Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (July 29, 2019) – The Foundation for Abilities First NY (FAFNY) welcomes William Van Ornum and Debra Zambito to its Board of Directors. Founded in 2018, FAFNY’s mission is to serve as the philanthropic arm of Abilities First, Inc., perpetuating the organization’s mission in providing individuals with disabilities and their families the support to attain independence, self-determination, The practice of including people with special needs in all aspects of typical community life. Abilities First believes that if integration occurs naturally in a setting (e.g., classroom, place of work, residential neighborhood, etc.), the ratio of people with disabilities to those without should approximate what is found in the total population. That is, less than or equal to 20% people with disabilities.... More and acceptance by others through The process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education., exploration and experience.
Zambito is the Chief Executive Officer of Elant, Inc. Her addition to the board will help further develop FAFNY’s relationships in the Orange County region of New York. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Abilities First, Inc.
Van Ornum is a Professor of Psychology at Marist College. He has been associated with Abilities First for over 12 years and is committed to strengthening the organization’s resources for those it serves.
“We are most appreciative to Debra and William for their commitment and leadership on behalf of those served by the mission of Abilities First,” said FAFNY Board of Directors President, Joshua Mackey. “We look forward to working alongside them and the Abilities First family to build a lasting legacy for the organization.”
Abilities First President and Chief Executive Officer, Jeffery Fox, said, “We are so pleased and appreciative to see the kind of commitment by community leaders that will ensure the success of this newly formed foundation. Debra and William join an excellent group of members who will lead this important initiative. The future of Abilities First is in good hands, and we look forward to great success in building our resources in the short term and long term.”
FAFNY establishes a stable commitment of philanthropic support for Abilities First to assure the programs, services and quality of life opportunities remain strong and available, as well as to ensure the organization’s fiscal resiliency during unexpected changes. The FAFNY Board of Directors raises funds that help generate the continued financial resources Abilities First, Inc. needs in order to provide services, many of which are not covered under The health insurance program that funds many services for people with IDD., including recreational and social activities that help build life skills and promote The philosophy and practice of including children or adults with disabilities in the same classrooms, programs, and community settings as people without disabilities. within the community.