Unfortunately, the Holiday Celebration that was planned very close to the date of Sunday, December 25th, 2022 had to be canceled due to inclement, wintry weather. In the spirit of “fool me twice, shame on us” we tried to enjoy a Holiday Do-Over by cutting our losses and focusing on the upcoming Valentine’s Day here at the College Experience. This time, we raged against the weather, which is always out of our control by planning a Valentine’s Day event over two weeks before Tuesday, February 14th, 2023. Unless there were back-to-back blizzards two weekends in a row, we felt there would be a good chance the show would go on for our students as well as the alumni. The staff of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church was kind enough to allow us to use their Recreation Room free of charge to host this event!

Not only did the show go on, but there were hearts in everybody’s eyes as we enjoyed a night filled with fun and friendship. Even though the rollercoaster of romance is typically a factor on February 14th, the Valentine’s Day Party was absent of heartache. Amy Maiorano, who is an alumnus from the Class of 2017, brought her Karaoke machine and staff tried to get people engaged in impromptu standup comedy. Amy also led everybody in what is arguably the largest selfie ever taken in the 18-year history of the College Experience using her Selfie Device!

Brendan Salmon, who is an alumnus from the Class of 2019, was instrumental in bringing everybody together for this event as well as helping with the preparations in advance. He worked with staff to purchase reasonably-priced decorations and also refreshments such as several pizza pies from Variety Pizza and Deli located at 1112 Madison Avenue; Albany, NY 12208.

Amy Maiorano brought a lot of her personal craft items for people to busy themselves with while taking meal breaks. Plenty of the students assisted the celebration by purchasing their own desserts. We are going to have a lot more fun to look forward to as we continue celebrating important milestones that bring students and alumni together!

Attached are also photos of Amy helping the boys learn how to work with the crafts supplies in addition to Amber Reda and Jake Siskin who are an alumni couple that have been together for a number of years now.

Regardless of whether or not it is Valentine’s Day, we hope to have a continuation of these collective smiles from our program throughout the rest of the school year!