Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Fulton, Green, Montgomery, Putnam, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Ulster, Warren, and Washington
Welcome to the Capital District Office of Parent to Parent of NYS
Our office has the following grants Capital Region Special Education Information Center –know as PTIC, MSC and Family to Family Health Care Information and Education Center (F2F).
Tina Beauparlant is a Program Assistant and Educational Advocacy Specialist with the Capital District office of Parent to Parent of NYS.
E. Yvette James has joined the staff of Parent to Parent of New York State as Director of Programs. Yvette is a recent recipient of a Masters of Arts degree in Public and Social Policy from Empire State College/SUNY. Previous to her position with Parent to Parent, Yvette managed various anti-hunger initiatives including W.I.C. and SNAP outreach programs. She has five years’ experience in the emergency preparedness arena working for FEMA as well the American Red Cross. Additionally, she has ten years’ experience in working with adults with disabilities in residential settings. However it is her role as sister to a differently abled adult that attracted her to the Parent to Parent organization and its’ mission.
Michele Juda has been appointed Executive Director of Parent to Parent of NYS effective January 1, 2014. Employed by Parent to Parent of NYS since 2008, she was initially responsible for directing the work of the Family to Family Health Information Center prior to assuming the role of Director of Programs in 2013. As Executive Director Michele will be responsible for all program and operational functions, ensuring Parent to Parent of NYS is able to fulfill its mission of building a supportive network of families, reducing isolation and empowering those who care for people with developmental disabilities or special healthcare needs to navigate and influence service systems and make informed decisions.
Dianne O’Connor came to the Capital Region office of Parent to Parent of NYS in October 2014. Prior to working with Parent to Parent, she worked for the NYS Research Foundation of Mental Hygiene at the NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services implementing a sub-contract for SAMHSA on the Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). She is a certified FASD trainer through the Center for Disease Control and has been a national speaker and advocate for families who have loved ones with FASD. Over the years she has helped her children to also advocate for themselves and has brought them with her on many New York State and national speaking engagements. In 2005, Dianne received the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner’s Service Award for her work on FASD prevention. Dianne’s passion to help those with FASD and the families who love them has kept her going. She tells families, “Don’t stress if you don’t get it right or fall back on old parenting ways. It’s OK. Our loved ones have memory issue so you get a ‘do over’ to try it again.” Dianne continues to work with NYS OASAS on the FASD Interagency Workgroup.
Lindsey Pensabene is a Regional Coordinator in the Capital District office of Parent to Parent NYS. Lindsey holds degrees in both Business Administration and Culinary Arts, and is a parent to two young children. Lindsey has a passion and thirst for knowledge about developmental disabilities, with the purpose of helping other families to become greater advocates for their children. Lindsey feels strongly that knowledge is power. She believes that given proper support, parents of children with special needs can present the best version of themselves to the world. Lindsey feels that being a part of the community of special needs parents has been essential to her family’s well-being throughout their journey.
Trish Washburn is an Education Advocate with the Capital District Office of Parent to Parent of NYS. Prior to working with Parent to Parent of NYS, she worked at the Capital Region Child and Adolescent Mobile Crisis Team. Trish has a son and a daughter on the autistic spectrum. She is very passionate about helping parents with a children with various types of disabilities. Her motto is “Knowledge is Power.”
Michele’s mission is to make a difference for families and helping to help them meet their child’s needs. She is regularly teaching parents to advocate for their children and guiding them to learn the questions to ask. Michele makes time to answer questions and help solve problems for both staff and families.
Michele had an article titled, “Starting Early: Paving a Path Towards Interdependence in Health Management” published in the September 2012 National Gateway to Self-Determination.” Congratulations Michele. You can read it HERE.
Michele Juda (Schenectady office and Director of Programs) has been selected as a participant in the Maternal Child Health Public Health Leadership Institute. This executive-education program is designed to significantly expand self-awareness and quickly build practical skills for effectively leading, managing people, and building partnerships, to advocate for and create the MCH systems of tomorrow. It is a unique program that will improves leadership capacity, teaching participants how to create the kind of organizational culture that engages and motivates others. In prior years, we have encouraged people to apply to be part of this Leadership Institute. Michele is the first family representative from NYS to be selected to attend Congratulation to Michele for being selected to be part of this leadership building opportunity.