February, 2018

I wanted to take this opportunity to say my last good-byes to all of you. 

For the past 13+ years, ACHIEVE has been my work home. I am humbled and honored to have served as the ACHIEVE CEO for this time. In fact, in reflecting back on my over thirty five years working in the non-profit sector, it has been the longest position in my career. A true testament to how much I loved the organization and my work here.

Those who know me understand that among the many passions I have had in my life – there are three that have been life long – my family, the work that I do, and dogs (of which I currently have four). I have always been fortunate that my home circumstances have always supported my career so that I could engage in my work with enthusiasm and passion.

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have met so many wonderful people during the course of my time at ACHIEVE. My compliments to the staff who do such a wonderful job supporting the individuals and families we serve – you should be so proud! Your dedication and commitment has always been an inspiration to not only them, but to me – and I thank you for that.

I want to also thank all of our community partners who support our organization and contribute to its success. You are so instrumental in keeping ACHIEVE strong and vital in our community.

I want to thank all of the individuals we support at ACHIEVE, who every day, unceasingly demonstrate to me, that any challenge can be overcome if the spirit is willing, to be thankful for the opportunities that are presented to us, and to complete the work that we do with dedication and passion.

In the words of Harriet Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world”.

Wishing you all the best,

Mary Jo
Following Mary Jo Thorn's last day with ACHIEVE Friday March 23, Amy G. Howard, MSW will step in as the Acting CEO as appointed by the ACHIEVE Board of Directors. Ms. Howard is the current Chief Operating Officer for ACHIEVE, possesses 20+ years executive level non-profit experience, and has been employed by the agency for the past 13 years.
February 14
Submitted by:John Adams
The “Love Story” of Ed and Lila took place at ACHIEVE's Cutler Pond location on Valentine’s Day. Ed’s request this year was to buy a Friendship ring and give it to his devoted, Lila Mathews, to proclaim his love for her and to promise to be her Best Friend forever. 
Submitted by: Bob Brazill

We hope you had a chance to read the 2018 Annual Appeal letter that we sent to you before the Holidays. We know that this is a busy time of year for so many people and that perhaps you didn’t have the opportunity to read it and consider making a contribution to ACHIEVE.

At ACHIEVE, we are transforming our employment centers into new and innovative vocational, employment and social day options so that the individuals we serve have meaningful program options that meet their individualized needs.

As we do each year, we ask the question, can you give to ACHIEVE? We count on our friends and donors to say yes. Saying “yes” to ACHIEVE means that we continue to fight against state and federal funding cuts that rip services from the individuals that we serve. 

Your donation is the heartbeat that supports the transformation of our programs as we expand to meet the needs of the individuals that we serve. The process of transitioning from old programs to new requires patience, support and funding. All of us at ACHIEVE appreciate the generosity of our donors and hope your will give again this year. 

Submitted by:Jamie Striley

ACHIEVE is proud to announce the following promotions for the month of January
  • Carly Crispino - Assistant Resident Manager
  • Kati-Ellen Shelp - Assistant Resident Manager

Submitted by:Mel Blakeslee
Submitted by: Caitlin Ropp

Tioga was very busy for this special holiday. We made bookmarks and delivered them to the local libraries. During a core room meeting, we voted on a special lunch to have while we celebrate all things we LOVE! From Subs, to personalized heart shaped cakes, we left with full bellies and happy hearts!
-Team Tioga
As you know, ACHIEVE Broome-Chenango-Tioga and all of our fellow chapters of The Arc New York have been very active in advocacy efforts to provide a living wage to direct support professionals through the #bFair2DirectCare campaign. 
We are asking your assistance in support of not only ACHIEVE DSP’s but all DSPs in New York State. Below you will find a template letter to the editor that you and your family members can use as a guideline for your submission. 

Please send this LETTER to the editor at the Press and Sun Bulletin by filling out the Letter to the Editor submission form here:

February 13
ACHIEVE Staff and Individuals with
Assemblyman Cliff Crouch
ACHIEVE Staff and Individuals with
Senator Fred Akshar
ACHIEVE Individuals at
The Egg in ALBANY for #beFair2DirectCare
Submitted by: Christa Reese
March is a busy month for ACHIEVE as we launch our 2018 Membership Campaign, celebrate National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and plan for a busy year of fundraising events.

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, celebrated across the country in March, is a valuable reminder that people with disabilities are valuable, contributing members of our community who have much to offer and a desire to participate.
People with developmental disabilities have proven to be reliable workers and excellent volunteers, capable of meeting or exceeding expectations and standards. Thanks to organizations like ACHIEVE, people with disabilities are leading richer, more fulfilling lives. But there are still challenges: as many as 60 percent of individuals with disabilities—7 million nationwide—remain unemployed.

We are fortunate to have so many opportunities in our community through the programs we offer and the partnerships we have created. But there is always more we can do. We ask you to encourage local businesses to hire a person with a disability, invite people with disabilities to participate in your civic organization or community activity, or to give time or money to an organization supporting people with disabilities. Our membership campaign is an important part of our year and support helps us to continue our mission to advocate for an enhanced quality of life through skill advancement, inclusion, integration, and independence of persons with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities through services provided in Broome, Chenango and Tioga Counties.

What is ACHIEVE’S Annual Membership Campaign?
·          Each year ACHIEVE runs a membership campaign in which we ask our staff, families, people we support and the community to become a member of the agency.
·          It is only $5.00, per person, to become a member!
·          Membership lasts one full calendar year.
Why is ACHIEVE’S Annual Membership Campaign So Important?
·          Your support and inclusion in the agency helps people with disabilities become more independent, productive and integrated in our local community. Without your help there is less opportunity for personal growth and achievement.
·          Membership provides our agency the ability to advocate legislatively at the state and national levels. As we move forward, our agency continues to face enormous challenges given the current economic climate of our state and nation. It would be helpful for our advocacy with legislative and government officials to have the largest membership ever.

We hope you'll join ACHIEVE. Together, we will keep the vision alive of creating opportunities for individual successes.
Submitted by: Terri Riley
ACHIEVE’s Prevocational Programming engages the individual through exploration and exposure to new experiences. Using person-centered approaches, our team identifies a person’s interests and matches them to opportunities in our community for vocational exploration. Below is a recent example of one of our vocational team members partnering with a local business to provide a hands-on learning experience for one of the individuals served in our vocational program. 
So, how do YOU feel about garbage trucks? If you spend any time with John Stecyk, you will soon be asked the question “Do you like garbage trucks?” For as long as I have worked with John, his dream has always been to work for Taylor Garbage. John was given an opportunity to take a tour of Taylor Garbage. He was shown how the drivers check the trucks before leaving for the day. John was also shown how to work the levers to push the garbage up as the truck fills and given an opportunity to work the levers himself. John was then asked if he would like to take a ride in the truck and you can imagine his response – he couldn’t have had a bigger smile! Thank you to Michael Delperuto, General Manager of Taylor Garbage, for taking the time to make a dream come true and provide a valuable vocational learning experience.
2018 Sponsorships
Submitted by: Bob Brazill

Here at ACHIEVE we are busy planning the 23rd Annual Bob Warner Pin Crushing Classic, 64th Annual Dinner Dance, 9th Annual Savor the Summer and the 2018 Binghamton Devils Charity Golf Classic. As you may know, ACHIEVE provides programs and services to 2,200 individuals with disabilities in Broome, Chenango and Tioga Counties. Our organization is growing physically and programmatically and we are asking for sponsorships to help support our organization and the individuals that we serve. Sponsorship opportunities come in in many sizes and provide you with recognition as a business that supports individuals with disabilities in our community.