Born in South Philadelphia, Fred went to Southern High School and attended West Chester University where he majored in Music and Art. An accomplished violinist and pianist, Fred went onto become a music teacher at Camden High School and eventually became the Supervisor of Music and Art in the Camden School District. During this time, he married and later, he and his wife Theresa and son, also named Alfred, who they call Al, settled in Cherry Hill.
In 1965, they had a daughter, Rose Ellen, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after her birth. Wanting only the best care and education for Rose Ellen, in 1970, Fred became a board member at Pennsauken’s Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center. He organized the Center’s first parent advisory group who then assisted him in expanding the Center to include a school and later to exclusively teach its children. In 2005, the name of the Center was changed to Crescent Hill Academy and it continues to meet the high standards of quality education and activities for medically challenged children, teens and young adults between the ages of 3 through 21.
Fred’s dedication to children with special needs grew out of a personal commitment but he saw how he could do so much more for so many other children. While he was still holding down a fulltime job in the Camden School District and running Crescent Hill, Alfred began a summer camp for special needs children on 60 acres in Hammonton, NJ. He also built an Adult Activity Center to accommodate his Crescent Hill Academy graduates and other adults along the waterfront in Collingswood, NJ and at 84 years old, he is currently looking into purchasing a group home for adults with special needs. A humanitarian with a personal dedication to children in need, Alfred Minicozzi received the Jefferson Freedom Award for his altruistic work with handicapped individuals and even has a day named after him for his 43 years of dedicated service in Camden—January 31st
Equally dedicated to his father’s mission, is Fred’s son, Al, the current Executive Director of Crescent Hill Academy. Al went to Camden Catholic High School then to Rowan College where he received dual degrees in Special and Elementary Education. A hard worker, he knows all aspects of the “family business” having started first in high school as a lifeguard in the summer camp’s aquatics program, then as a teacher and after gaining his Master’s Degree in School Administration at Rutgers University, worked his way up to the title of Executive Director.
Knowledgeable in all aspects of the Academy’s operations, Al also has a personal commitment to high quality education for children with special needs like his sister and has always felt the strong sense of giving back which was instilled by his father. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Sahara Sam’s Sambulance Special Needs Safety Program in Marlton.