– “Asian American Hero Award” for Health and Human Services, Santa Clara County Supervisors
  • 2001– “Service Above Self Award” from San Andreas Regional Center

FCSN Family Day 2016 20th Anniversary Video