February 2021 Newsletter
Leadership Message
Dear Supporter,

I hope your 2021 has been off to a safe and healthy start.

Vaccination remained our top priority throughout the month of January, and we were even more encouraged and grateful for New York State’s decision to expand vaccines to all Direct Support Professionals as part of Phase 1B.

To help be a leader in public health and safety, we launched a number of initiatives over the last couple weeks in our efforts to educate all eligible staff and individuals about the vaccine and its benefits. I’m pleased to report that over 100 individuals in our Residential program and 115 of our eligible staff have received their first dose of the vaccine as a result of this outreach. While those numbers are encouraging, there’s still work to be done to get our workforce and those in our care vaccinated, and we’ll continue those efforts and the advocacy necessary to keep moving forward.

As we try to return to some normalcy, I’m excited to announce that planning is underway for our 25th annual Bob Warner Pin Crushing Classic on April 10th. While it will look different this year and will most likely have a virtual component, it will be nice to bring this event back to our many community partners in some capacity. More information on this year’s tournament, registering a five man team, or becoming a corporate sponsor can be found in this newsletter.

As we move into February, we’ll continue to monitor New York State’s vaccination rollout and get vaccines to as many eligible staff and individuals as we can. Through these efforts, we not only may begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but we’ll also continue to do our part for the safety of those in our care.

As always, thank you for your continued support and I hope you’ll enjoy this month’s newsletter.


Amy Howard
Chief Executive Officer
Virtual Trusts Seminar -
Learn What Options are Available
Samantha's Success at Tops Markets
Samantha has been through many challenges and changes since she began her journey with ACHIEVE. Samantha came to ACHIEVE fresh from high school in 2017. She's had many things change for herself since she graduated, including becoming a mom (which she will delightfully tell you that her children are her main job). Samantha began working with her current Job Coach in May of 2020, and spent all summer diligently applying for jobs near her home. Samantha was excited to be hired on the spot at Tops Markets in Sayre, Pennsylvania in September of 2020 as a Bakery Associate, and she loves it! 
While she struggled a bit at first, Samantha has flourished at Tops and absolutely loves it now. Samantha spends her days doing the “break-outs”, which is prepping for all the breads, cakes and pastries that need to be baked. She also preps all of the cupcakes, and is currently training on decorating the cakes. She also enjoys cleaning the bakery when she is done baking. Samantha has lovingly named the box bailer "Martin", and says he needs his daily feeding as she takes out the cardboard. She also enjoys washing the baking pans and the muffin trays. Samantha’s supervisor, Beth, has stated that she is doing a great job in the bakery and they love having her on the team.

Samantha’s journey shows how ACHIEVE strives to bring the best out in the individuals that we support, and also assist them with continuing to maintain successful and meaningful employment. 

Submitted by: Renee Heaney
Lance - Valley View Manor's Employee of the Month
Lance VanAlstine is a SEMP success story. He began working with ACHIEVE's Supported Employment Services in January 2017. Prior to that, Lance served as a fill-in receptionist at the ACHIEVE Norwich office. He is highly skilled at providing excellent customer service. He has a charming personality and interacts very well with anyone he encounters, be it “customers”, coworkers, or the general public. After working with Supported Employment staff for a short time through the Employment Training program (ETP), Lance was hired as a part-time receptionist at Valley View Manor, a nursing home in Norwich in May 2018. Lance enjoys his work at Valley View Manor and demonstrates it by doing an excellent job. 

Since starting work at Valley View, Lance has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic, not only performing his usual duties as receptionist, but also taking on the duty of performing health screenings for nursing home staff as they come into work each day to ensure that everyone who reports to work is healthy. Lance is such a valued member of the team at Valley View Manor that he was nominated and chosen as Employee of the Month. Many staff members at Valley View refer to Lance as their favorite coworker, and rightly so for the excellent job he does. Keep up the fantastic work, Lance!

Submitted by: Denise Burroughs

Sign On Bonus Extended Until February 14, 2021
We've extended our sign-on bonus! For another month, all newly hired full time Direct Support Professional - Residence Aide positions will
receive a $200 bonus!

Some limitations apply. Learn more about our job openings today!


Victoria Studer,  Human Resources Generalist Trista Parker, Program Manager
Honie Buskirk, Assistant Residence Manager
Our awesome essential frontline staff lined up (literally!) to do their part for the safety of the individuals they support, getting their COVID-19 vaccines as part of Phase 1A and 1B rollout!

