In the News....
May 2018

Nancy G. has been giving back to those in need in the Capital Region during her stay at Vanderheyden.
Nine years ago, Nancy entered Vanderheyden when she was twelve years old. She will be starting a new chapter in her life in June when she graduates, and will be going to her home in Albany County.
A new career is also on the horizon.
"I will go to a day program for two weeks, and if I go two weeks straight, I will be accepted into the program and the job people will come and see what jobs I'm good at," Nancy said.
She already knows what type of career she would enjoy.
"I like to do makeup, hair, and nails," she said. "The job person is trying to get me into Sephora, or one of the makeup stores."
Nancy has been in practice for a job opportunity as she helped other girls in her cottage at our Wynantskill campus with their makeup for special events.
"I like to show people what kind of makeup to put on with their different outfits," she said.
The recreational activities, especially in the summer, are what Nancy enjoyed at Vanderheyden. Her favorite trips included The Great Escape in Lake George, camping trips and to Funplex for ice cream and go-karts.  
Besides the recreational activity, Nancy said she will also miss cottage nights, and the Team Members who were influential in her life - Rose, Star, Miss Maria and Cat.
Her favorite subjects in school are English, math and reading. Books about mysteries are Nancy's favorites, and when she is done with her books, she donates them to local shelters.
She also gave away a lot of her things to the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region in Troy, where our Team Member Star is also employed.
Besides clothing, Nancy has donated school supplies to the backpack program for children in need.
Nancy is also a collector of makeup, shoes, clothing, and purses.  
The Power of the Purses events have been the recipient of Nancy's purses. She loves giving them to the ladies who can't afford them, she said.
"What I don't want anymore, I give back to people that need it," she said. "My things that are in good shape."
"She's generous and giving," Nancy's House Supervisor Arosemond Goodwin said.  "She's a pleasure to have around, and she loves to share and help out." 
Her other hobbies include shopping and catching sales.
Since Nancy is leaving soon, she would like to wish everyone at Vanderheyden good luck.
She also has good advice for those entering Vanderheyden.
"Even if you don't like being here, it's a place that can help you, and teach you," Nancy said.
Thank you, Nancy, for giving back to our community and for exemplifying our Vanderheyden mission.


Andrew Brinkerhoff joined Vanderheyden seven months ago but has already made significant progress with our individuals at our Wynantskill campus.
Brinkerhoff, who lives in Schenectady County, is a Case Coordinator for several of our young men in campus housing.
Some of his duties include setting up home visits for his individuals and working with their families. He also instructs evening groups in independent living and sanctuary topics such as stress relief, emotions adjustment, social integration, and peer and conflict resolution.
Brinkerhoff said he found out about Vanderheyden when he was looking at online job sites. The ad caught his eye since he likes the population we service.
"Even going through school, I always wanted to work with troubled youth," Brinkerhoff said. "Knowing that, it pulled me into the idea that I can provide a role model, guidance and support. Those are what troubled youth need the most."
Before Vanderheyden, Brinkerhoff was a manager at Living Resources in Albany, where he served co-ed individuals aged 18 to 31.
He received his bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University at Albany, with minors in Criminal Justice and Sociology. A Master's degree may be in the works as Brinkerhoff took the GRE, but he still must decide on a concentration.
Brinkerhoff said working at Vanderheyden put his childhood into perspective.
"I knew I had it well, but as a teen, I was still rebellious," he said. "Working here has allowed me to see and learn the challenges. Real challenges and trauma that individuals face, and still overcome."
The positive feedback and the incredible support Brinkerhoff has received from the individuals, their parents and his colleagues, is why he feels he has made a difference.
"He's dedicated and he goes above and beyond," Senior Case Coordinator Debbie Smith-Butler said.   
Brinkerhoff said he has seen the results of his guidance.
"I've been able to see students utilize therapeutic methods during crisis, when they need it the most," he said.
Brinkerhoff said he really likes that there are a lot of steps taken to ensure the well-being of the employees as well cared for as the individuals.
"I never worked at a place where a function of the agency was to check in on the well-being of their employees, or a place that cared about their employees to check in," he said.
In his spare time, Brinkerhoff said he attends "lots and lots" of concerts, since music is "absolutely huge" in his life.   He also likes drumming, especially with our individuals on campus.
Sports also play a part in his life, with hiking, kayaking, and football on the top of his list. The Pittsburgh Steelers is his favorite team.
Brinkerhoff said he truly appreciates the opportunity at Vanderheyden.
"For me, I appreciate the mission for the individuals that are served here," he said. "I appreciate the incredible supportive colleagues that I work with."
Thank you, Andrew, for changing lives to save lives.
Vanderheyden Team Members and individuals participated in "A Day of Remembrance" in advance of Memorial Day on Friday, May 25, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York.
Six residents from Vanderheyden Hall, formerly known as the Troy Orphan Asylum in Troy, and the Fairview Home in Colonie, who died in the Civil War, World Wars I and II and Vietnam were honored.
The ceremony was held at the Troy Orphan Asylum obelisk, which is located adjacent to the Victorian fountain area, directly across from the Earl Chapel and the historic Meneely tolling bell.
The heroes who were honored:
  • Thomas Gould Morrison, Captain, Company G, 61st Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army, who died at Corbin's Bridge near Todd's Tavern, Virginia in the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse on May 8, 1864.
  • Floyd Charles Mosher, Private, 5th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Company, U.S.M.C., who died July 29, 1918 in France.
  • Herman A.C. Gajeway, Jr, Water Tender First Class, U.S. Navy, who died October 17, 1941 in the Battle of the Atlantic. He was awarded a Purple Heart.
  • John George Gunn, Corporal, 31st Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army, who died in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippine Islands, August 10, 1942. He was awarded the Bronze Star.
  • Preston Russell Smith, Sergeant, 26th Infantry Division, U.S. Army, who died in Sicily during the North Africa campaign on July 27, 1943. He was awarded the Silver Star and an Oak Leaf Cluster.
  • Cornell "Corky" Pettys, Specialist Four, D Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, Americal Division, U.S. Army, who died in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam on September 1, 1969. He was awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service and Vietnam Campaign medals.
As part of Vanderheyden's 185th Anniversary, an initiative is underway to identify, honor and locate the graves of the estimated 250 children who died under the agencies since 1836. More information will be announced soon. 

