“I have been an AF board member for the past 16 years, have served in various positions, and have seen great change.
I became president of the board in 2012, at a time that required leadership through a difficult transition for the organization. I have served on the executive committee, the marketing committee, and the nominating committee over the years, and I currently serve as the chair of the Governance Committee, and on the newly formed Board of the Abilities Partnership of the Hudson Valley (APHV).
It wasn’t until I wrote my mother’s obituary in December of 2020 that I made the connection between her volunteerism and my long-term relationship with people with disabilities and Abilities First.
My mother, Rose Agnolet, volunteered at one of the first social support groups for adults with developmental disabilities in the tri-state area back in the early ‘70s and showed her young family that each person she worked with had a unique role to play in this world. She instilled in us the importance of acceptance, respect, love, and mutual understanding.
In high school, I volunteered as a counselor at a summer camp for people with developmental disabilities, and then many years later, in 2006, joined Rehab Programs—now Abilities First. So, as in all other things, I owe it all to my Mom!”
Abilities First is most grateful to Jeanine and her long-term commitment to the mission and the community.