Leo Greenberg 

Portrait of Leo GreenbergIt was due to the efforts and dedication of Leo Greenberg, a student who was attending the Center due to the effects of a brain tumor, that the Center came to be designated a federal demonstration project. During the summer of 2001, Leo invited Congressman Sam, then Center director, Caroline Bliss-Isberg, four prominent physicians and Marjory Miller, a Cabrillo nursing instructor, to his home to discuss options for federal support of the program and to promote replication of the model.

Congressman Farr left that night with a promise to find federal support to replicate the model. And, he was true to his word. Development of this website is among several major undertakings made possible because of a $200,000.00 Congressional Appropriation that resulted from that evening.

Leo was an extraordinary man throughout his life. In his writing classes at the Center, he not only did regular class projects, but he completed a memoir of his World War II experiences that he had begun years before. And, he set the standard of student empowerment and advocacy for his peers. Congressman Farr’s memorial tribute to Leo says it best:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a dear friend, Mr. Leo Greenberg, a long-time resident of Aptos, California who passed away on July 13, 2002. Mr. Greenberg was an active member of the community who sought to make our world a better place by tirelessly advocating for democratic principles, human rights, and social justice.

Mr. Greenberg was born 81 years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma . . . After graduating from high school, Mr. Greenberg enlisted in the Coast Guard. During World War II, the Coast Guard was militarized under the Department of the Navy, and in the Navy, Mr. Greenberg served admirably for many long years at sea. . .[He] participated in five invasions in the European theater, including engagements in Naples, Sicily, the south of France, and D-Day at Normandy where Mr. Greenberg was at the helm of his ship while crossing the Channel on the way to the Normandy invasion.

When Mr. Greenberg returned to the United States after WWII, his commitment to freedom and public service continued. After moving to Santa Cruz County in 1973, Mr. Greenberg and his wife, Bea Greenberg, became active in their community, engaging themselves in civic affairs and local and national politics. They were also devoted supporters and advocates for their local Temple. . .Mr. Greenberg . . .was passionate about social values and civil rights, and worked in his own community to promote these issues. . . Locally, he became a leader in Santa Cruz County local politics and was a strong supporter of local elected officials, including Norm Mineta, Leon Panetta, and my father, Fred Farr.

In his later years, Mr. Greenberg lived with the debilitating effects of a brain tumor. For the last five years of his life he attended classes at the Cabrillo College Stroke Center where he learned to live with his disability and where he could keep up with politics, sports, Israel, and Temple life. About a year ago I attended a meeting at Leo Greenberg’s home where he asked me what I could do to promote stroke centers around our nation. He knew what the stroke Center had done for him, and he wanted others who were afflicted with similar disabilities to have the same benefits. As a result of this meeting, the Cabrillo College Stroke Center has since been designated a federal demonstration project. Mr. Speaker, it is my hope that stroke centers will spring up across the nation as a lasting memorial to Mr. Greenberg. This would be the ultimate tribute to Leo’s humanity and long record of community service.

Leo Greenberg’s lifelong dedication to public service and democratic principles should be commended. His efforts improved the quality of life on the Central Coast and his achievements have made lasting impacts on the people with whom he has worked. Mr. Speaker, it is my honor to recognize Leo Greenberg."

We are grateful to Congressman Sam Farr and the US Department of Education,
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation for the funding support that made this website possible.