CYNTHIA BRIDGERS BILLOPS is Director of Community Based Developmental Services, Inc. (CBDS). CBDS was incorporated as a non-profit organization in May 1998. Ms. Billops recalls, “My previous work experience, especially in Special education classes, motivated me to incorporate Community Based Developmental Services. I had a passion to help persons with disabilities by providing opportunities to enhance their abilities to navigate their environment. CBDS enlarged its population served to include substance abuse clients. Several in this population also needed their environment enriched by providing opportunities.”
As a retired educator for over 40 years, with the last 28 years as a teacher of students with autism, Ms. Billops witness firsthand the inequalities of the education of African American youth, whether in a large city (Memphis Tenn.); rural area (Raeford, NC) or Fayetteville, NC. She was especially moved by inequalities of African Americans in Special education classes. “It was a constant battle to get adequate materials for the several learning styles and learning abilities in a self-contained classroom of students.”
Reflecting upon her family background, Ms. Billops shared—” Both of my parents were educators, my sister and I were educators and my two daughters are educators. We have overcome several obstacles; my older daughter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She was in a wheelchair her last years attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Now is a Zumba instructor. My younger daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 28 years old. She has now been cancer-free for 20 years.
Cynthia Bridgers Billops graduated from Hampton University with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She received the Master of Arts degree in Special Education and Emotional Disturbance from Fayetteville State University. An enthusiastic grandmother and youth leader in her church, Cynthia Bridgers Billops continues to contribute generously to life in her community.