Chapel Haven President Recognized as Rising Star

Chapel Haven President Michael Storz has been selected by Business New Haven as a “Rising Star” for 2014.

Mike is among a prominent group of 14 business and community leaders recognized for their leadership, innovative and dedication in the September 2014 edition of Business New Haven. Mike’s story appears here, on page 20. He will be honored at an event this spring. Continue reading

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Chapel Haven’s Founders Nurtured a Dream of Independence 42 years ago

Jerry and Eva Rossman co-founded Chapel Haven in 1972 as a "next-step" in independence for their son, Peter.

Never underestimate the power of determined parents.

That is the lesson behind the founding of Chapel Haven, which started as the dream of a group of parents celebrating their kids’ graduation from Maplebrook School in Amenia, NY in the early 1970s. Continue reading

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Chapel Haven may be coming to a conference near you!

Chapel Haven and Chapel Haven West are everywhere!

Our staff, coordinated through our Admissions Office, are out and about presenting and talking to parents and professionals at conferences throughout the U.S. This is a great way to get to know the award-winning services Chapel Haven offers. Check the schedule below to see if we are coming to a conference near you! Continue reading

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Artist of the Month and Museum Fun at Chapel Haven

Congratulations to Artist of the Month, Barbara!

Congratulations to Barbara Doherty, who has been named Chapel Haven’s Artist of the Month because she showed great determination in creating 200 key chains to give to guests at her sister Maureen’s wedding this summer. Barbara and Maureen designed the pieces together and Barbara spent the summer making it a reality with her handiwork.

In related news, this summer, the

Getting dramatic at the Yale Center for British Art

Chapel Haven Out to Art class, under the direction of teacher Tina Menchetti,  worked with some exciting educators through the Yale Center for British Art. Clara Odell offered to teach the class while visiting in New Haven. Clara is the drama and French teacher at the American School of Milan in Milan, Italy. Clara  is seen here talking to the students about acting out the scene depicted in the painting at the Center, infusing theater with paintings. Continue reading

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Chapel Haven On Hand for Gov. Malloy’s Bill Signing Supporting Increased Employment Opportunities

Chapel Haven was pleased to be on hand with the Connecticut Community Providers Association (CCPA) when Governor Dannel Malloy and the General Assembly passed and signed a bill that will expand job opportunities for individuals with disabilities and economic disadvantages.

Present at the bill signing were Karin Frodel, Supervisor of Community Programs at Chapel Haven; community member Hope Morrison; and Terri Console, Community Programs Manager.

PA 14-188, signed into law in a recent state Capitol ceremony, will broaden the types of services already promoted under a pilot program established in 2006 and made permanent in 2013, from janitorial services to now include other types of services such as document management, data entry, food services, call centers and landscaping.

“Expanding this program will provide hundreds of individuals across Connecticut a wider range of opportunities to work and be self-sufficient,” Kirk Springsted, Vice President of Administration for CCPA said. “On behalf of those individuals, we thank lawmakers and the Governor for their support for this important legislation.”

The Preferred Purchasing program was first established in 1977 to promote employment through state contracts. It was intended to address poor employment rates for people with disabilities. In 2011, only 38 percent of people with disabilities in Connecticut were employed.

“Helping people with disabilities and economic disadvantages gain employment is good for the individuals, and it is good for the economy of Connecticut,” Morna Murray, President and CEO of CCPA said. “We are very grateful to the Connecticut legislators who have pushed this legislation, particularly Senator Anthony Musto and Representative Tony Hwang, and all supporters who know and understand the many advantages this programs has for people with disabilities and for our communities across the state.”

 

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Chapel Haven artist has taken his talent to the road!

Vito is traveling widely with Truck'N with Vito

Chapel Haven graduate Vito Bonanno has taken his artistic talent on the road with a van transformed into an art gallery.

TRUCK’N WITH VITO is the name of his gallery on wheels and its purposes is to travel to venues around Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to share his amazing art, while spreading the message that autism can be a gift accompanied by rare talent.

Since launching the van campaign, Vito has showcased his one-man show.

