In the News....
June 2016 


Achieving Milestones

Vanderheyden's 12th Grade Graduation and 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony was held on Friday, June 24th, 2016 at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center on our Main Campus in Wynantskill. 

Diplomas were awarded to eight High School Seniors, and ten Eighth Graders will now begin 9th Grade in September.    

Graduation Speaker Elaine Houston from WNYT NewsChannel 13, spoke to a "filled-to-capacity" crowd inspiring students and guests alike.

Our "Pomp and Circumstance" procession was accompanied by bugler and teacher John Russell, followed by a moving rendition of God Bless America, sung by one of our High School students.  Musically talented Teaching Assistants Geo Santamaria and Andrew Bartlett provided smooth jazz selections throughout the ceremony.

A special thank you to Southwest Airlines for hosting and serving a delicious BBQ after the ceremony.  We are also appreciative to Sysco Foods for their contribution to the celebration!

Siena College Students Making a Difference

Thank you to the Siena College Project Management Class and Professor Micah Schrom for choosing Vanderheyden as their class project! 

Siena students participated in a car wash fundraiser, hosted a delicious picnic for our individuals and staff, coordinated fun-filled field day activities and collected much-needed school supplies.

Thank you to Advanced Auto Parts on Pawling Avenue in Troy for donating the car wash supplies and allowing us to use their location. 

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity!

Stephen at US Capitol (4th Row, 4th from Left) 
Stephen from Vanderheyden's Supervised Independent Living Program was one of the participants in the 2016 Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program in Washington, DC!

Stephen, who has been a part of the Foster Care program for several years, was one of about six individuals chosen to represent the Capital Region. 

While at the US Capitol, Stephen met Congressman Paul Tonko and had a great conversation about foster care issues. He also had an opportunity to observe various groups passionately lobbying for support of their causes.

During a tour of The White House, Stephen met with several aides to President Barack Obama. They described how they progressed to Washington, and in what capacity they serve the President.

Stephen with The King DMC

At a dinner gathering, Stephen sat next to "The King DMC" from "Run DMC", who was also in the foster program as a child.  Stephen said The King was very inspiring, and told the crowd  "if you have that talent, go do that talent.  Work towards it, and be whatever you want to be." 

Stephen says he plans to be a musician at a facility such as Vanderheyden, and wants to make sure students have things in life, obtain a college degree, and are comfortable.  He wants to be a person to assist those in need, saying "I am here for you."

UHY Volunteer Day At Vanderheyden
Thank you to the many volunteers and staff members from the UHY 2016 Connect Leadership Volunteer Program.  They spent May 25th painting our recreation room, organizing and storing clothing items, along with weeding, mowing and landscaping the grounds at the Wynantskill campus.


We are so grateful for the students of Siena College and U-Albany, who were part of the UHY Program, that gave their time and energy to complete so many tasks which needed attention. 


 Special Olympics at SUNY Brockport  

Vanderheyden's "Team of Five" participated in the New York State Special Olympics at SUNY Brockport on June 11th. The team came away with numerous medals!  Our individuals received Gold, Silver and Bronze in a variety of track events that included the 50m, 100m, 200m, Mile, 4x100 Relay, Shot Put, Javelin, Long Jump and the Pentathlon!  

Congratulations to all of our winners!  Your hard work and dedication paid off!
Thank you to Fleet Feet Albany and Malta for again providing new sneakers
for our Special Olympics track team!

2016 Vanderheyden School Festival

The Pavilion area of the school campus was transformed into a festival filled with games, food and prizes as part of Vanderheyden's end of school year festivities. 

Thank you to all of our team members and volunteers who made this festival a success! 

A special thank you to the Poestenkill Fire Department for their donation of ice and a snow cone machine, to Stewart's Shops for the heavenly brownie sundaes, and to Jefferson Weidman for donating an awesome assortment of prizes for our students!


Vanderheyden Alumnus Reunion 1987-1991

A Reunion will be held for Vanderheyden's 1987-1991 Alumnus on August 6th at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center on our Main Campus in Wynantskill.  The event will be held from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., with dinner and dancing. 

RSVP by July 22, 2016 to Joann at or Maura at

Hope to see you there! 

Save The Date!
Oktoberfest 2016 

Brown's Brewing Company 
River Street 

October 27th, 2016 
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 
  Other Ways to Help.....

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