The Staff Assistant Experience (SAE) is a residential transition-to-independence program for young adults (18-25) with social, emotional, or learning challenges. Participants improve and reinforce interpersonal, independent living, and job skills; build resilience; and develop a future orientation.
Based at Ramapo for Childrens beautiful Rhinebeck campus, the program is designed for young adults ages 18 to 25 who: seek increased self-sufficiency; are interested in exploring college coursework, employment opportunities, and independent living; are navigating learning differences, Aspergers/high-functioning autism/NVLD/PDD, or ADHD; can benefit from a structured program which offers coaching on life skills (healthy eating habits, physical fitness, organization, time management, meal planning and preparation, budgeting, laundry, hygiene/grooming, housekeeping, etc.); and need support and supervision to develop a social network and manage free time. SAE offers a summer program (mid-June-mid August) and a school year program, with most young adults participating for nine months to one year. During their time in SAE, Staff Assistants are immersed in Ramapos thriving Rhinebeck campus community, which includes a sleep-away summer camp for children with special needs, a year-round retreat program serving over 8,000 people annually, and a cohort of residential staff with whom they interact frequently.
The Staff Assistant Experience is unique because it provides young adults the opportunity to live and work alongside peer role models, meaningful work experience within a community focused on service to youth, and highly individualized programming with an aspirational arc.