JULY 2022
An Inspiring Milestone
This past month we held our first graduation ceremony. It was a beautiful and intimate event on the front lawn of the Springtime School. Four of our students, dressed proudly in their caps and gowns, came forward to receive their certificates. A fifth student, Dylan Singer, was honored by being presented a certificate posthumously. His favorite character, Blue from Blue’s Clues, assisted with the presentation. It was a way to honor Dylan’s legacy as a very special person — and our very first student. Dylan would have been the first graduate of the school that was started for him, as you will read about in this newsletter.
In this issue of our newsletter, we share how Dylan’s story not only motivated us to establish the school as quickly as we did, but also how he touched our lives. While opening a school had been my personal dream for a while, it wasn’t until Cindy Singer, Dylan’s mom, shared her struggle finding a school for her son that I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. There were no private or public schools that could meet his needs. Something had to be done. Less than a year later, in 2010, the Springtime School opened. In 2015, the Springtime School became a licensed high school for the same reason. If it were not for Dylan, the Springtime School would not exist today.

As we prepare for the new school year ahead, we remember those early challenges and recognize all who helped us reach this special milestone. That includes Rachel Landers, whom we also feature in this issue. The Springtime School lead teacher has seen incredible growth in the school in the few short years she has been with us.

The Springtime School’s special environment is restrictive in a way that allows us to really focus on each individual student. Our goal is to help each student be successful in a more inclusive environment.

Sincerely,
Kristine Quinby, President and CEO of Potential
Remembering Dylan Singer in a Joyful Way

Dylan Singer, the first student enrolled at Potential’s Springtime School, would have been 26 years old this November. Although it’s been several years since he lost his battle with a rare genetic disease, a day doesn’t go by when he isn’t remembered at Potential.

In fact, a special room curated with Disney characters has been established at Potential in Dylan’s memory. Dylan’s mom, Cindy Singer, has started a match challenge to raise money to maintain the figures, which had been donated to Potential by the Disney Store at the Montgomery Mall when it closed. Prior to COVID, Cindy had worked with a nonprofit whose mission was to send families with children with Down’s syndrome to Disney as a respite. “Here I was, helping send families to Disney already,” she says. She loved the idea of a Disney-themed fundraiser for Potential and pledged up to $1,000 to match gifts. 

Join us in celebrating Dylan’s life. Donate to Cindy’s Match Challenge today.
“I am not anyone special; every parent of a special needs student fights for their child.”
–Cindy Singer, whose son Dylan we remember and honor in this month’s newsletter

Even before Potential was founded, Kristine Quinby, Potential’s President and CEO, worked with Dylan in an early intervention program. He was an inspiration from the day she met him. “Dylan always found a way to smile, and even though he was nonverbal, he spoke volumes. He was a fighter and lived on his own terms,” says Cindy, a true fighter herself. 
NEWS
Medicaid Recipients:
Don’t Lose Your Benefits When the
Public Health Emergency (PHE) Ends

Prior to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), individuals receiving Medical Assistance (MA), such as Medicaid, had to renew their eligibility annually to maintain their benefits. Over the past two years, additional federal funding was extended to states to keep people enrolled in Medicaid during the pandemic without having to complete a renewal.

At any time the PHE could end, leaving many people unaware that they could lose their benefits if they don’t renew them. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) suggests that everyone receiving MA takes the following steps NOW to ensure their coverage:

  • Sign up for emails and texts to get the latest updates.
  • Make sure your contact information is current with DHS.
  • Complete your Medicaid renewal to maintain coverage.
  • Use the COMPASS website and the myCOMPASS app.
  • Follow the PA DHS on social media.

“We think it’s important that all families and stakeholders be aware that this change is coming, even if we are not quite sure when it will happen,” says Emily Hammer, Quality Assurance Manager at Potential. “The materials the DHS has made available outline steps to take to protect coverage for our clients receiving assistance.”
Thank You, McHales!
We are proud to announce that Potential was the April 2022 winner of McHales Cares.
 
Every month, local home service provider McHales provides support to a nonprofit organization through its “McHales Cares” community give back program. The goal of the program is to provide a well-deserving local charity with a boost of support. This past April, Potential was the proud recipient of a $1,000 check from McHales, a Levittown business providing heating and cooling, plumbing and electric services since 1950.
We thank you, Officer “Jules” Ferraro

After an extensive law enforcement career, Officer Julius “Jules” Ferraro will retire from the Newtown Township Police Department in September 2022. He is well known for his community outreach in schools and for his legendary connection with the students and teachers from many daily visits, book readings, and police demonstrations. Officer Jules has made a true impact on our staff and students at Potential, providing support and safety and guidance. He will be truly missed.

