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Collage of photos of YAI staff and the people they support in Albany
YAI staff and people we support rally together in Albany. 

Before sunrise on Monday, February 12, almost 50 YAI staff members and people we support loaded onto buses. The group, including CEO Kevin Carey, made the journey to Albany to attend a rally to increase funding for the I/DD field. Despite the early start, many recognized the crucial importance of their voices and YAI's representation at the rally.

“We were advocating for increasing the budget and getting funds for our agency and other agencies,” explained Mohamed Mahgoub, Residential Supervisor at Howard Beach. “Currently, we’re in a crisis. And we cannot hire people. And if we do manage to hire people, they don’t stay with us at YAI. And I believe that’s happening across all the agencies in New York.”  

For Mahgoub, who has been at YAI for five years, attending rallies in Albany is just one way to increase visibility for YAI. He also thinks it’s important to meet with government officials and hold them accountable.   

“We met with Assemblymember Juan Ardila and explained everything, and he was all ears,” said Mahgoub. “He understood everything, and he knew that we were requesting more funds for the people we support, the staff, and the program. He was listening. He supported us and he advocated for us.”  

To learn more about YAI’s advocacy work, visit