The Staff Assistant Experience at Ramapo for Children

Rhinebeck, NY

Photo of students sitting on the steps at the Staff Assistant Experience

The Staff Assistant Experience (SAE) is a residential transition-to-independence program for young adults with social, emotional or learning challenges.

SAE is a year-round, residential transition-to-independence program that helps young adults develop social, vocational, and life skills, preparing them for next steps including college, employment, and their own unique version of independence. 

The Staff Assistant Experience was founded in 2009 when two young adults who had built incredible community through the Camp Ramapo experience wanted to remain a part of the inclusive environment where they felt a true sense of belonging…and SAE was born.  Since our programs inception, we have gone from serving two individuals to having 58 young adults enrolled in programming this past year and are still growing!

Based at Ramapo for Children’s beautiful Rhinebeck campus, the program is designed for young adults ages 18 to 26 who:

  • seek increased self-sufficiency
  • are interested in exploring employment opportunities, college coursework, and independent living
  • are navigating learning differences and challenges related to neurodiversity
  • can benefit from a structured program which offers coaching on life skills (healthy eating habits, physical fitness, organization, time management, meal planning and preparation, budgeting, laundry, hygiene/grooming, housekeeping, etc.)
  • need support and supervision to develop a social network and manage free time

Families with children affected by social, emotional or learning disabilities face many challenges as their children enter adulthood. In New York State, less than 17% of students with disabilities graduate from high school prepared for college or a career. Many of these young adults have the potential to live and work independently and happily, but need additional support to do so successfully. Ramapo’s Staff Assistant Experience (SAE) provides a transition-to-independence program for these young adults who seek independence but have yet to overcome the challenges associated with their diverse learning needs.

The world is truly not built for individuals with learning differences and we are so honored to provide an inclusive environment for these incredible young people to thrive.

Photo of youth on a picnic blanket at Camp Ramampo
Ramapo for Children logo

Ramapo for Children
22 Camp Ramapo Rd
Rhinebeck, NY  12572