FEBRUARY 14, 2020 - What are the happiest or most rewarding moments for you while working here?
When a student has been struggling and you see that moment where they just get it and you get to be a part of that, it makes you feel so good. You see the growth over time. For some of the students, it’s been a slow process when you look at it day to day or week to week. You think nothing’s happening. But when I think back to where these students were a year and a half ago, I get it. Wow, they’ve made so much progress! Reflect back on it and you get to be wowed.
JANUARY 27, 2019 - Every year, generous members of the Berkshire Community donate to Hillcrest’s Holiday Wish Program to ensure that the 160 students in our care have gifts to open on Christmas morning. Living in residential care and spending the holidays away from home is not easy, especially for children. Knowing there are people out there who care makes their holiday brighter...Learn More
DECEMBER 6, 2019 - For many people, being a part of a team is a quintessential experience of childhood. Many kids at Hillcrest haven’t had the opportunity to play sports or participate in other activities that provide a team environment. However, there is one experience here that provides them with that sense of teamwork, accomplishment, and responsibility. And that is the Honda NYPUM program.Learn More
NOVEMBER 22, 2019 – The holidays are a special time of year when many families gather, recreate traditions, and make memories together. Unfortunately for many of Hillcrest’s residential students, the holidays are spent at school, away from family for a variety of reasons. Some are too far away from home, others are not stable enough to leave Hillcrest, and sadly, some students do not have family to return to. That means it’s our job to ensure that Hillcrest students have meaningful holiday celebrations with staff, peers, and visiting family members.
NOVEMBER 8, 2019 - What are the happiest moments for you while working here?
I’ve gone for days smiling after hearing a kid, whose voice that I’d never heard before, let me know if they wanted water or juice with their meds. One word. Just to hear their voice and everything. Something like that, I can smile for days....
OCTOBER 11, 2019- What surprised you most working for Hillcrest?
The kids. These are challenged kids. Sometimes with their behavior you think they don’t like you. You think they don’t care about you. You think it’s all about them. And then I had my injury and kids were like acting out. And then anytime I was on light duty, I popped over there and the kids were like, “Saaamm, when are you coming back?!”
I see these kids are challenged and they don’t say these things to you because they enjoy saying it. It’s because of the situation they find themselves. I don’t take it personal. They are good people on the inside....
OCTOBER 4, 2019 - “The ideal situation [for our students after they leave Hillcrest] is living as independently as possible and having some part-time work,” said Tom Leonardo, the vocational teacher at Hillcrest’s ASD Residential Program. And that’s what the staff in the vocational classroom aim to do...Learn More