Vito, born in 1983, was diagnosed just before his 4th birthday as being on the autism spectrum, according to the biography on his website. Vito was language delayed and so his parents and teachers tapped into his high visual acuity, using storyboard styles to help him academically and socially.

The storyboard grid stuck, remaining prominent in his work. Through the help of his dedicated family and the “tireless work of professionals,” Vito defied the odds to become a high-functioning man who, according to his biography, “has learned to take the information trapped in his head and transform it into art that contains the essence of his life, feelings, thoughts and dreams.”

Vito says his disability helps him remember dreams, but also doesn’t let him forget the unpleasant aspects of life. It’s those vivid memories and feelings that often end up on canvas. “Drawing these things helps me get this stuff out of my head for a while,” Vito has said. Continue reading

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REACH graduates take the joyous step into independence

NEW HAVEN – This year’s graduates of Chapel Haven’s REACH program were spirited as they took the joyous walk down the aisle in their caps and gowns on June 20, thanking family, staff and most of all the friends who helped get them through.

In his graduation speech, Jonas Belon, who came to Chapel Haven from Denver, said the most important thing he learned was how to solve problems.

“I learned to solve them without getting me or my friends in trouble. I learned how to be a better friend,” he said. “Graduating REACH means a lot to me.”

Congratulations to Jonas, Joe, Allan, Hannah, Dylan, Justin, Ben, Juliana and Nick on their graduation! To see a photo album, click here.

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Eight Graduate from Chapel Haven West and move into community life

Successful internships, jobs, college,  life skills and lasting friendships celebrated at Chapel Haven West graduation

Chapel Haven West Class of 2014

Eight students graduated from Chapel Haven West’s two-year residential program on June 8. The graduation ceremony, held at the Tucson Marriott, was attended by parents, family members, friends and staff. Each student gave a speech and received a graduation certificate from Director Kenneth Hosto and President Michael Storz. All eight graduates are remaining in Tucson.

Graduation day!

“At Chapel Haven West, I learned that if you really put effort into what you do, you will be a success,” Daniel Stafford said. Daniel works at the Home Depot. He hopes to live in Florida or England someday.

“I’m taking Pima Community College classes, working at Home Depot, and living life to the fullest,” Jonah Sabol said. Jonah said he learned how to “keep a conversation going” at Chapel Haven West and that he’s a much better person to talk to.

“I plan on getting my AA at Pima Community College to become a veterinary technician, hopefully in the near future,” Ryan Urban said. Ryan said her greatest accomplishment at Chapel Haven West was volunteering at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. Continue reading

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Project SEARCH Graduation a Joyous Event

Eight Project SEARCH interns from Chapel Haven were lauded at a joyous graduation ceremony June 19 at Yale-New Haven Hospital, thronged by hospital supervisors, Chapel Haven staff and proud, beaming parents.

“I remember when you started,” said Lynelle Abel, Director of Volunteer Services at YNHH. “There were lots of nervous faces, concerns about ‘how are we going to learn this new job and navigate this big medical center.’ But you did it. You have become really important members of our health care team.”

Congratulations to:

  • Jolysa Anthony
  • Heather Chisholm
  • Marcus Hammel
  • Tim Heydenburg
  • Laurel Marietta
  • Maria Rivera
  • Rachael Warden
  • Kerry Wilson

To see a photo album, click here Continue reading

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ASAT graduation a testament to independence

Rubin Levinson, shown here with his father, gave an eloquent speech about the independence he has gained at Chapel Haven.

Rubin Levinson said at one time he spent so much time in front of a computer that his mom would say when Rubin went away to college, he was going to find, “a skeleton with a baseball hat.”

But the skeleton prediction is off the table since the Levinsons found Chapel Haven’s Asperger’s Syndrome Adult Transition Program.

Speaking at the ASAT graduation June 14, Rubin told fellow graduates and their families that Chapel Haven has given him a solid foundation to build upon in life. He can now socialize and perform practical chores for independent living.

“This is the end of my foundation. Now, I’m getting ready to build the pretty stuff,” he said.

Read more about the graduation in the New Haven Register here

Eight graduated this year from ASAT and among the performances were a song in Japanese, a reading of a creative writing piece and a song.  Continue reading

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