Our Media and Activities Liaison, Jesse Saperstein had the chance to connect with Samantha Michaels at the James Baird Park in Pleasant Valley, NY where the Annual Hudson Valley Walk for Autism was held on Saturday, April 29, 2023. Samantha is a College Experience graduate from the Class of 2010 and has made enormous strides in the residential agency that currently provides her with employment and life skills services. Samantha currently lives in Saugerties and Jesse provided transportation to the event. A relentless rain during the start of the day threatened to make the entire day a “wash” (no pun intended). But shortly after the day began, the rain subsided and was replaced by a wind that upended many of the tablecloths even with the assistance of duct tape. (Hey! We’ll take it!)

Samantha was able to meet a lot of wonderful people at the Walk including former Assemblymember Sue Serino who is now running for the position of Dutchess County Executive. Sue took the time to speak to Jesse about his current endeavors with autism and political advocacy. She even helped him try to undo a gnarly knot that had formed in one of his toys meant for the kids who stopped by his table where Jesse was signing copies of his two books with Penguin Group (USA).

We wish Samantha a great deal of success in all of her endeavors, and she is always welcome on the trips led by the Alumni Activities Club. Samantha is featured in the first photo holding Jesse’s aquatic hourglass that he keeps as a symbol for making good use out of time while he is brandishing cupcakes just bought at one of the other booths.