Tiffany Pendola to Lead International Academy of Hope

Mon, November 09, 2020


Tiffany Pendola to Lead International Academy of Hope
Pendola brings more than 15 years of expertise to iHOPE

NEW YORK, NY (November 9, 2020) -- YAI, one of the nation’s largest providers of support and services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is proud to announce the appointment of Tiffany Pendola as Principal of the International Academy of Hope (iHOPE). Pendola comes to YAI with more than 15 years of experience in public and private education, with an emphasis on special education.

iHOPE is a school in East Harlem focused on educating children, adolescents, and young adults who have sustained acquired brain injuries or other brain-based disorders and who cannot be served in their local school systems. iHOPE is one of the only schools in New York to serve this unique population of students. Pendola brings expertise as an educator who has worked throughout New York City and elsewhere, supporting students of varying abilities.

“The best way to make a big impact is to amplify the voices of those who are often not heard,” Pendola said. “I’m looking forward to supporting students using a multi-sensory approach, but I also plan to lead iHOPE in becoming a pioneer in I/DD education through our own research and curricula development. I plan to build on iHOPE’s current growth to ensure that student needs will not only be met but exceeded, too.”

iHOPE is one of two schools at YAI that serves students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Manhattan Star Academy, also in Manhattan, serves students aged 5 to 21 with a broad range of learning styles. In all of its programs, YAI, headquartered in Manhattan, provides comprehensive support and services to more than 20,000 children and adults and their families each year.

For more information on iHOPE, please visit


The International Academy of Hope (iHOPE) serves children, adolescents, and young adults from ages 5 years to 21 years old, who have sustained acquired brain injuries or other brain-based disorders and who cannot be served in their local school systems.  iHOPE is committed to creating systemic change in the way students with brain injuries and other brain-based disorders are educated, while ensuring that education remains person-centered and family-informed. iHOPE aspires to the highest standard of excellence by implementing best practices and drawing on evidence-based research in the delivery of technically competent care and is focused on meaningful outcomes for its students, attained within a context of kindness, optimism, and celebration of growth and skill mastery.


Founded in 1957 as the Young Adult Institute, YAI remains at the forefront of an extraordinary movement aimed at empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Committed to seeing beyond disability, YAI provides opportunities for people to live, love, work, and learn in their communities. With more than 4,000 employees throughout Downstate New York, Northern New Jersey, and California, YAI and its affiliates provide children and adults with a comprehensive range of supports and services including housing; medical, behavioral, and dental care; education; supported employment; networking and skills-building; family respite; and crisis intervention.

Kamana Shrestha
Media Relations Manager, YAI
media [at]