Demers is a Family Service Worker who assists our individuals and families to achieve specific goals, by providing respite, residential habilitation services, skill building, and in-home and/or parent assistance services. She works with both children and adults.
"Hetti is an inspiration to everyone," Colleen Mahar, a Special Education teacher at Vanderheyden said. "She is able to motivate people to bring out their best. Hetti is an amazing light that brightens the world."
Demers said she loves her job, and wants to share her vast array of talents with our individuals one-on-one.
"I like that I get a response right away from the individual," she said. "The individuals have goals. It's not an easy job, but I love it. The most difficult individuals work wonderful with me."
"She truly reads our individuals to know the best way to interact at the start of each service," Tami Miller, a Vanderheyden MSC said. "She's genuine, caring, a great advocate, who wants the best for each individual. Happiness is key!"
Demers, who lives in Rensselaer County, moved to the U.S. nine years ago from The Hague, Netherlands.
"I like the Capital Region. It's so Dutch oriented," she said. "All the farms, cities and towns. All Dutch. I recognize all the names and all the history."
Living in The Hague, Demers said she lived near the Peace Palace, which is the Queen's work palace, and near the Royal Stables.
"I would hang out on my balcony and see a world leader in a horse and carriage," she said. "It was an exciting time to live downtown."
Demers said she comes from a big family, who is strong in spirit with a down-to-earth mentality. Even though World War II had a big impact on her family, her parents brought her up with kindness.
"It's all that makes you who you are today," she said.
When she was 21-years-old, Demers visited Florida and met her future husband Scott, who was also visiting from Troy.
"It was love at first sight," she said.
Demers went back to the Netherlands and attended college for finance, since her family comes from a financial background, but opted for psychology instead.
"I did one-on-one work with children with learning disabilities in elementary and high school," she said.
Demers also had a cultural job as a language teacher, where she taught the Dutch, English, French and German languages.
Twenty-four years later, she left her career, family and friends in the Netherlands, and arrived in the U.S. with only two bags, to reunite with the love of her life.
"Love brought me here, and I don't regret it," Demers said. "Actually, it's the best decision I ever made."
Demers loves the support she gets at Vanderheyden, and said the people do great work.
"I fell in love with the agency quickly, because of the way they work," she said. "They've been here 185 years. You can't survive 185 years if they don't do things right."
She said the job is perfect for her, since she is a people person. The individuals respond well to her personality, which she described as calm and friendly, and kind of energetic at the same time.
"I have a very creative mind, and the individuals love that," Demers said. "You have to read people with the job, and I have."
"Hetti is all in," Deb Demers, Director of Community Services said. "We just can't say enough good things about her."
Traveling the world was always a big part of Demers' life. Some of the countries she traveled to include Denmark, Germany, Italy, Venezuela, France, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, the Scandinavian countries, and the African desert.
She even took a car and a tent to North Cape in Norway, which is one of the most northern places in the world one can go in the world.
In the future, she would like to see more of the U.S. and Canada. Places like Colorado, the Mississippi River, the Mid-West, the Grand Canyon and Death Valley, California pique her interest.
Demers also loves sports. Hiking, weightlifting, running, swimming and bicycling are all part of her workout routine with her husband and their 8-year-old daughter. She also played water polo and ice skated in the Netherlands.
Her family also consists of soccer players, a cousin who competed in the Olympics in skiing, and her 23-year-old son, who was a professional European baseball player.
She is also a certified personal trainer and a nutritionist, which earned her the title of life coach.
"I have it all," Demers said. "The psychological aspect, nutrition, sports, accountants, so I am organized."
Demers also makes her own clothes, loves to knit, cook and bake, especially pies.
Thank you, Hetti, for sharing your amazing talents with all of us at Vanderheyden!