Ali Stroker Awarded the Celebration of Courage Award in Honor of Children’s Specialized Hospital Employee Jim Pascuiti

May 18, 2016

Broadway actress Ali Stroker was awarded the third annual Celebration of Courage Award on Sunday, May 1 by Children’s Specialized Hospital. The award honors the memory of Jim Pascuiti, Director of Counseling and later Vice President of Children’s Specialized Hospital, celebrating individuals with courage, determination and tenacity.

Ali Stroker was paralyzed from the chest down at the age of two after sustaining a spinal cord injury following a car accident. After receiving rehabilitation at Children’s Specialized Hospital, Ali has trained with the Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory program at the Paper Mill Playhouse, and was recently the first actress in a wheelchair to be on Broadway, playing the role of Anna in Deaf West Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening. Ali was a finalist on season two of the Glee Project and received a Barrymore Award nomination for her role of Olive in The Twenty-Fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Ali also holds the distinct honor of being the first person in a wheelchair to graduate from New York University’s Tisch drama program.

“Ali is an advocate and inspiration for everyone and is proof that any limitation can be an opportunity,” said Philip Salerno, III, Chief Development Officer and President, Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation. “Ali recovered at Children’s Specialized Hospital after her accident, and has continued to provide support and inspiration everyone in the Children’s Specialized Hospital family.”

The Celebration of Courage award was created in honor of Jim Pascuiti. Jim was paralyzed in 1963 after sustaining a spinal cord injury leaving him a quadriplegic. Jim went on to earn a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling, and worked at Children’s Specialized Hospital as Director of Counseling and later Vice President. Jim was recognized many times for his achievements as an advocate on behalf of individuals living with disabilities on a personal, state and national level. Previous award honorees include Diego Bolano and Jessie Galli.

Children’s Specialized Hospital is the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children from birth to 21 years of age facing special health challenges — from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health. At thirteen different New Jersey locations, our pediatric specialists partner with families to make our many innovative therapies and medical treatments more personalized and effective...so children can achieve more of their goals.  To help, or find more information: call 888-CHILDRENS; visit www.childrens-specialized.org; Facebook: www.facebook.com/childrensspecialized; Twitter: www.twitter.com/childrensspecnj; YouTube: www.youtube.com/cshnj; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/children's-specialized-hospital