In the News....
February 2018

Vanderheyden's President and CEO Karen Carpenter Palumbo accepted a $52,000 grant from the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Northeast Division in New York City.
The grant will be used to enhance Vanderheyden's READ 180 reading program, and to institute the SYSTEM 44 program in our Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center.  
The check was presented by Hank Watkins, Chair of the IICF Board, and Jeff Rubin, Chair of the IICF Grants Committee.
Thank you, IICF, for your generous support of Vanderheyden! 


Before Tawana D. came to Vanderheyden, she had a major goal in mind. Tawana wanted to graduate from high school.
In June, she will be donning a cap and gown and have a diploma in her hand from the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center.
The Brooklyn native has been at Vanderheyden since May of 2016. After graduation, Tawana said she would like to move to Florida to live with her Grandmother and go to cosmetology school.
Vanderheyden's House Manager Laneka Moore said Tawana is a self-sufficient, head-strong young woman, who she foresees making great decisions in life.
"She's a pleasure. She turned her life around," Moore said. "Her goal was to graduate, and she graduates in June. She will be missed."
Moore said Tawana had a lot of challenges to overcome.
"She came in with a goal," Moore said. "We got her on the straight and narrow to actually complete her task to graduate."
Tawana said Vanderheyden helped her a lot and found that even though she is here for school, she changed as a person for the better.
"I misbehaved before and had an attitude problem," she said. "I changed that."
Reggae and her own style of dance is how Tawana likes to have fun. She also likes to travel back and forth to Jamaica, where her family is from. Eating, cleaning and shopping are things Tawana likes to do.
Tawana has advice to future Vanderheyden individuals.
"Do what you got to do to stay out of trouble. If you need help, ask for help. The staff is here for you," she said. "You will succeed."

The Vanderheyden community came out in full-force for our 5th Annual Blood Drive on February 6th at our Wynantskill campus.  The American Red Cross had issued a blood shortage, due to the flu epidemic that struck the Capital Region. 
Thank you to our wonderful nurses, Team Members, donors, volunteers, the community, and the American Red Cross for another successful event! 


Karyn Morrow said she has been involved with helping children and families her entire life. It's only natural that Morrow is a part of the Vanderheyden community.
"I was looking to find my place where I fit in, and I honestly feel I belong here at Vanderheyden," Morrow said.
The East Greenbush native who makes her home in Rensselaer County with her family, was recently promoted to our Day Hab Program Coordinator.
After she received her degree at the College of Saint Rose in Elementary Education, Morrow said she bounced back and forth between the social work field and education.
"My heart is absolutely in social work," she said.
Morrow had worked at Vanderheyden ten years ago as a Family Service Worker in the Community Services department. She was involved in the federal B2H program, which provides services to foster care individuals, for many years.
After she left our agency, Morrow said she worked as a teacher and taught all age levels in the East Greenbush, Averill Park, and Schodack School Districts.
"When I walked away from Vanderheyden, I compared my supervisors," Morrow said. "It was the difference that brought me back to Vanderheyden."
She felt Maura Psoinos, Vice President of Community Services, and Deb Demers, Director of Community Services, were very supportive and answered her questions.
"I felt appreciated and supported more here than other places of employment," Morrow said.
"Karyn brings with her creativity, and an enthusiasm and willingness to get the job done," Psoinos said.   "Karyn walks the walk," Demers said.
Since her return in July, Morrow had worked as an MSW, a Family Social Worker, and a Case Coordinator at our Rubin Group Home, before her promotion to Day Hab Program Coordinator.
As part of her new duties, Morrow plans activities, field trips, and community volunteer opportunities for our individual's day.
"I love the idea of coming up with new activities, and making connections in the community," she said. "I enjoy going out and making those connections."
"It gives our individuals new activities to look forward in trying." Morrow said.
Recently, she introduced a meditation class, where a few liked it, and wanted to try it again.
"If they tried something new and if one likes it, goal accomplished," she said.
In her spare time, Morrow loves spending time with her husband, 17-year-old daughter and 6-year-old twin sons. You can usually find them camping at all campgrounds in New York state, and enjoys Thompson Lake State Park the best. Morrow also is a hockey fanatic and was a huge supporter of the former Albany Devils. She also loves soccer and enjoys watching her son play.
Hobbies include teaching acrylic painting classes in the basement of her home, and once a month at a local wellness center. She also is learning how to crochet.
Morrow is happy that she made the decision to come back to Vanderheyden.
"I like the fact that every day I come to work, I'm helping people and making a difference," Morrow said. "And, everyone else I work with is here for the same reason. We have that in common."
Thank you, Karyn, for being part of our team!
Haiti Cultural Day was held at Vanderheyden's Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center on February 27th, coordinated by our PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) program.