“I want to make sure that I am vaccinated to prevent myself from getting COVID, but more so to make sure that I do no harm to anyone, especially those who are vulnerable.” - ACHIEVE Staff Member

Community Habilitation
Who doesn't love chocolate cake? Kevin and his Community Habilitation provider, Gail, made a delicious chocolate cake and used the opportunity to continue building his reading, math and time management skills! Great job, Kevin! 
Recreation Respite
Nailed It!

Participants watched episodes of "Nailed it!" on Netflix,
then challenged themselves to create their own
owl cupcakes.
Aren't they ADORABLE?!
National Popcorn Day
Did you know that January 19th is National Popcorn Day?
Individuals in our On the Pond program sure did,
and spent the day celebrating by making these popcorn bucket crafts!
They came out great!
Valentine's Day Crafts
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and Core Room 9
made these sweet Valentine's Day wreaths!
Residents at Helen street had fun making tie-dye t-shirts.

River Road IRA has been busy getting the house decorated for
Valentine's Day, with lots of baking to keep warm on these cold days.
Everyone at River Road is ready for warmer weather,
so they can enjoy the outdoors more..
We're all with you on that sentiment!
The Valentine’s preparations are underway, and individuals made a “ Bee Mine” craft! They all were so active in making this craft, getting creative in the process and they came out spectacularly!
Valentine's Day heart chimes in Core Room 6.
Beautiful job!
Mickey Mouse, MICKEY MOUSE
In Core Room 5 in Chenango, the individuals LOVE Mickey Mouse and wanted to learn more, so they started searching the internet and looking up facts about him. Did you know Mickey Mouse first appeared in Steamboat Willie in 1928? Or that Mickey Mouse’s birthday is November 18, 1928, making him one old mouse! 
There are so many facts about Mickey Mouse they will be discussing for a long time, while enjoying crafts and projects like their Mouse Ears!  
Martin Luther King Day
I Have a Dream

Residents at Helen Street
wrote their own dreams down and
created this inspiring paper chime.
Vacations, camping and seeing family were
the common themes. Think we could all use
a little more of those things too!

Chenango Day Hab - Rec Area Makeover
At the Day Habilitation Program in Chenango, we have been making some changes inside the building over the past few weeks. They recently had a makeover to their recreation area, and it looks wonderful. To help add some beauty to the renovation, one of our participants, Georgetta, is a natural artist and has been working on an extra-large canvas painting to be displayed in the newly renovated rec area. Georgetta put some time in developing her idea of what she would like to do, and when she had her idea, she presented it to the Program Manager. Georgetta presented her picture and explained the symbolism, and that it represented growth, love, strength and beauty, as these are what she feels when she comes to program. 

Submitted By; Courtney Sarpriacone, Program Manager

Thank You, Fred Akshar

We’re so happy to have such a staunchly committed advocate
for our agency and
those we support in our corner in what will be a challenging legislative year for provider agencies!
Fred Akshar: "I’m proud to announce that I’ve been added to the NYS Senate Committee on Developmental Disabilities, that focuses on issues and a community that is near and dear to my heart. I look forward to fiercely advocating for those with developmental disabilities and their families during this year’s Legislative Session."

Welcome, Assemblyman Joe Angelino
We're excited to hear that Assemblyman Joe Angelino will be joining the Assembly Committee on People with Disabilities!

We know that he will be another great advocate for provider organizations, like ACHIEVE, and the vulnerable populations that we support, and we're happy to have him in our corner, especially as our newest Co-Chair for this year’s Pin Crushing Tournament on April 10th! 
Sponsorship Opportunities
& Platinum Partnerships

The success of each event depends on the generosity of our local community and business partners. Looking ahead at 2021, we will continue to face new challenges and the threat of new and ongoing funding cuts and withholds.
Now more than ever, our fundraising events are vitally important
to ensure we can continue providing crucial programming to the individuals we support! 

Corporate sponsorships are one determining factor in the success of all ACHIEVE events, and in turn provides benefits to our sponsors!

In 2019, ACHIEVE launched its Platinum Partner Program, which gives additional recognition to any organization who sponsors all four of ACHIEVE’s signature events, at any level, with benefits year-round. We have many levels available, and Platinum Partner packages start as low as $1,000 for the year.

For more information click “Become a Sponsor” below, or email Shari Caudell, Director of Community Engagement at scaudell@achieveny.org.

Annual Appeal

Thanks to the generosity from our community, ACHIEVE has
reached 68.4% of this year's Annual Appeal goal of $70,000!
Thank you to everyone who has donated!

But we still need your support. In order to keep that momentum going and continue providing exceptional services to those we serve, we rely on generous gifts from supporters,  like you, who want to make a difference in thousands of lives.

Your Gift Matters.
Thank you to our 2021 Platinum Partners!