For the second year in a row, Vanderheyden participated in the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
Last year, Team Members had a great time as they joined the festivities, as Vanderheyden was selected as one of two Charities of Choice. 
Thank you to our Team Members  
who made the day a great one as they represented Vanderheyden!
Vanderheyden's individuals gave back to the Capital Region community as they stuffed goodie bags filled with healthy snacks for the participants in the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge!

The Rensselaer County Historical Society in Troy holds the items from our cornerstone from our former 100 Spring Avenue location in Troy.  The cornerstone was laid in 1892.  
Vanderheyden's 1907 Bessey Group Home is our only remaining structure at the site, after a fire destroyed the main campus in 1981. 

Vanderheyden's President and CEO Karen Carpenter Palumbo held three sessions of Town Hall Meetings at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center on Wednesday, May 30th.

Team Members were updated on the state of the agency, our 185th Anniversary, recruitment and retention, and transformation.


Teachers and Team Members at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center were treated to a picnic as part of National Teachers Appreciation Week!

Thank you for all you do for our individuals.  Your dedication and passion is paramount!

Our nurses throughout our Vanderheyden community were treated to a lovely lunch and flowers for National Nurses Appreciation Day! 



A great night of fun was experienced by all, as Vanderheyden's individuals played our Team Members in a Sanctuary Social Learning Basketball Game.  

Our thanks to La Salle Institute in Troy, for providing their gym for the game.


Construction is underway!

Thank you to MVP Health Care for sponsoring our Walking Circle at our Wynantskill campus!

Each participants will receive a free NARCAN kit.  To register, please call Kelsey at the Rensselaer County Department of Health at (518) 270-2651.   
Stay tuned to our social media sites to find out about upcoming celebrations for our 185th year!

This year, Vanderheyden will commemorate 185 years of providing services to thousands of youth, individuals and families.   
Vanderheyden is searching for Alumni and descendants with ties to the agency's long history, to relate their memories and inspirational stories of healing and growth.  We are also looking for pictures, or any related items from Vanderheyden, the Troy Orphan Asylum and the Fairview Home for Friendless Children.  Please reach out and leave a message at (518) 874-4964 or email us at:
We are also inviting 185 individuals to kick-off our celebration by becoming a member of the "1833 Society" with a donation of $1,833, to honor the year our organization was formed.
Our hope is that you will join in as someone that makes a future impact in the Vanderheyden legacy to change lives to save lives.  
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller .
For more information contact Cathy Yudzevich at , or call (518) 874-4901.  


October 25 - Vanderheyden 185th Anniversary Exhibit & Cocktail Reception at the Rensselaer History Society in Troy from 6 pm to 9 pm
July 19 - Free NARCAN Training at our Wynantskill campus   
  More details to come.... Keep following us on Facebook!

                                             As always, thank you for your support!


Time to clean out your closets for the season!  We will accept any unwanted clothing item!  Bring them to our campus at 614 Cooper Hill Road in Wynantskill, and look for the "Blue Box" at the entrance to our parking lot.  Thank you so much for your help!                         
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