Upstate Cerebral Palsy and SUNY Poly Launch College LIFE

Upstate Cerebral Palsy and SUNY Poly Launch College LIFE

Friday, November 4, 2016 - 14:35
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UTICA, NY - Upstate Cerebral Palsy and SUNY Polytechnic Institute officially launched the College LIFE collaborative program on the SUNY Poly Utica campus on November 3, 2016.  College LIFE provides people with developmental disabilities a learning experience on a college campus to develop life, work and self-advocacy skills to achieve the next level of independence and lead fully inclusive lives.

College LIFE is a unique program, unlike any other in this area, in that it allows students from Upstate Cerebral Palsy to learn skills at a 4-year university based on their unique abilities and interests. An individual may progress to do volunteer work or to participate in a community day program, or he or she may move into paid employment. This program allows individuals to be a part of the SUNY Poly campus community and to experience life on a college campus while working on their goals set forth by the program and by students themselves.

According to Dawn Gentile, Director II of Vocational Services at Upstate Cerebral Palsy, “This is also an extremely unique program in that we are partnering with a bachelor’s level university, which will provide a tremendous training ground and social and learning experience for our students, many of whom have the desire to learn and spend time on a college campus. We can now make that desire a reality with this new partnership.”

"We are incredibly honored to partner with an organization that does as much good for our community as Upstate Cerebral Palsy," said Dr. Robert Geer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at SUNY Poly. "Following a successful pilot of this program last Spring, we can't wait to once again take part in an initiative that will truly make a difference and help young adults with a range of developmental disabilities achieve their goals of working toward employment or more independent living. It is programs and opportunities like this that not only show the heart of SUNY Poly, its faculty, students, and staff, but create better lives for all of us in the community."

"The Community and Behavioral Health (CBH) program is very pleased to partner with Upstate Cerebral Palsy in the College LIFE program," said Dr. Veronica Tichenor, Associate Professor of Sociology and Program Coordinator of Community and Behavioral Health. "By hosting Upstate Cerebral Palsy students, we add to the richness and diversity of our campus community, and our students have the opportunity to work with, mentor, and learn from young adults who are striving to meet their own life goals.  A partnership like this is very much in keeping with the ethos of the SUNY Poly CBH program, which emphasizes a biopsychosocial model of health and well-being that is attuned to the needs of individuals as whole persons, and provides our students with a wide range of opportunities to engage in the larger community."

For more information on the College Life Program, please contact Dawn Gentile, Director II of Vocational Services, at (315) 725-2181.

Colege_LIFE_launch_Nov_3_2016.sflb.ashxPictured: Rachel Harter-Transitional Program Manager, Upstate Cerebral Palsy Aleese Valeriano – SUNY Polytechnic Institute student Dr. Veronica Tichenor – Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Community and Behavioral Health, College of Health Sciences and Management Jordan LaBarbera – College LIFE student Evan Bruchis – College LIFE student Dr. Robert Yeh – Interim Dean, College of Health Sciences and Management Megan Emery – SUNY Polytechnic Institute student Geno DeCondo – Executive Vice President, Upstate Cerebral Palsy Dawn Gentile – Director II of Vocational Services, Upstate Cerebral Palsy

Contact: Julie Batson Suprenant Marketing/Communications Manager Upstate Cerebral Palsy 1020 Mary Street Utica, NY 13501 P: (315) 724-6907 ext. 2302 F: (315) 798-8818