Newtown Police Chief John L. Hearn, who first worked with Officer Ferraro in the Philadelphia Police Department, commends him for his bravery, heroism, and merit, noting that he received the Police Officer of the Year award from the canine unit in 1992. “His interest in public safety, community engagement, particularly with the young school children and community members, is commendable,” says Chief Hearn. “I, along with the Newtown Police Department, thank him for his service, professionalism and dedication.”
In Case You Missed It:
Playset Raffle Is On!

Thanks to a generous donation by Sam’s Club, we are selling raffle tickets for a beautiful Backyard Discovery Skyfort II with wave slide cedar swing set, valued at $2,000.
 
Your purchase benefits Potential and helps us end the waitlist for quality autism services in our region. 
 
The raffle winner will be notified by phone and announced on our social media on Monday, September 26, 2022. The winner will be responsible for picking up, loading and transporting the playset from Potential, located at 170 Pheasant Run, Newtown, PA.
EVENTS
Volunteers & Sponsors Needed
The 6th Annual Car Show for Autism
Saturday, September 24, 1 to 5 pm
There are many ways to sponsor the popular Sixth Annual Car Show for Autism, with levels to meet every budget. 

Register Your Vehicle
Become a Trophy or Event Sponsor
Sign Up to Volunteer
Sign Up to Be a Vendor
Advertise with Us
Can’t Make It? Make a Donation
Please consider becoming an event sponsor or trophy sponsor, participating as a vendor, donating your time and talent to our performance stage, advertising in our program map, signing on as an event volunteer, or making a tax-deductible donation to Potential.

If you are interested in being a food truck vendor, please reach out directly to Hsawyer@potentialinc.org.
FEATURED BLOG
Springtime School Looks Ahead to Help More Students Reach Their Potential

This fall, Potential’s Springtime School looks to enroll additional middle school and elementary students for a total of about 28. Growth has been steady since the school opened in 2010, especially in recent years, in part because of the pandemic. “We went back to in-person education as soon as we safely could, realizing that remote learning was particularly challenging for students with special needs,” explains Springtime School lead teacher Rachel Landers. “Many school administrators recognized that some of their students needed more individualized programs than they could offer, but that we could successfully provide.”
PEOPLE OF POTENTIAL
Working at Potential Hits the Right Note for Behavior Technician Krista Donahue
Behavior Technician Krista Donahue always knew she wanted to help and inspire young people. After studying music in college, the talented violinist discovered that she could do more to that end by working directly with children with special needs than by teaching music. “What I love most about working at Potential is seeing all the progress the kids make and being able to help them work toward achieving their goals,” she says. “That’s the beauty of what we do here. It is very amazing to me to see how quickly they learn after establishing that one-on-one connection with them.”

When she is not at work, Krista enjoys playing violin and baking. You may be surprised to learn that she had the chance to play violin in the White House not once but four times while in high school. Sharing positivity and joy comes naturally to Krista. Join us in congratulating Krista, who continues to help others reach their potential every day.
Catch Up with More People of Potential on Social Media
We’ll be featuring new members of our community and staff who are making an impact on the lives of people with autism. Look for #PeopleofPotentialInc on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn on Wednesdays.
JOIN OUR TEAM
No experience necessary. Tremendous growth potential.

We are always looking for energetic, flexible and, above all else, compassionate individuals who enjoy working with children and want to make a difference in the community. Does that sound like you or someone you know? View our careers page or contact us for more information. 
A Career at Potential
We strive to provide a stable, nurturing, and fun environment that allows our staff to grow personally and professionally through training, supervision, and support, while earning a good living.
BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES
Faith Dydak 
(1 Year)
Registered Behavior Technician

Faith is an absolutely amazing RBT. She always treats her clients with the utmost dignity and respect!
Colleen Gallagher
(3 Years)
Assistant Program Coordinator

Colleen is committed to her clients and is creative in her problem-solving.”
Our Birthdays This Month
​We wish these team members a very happy birthday this July. Here’s to another year of health and happiness!
Emily Hammer 
Danielle Hebling
Tanya Hough
Amber Wrotto
MAKE A DIFFERENCE

At Potential, our vision is to create a world where every person with autism can live a successful life of value. Achieving that goal doesn’t happen easily or overnight. Helping adults and children with autism gain the skills they need to learn and succeed requires hard work, evidence-based treatments, and a committed support network. Since our founding in 2006, Potential has set itself apart by providing all these things and more.

Potential has almost 200 children on its waitlist. With your support, we can hire the staff we need to provide the services and personalized programs that help children and adults with autism realize their full potential.
Help us end the waitlist.