Topics presented to our individuals included sports and recreation, geography, food, language, people and famous people from Haiti, art, jobs, the climate, traditions, economy, music, government, socio-economics, history, religion, and education.

Students had fun while learning, as they traveled from one classroom to the next with a Passport.

"They were asked to record one thing they learned at each station to check for understanding of the information presented," Holly Hughes, PBIS/Day Service Coordinator said. "Some presentations were informative in nature, while others were interactive."

Team Members and individuals were treated to a delicious authentic Haitian lunch. The fantastic lunch was prepared by John Piombino, Thai Stoddard, Meleigha Kugler, and our native Haitian ambassador, Ernest Beauvais.


In September, Hughes said our Educational Center started the 12 Virtues initiative.

"Each month, our individuals learn about a new virtue such as acceptance, self-discipline, gratitude, generosity, responsibility, compassion, patience, courage, respect, perseverance, cooperation, and integrity," she said.

Hughes said the PBIS involvement in the 12 Virtues is to give our individuals a global perspective by teaching them about other cultures, and that is why the group decided to adopt a school in Haiti.

In additional to sending school supplies to the school in Haiti, Hughes said our Educational Center individuals will be building a relationship with their students throughout the year through various activities.

Besides the Haitian Cultural Day, some other activities include a pen pal program, photo exchanges, a cultural box, and a country collage. Teachers will be incorporating the cultural program in the classroom, to build a relationship with the adopted school.

"The objective is to teach our students that we can be accepting and giving to others who are different, while providing a learning experience, and giving our individuals a glimpse of life outside of New York state," Hughes said.

"Our hope is that students will become better citizens both locally and globally, and have a better understanding and appreciation of others," she said.
Our Valentine's Day Dance was a huge success at our Wynantskill campus! 
Maura Psoinos, Vice President of Community Services and one of our individuals in foster care, spent the day with the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA) at Lobby Day at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.  

The group gathered to discuss the 2018-19 budget program priorities, and met with several legislators.         

Vanderheyden's President and CEO Karen Carpenter Palumbo and our individual Will were interviewed by Benita Zahn on NewsChannel 13's Public Forum show.  

Will, who graduated from our Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center, is now in a work program at Vanderheyden.                             


Thank Our individuals and Team Members had a ton of fun during School Spirit Week at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center! 

Some of the themes included Decades Day, where individuals and Team Members dressed up from the 1950s to now, Twin Day, where the individuals dressed up like each other, and wearing blue on a Friday for School Spirit Day.


Plenty of happy and smiling faces!!  Thank you!


Employees of a Rensselaer County company donated their spare change to Vanderheyden.  

The change was converted to a check at Cap Com Federal Credit Union's newest location at Van Rensselaer Plaza in North Greenbush. 

What a great idea!  Thank you for your support!

Vanderheyden sponsored the Coffee Bar at the "Meet the Legislators" at Franklin Terrace, an event by the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  

Our 185th Anniversary Tote Bag made its debut, and was a very popular item! 
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.  


2018 - Vanderheyden's 185th Anniversary!  Celebrations throughout the year!   
  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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