Director of Marketing & Public Relations
105 Campus Drive
Oneonta, New York 13820
Phone: (607) 386 4852
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2023
Springbrook Hosted the Inaugural Class of Scholars in the Springbrook Training & Education Program (STEP)
Oneonta, NY: On Monday, May 22, Springbrook hosted an orientation for the inaugural class of scholars in the Springbrook Training & Education Program (STEP). STEP is a cohort-based, in-person learning opportunity in collaboration with SUNY Oneonta. This Springbrook program is tuition-free and intended to provide educational opportunities to Direct Support Professionals at Springbrook who have faced obstacles when it comes to pursuing their degree, including scheduling and financing. There is no cost to participants, including class materials and books, and credits earned through the STEP program can be applied towards a certificate or degree program in human services or a related major.
The 5-course curriculum (15 total credits) is designed to provide relevant knowledge about human services, specifically working with families and people with developmental disabilities. Scholars will attend in-person classes at a Springbrook location twice a week during work hours for the first 15-week session, from late May through July, and receive paid release time from regular work responsibilities. The STEP program will continue through the year, with the final term in Fall 2024. Upon completion of this program, scholars will receive a .50$ raise.
A cohort of 25 was selected from 35 applicants and includes staff members from across Springbrook’s programs, including Community Homes, Capstone Day Habilitation, employment services, dietary services, and The School at Springbrook. Scholars in the STEP class of 2024 include Amber Tierney, Kyle Manley, Mikalyla Stefanek, Shawn Finch, Cassandra Mumbulo, Brian Knapp, Brendan Whitehill, Tayna Torres, Jaime Provenzano, Melinda Whitmore, Amanda Travis, Miranda VanWormer, Marisa Cawley, Michael Spadaro, Jenna Llewellyn, Amber Henriksen, Rhiannon Ham, Joshua Venett, Crystal-Nicole Skuderin, Travis Gray, Loretta Ulmer, Jeff Carreras, Kara Swartz, Jacob Brandt, and Dawn Turi.
The STEP program was created in coordination with SUNY Oneonta President Dr. Alberto J.F. Cardelle, Chief of Staff Danielle McMullen, and Dr. Brenda Seery. Dr. Cardelle said, “This partnership with Springbrook brings together two anchor institutions in the community—it is a partnership that will increase access to higher education and strengthen our local workforce in the community. Further, this partnership benefits the professionals, whose skill set will be greatly expanded, and the community, where these skills will benefit everyone.”
Springbrook provides at-home care, residential and educational services, day services, and clinical, therapeutic, and behavioral support to over 1,100 people with developmental disabilities across New York State. The organization is Otsego County’s third-largest employer, with more than 1,300 employees.