Skip to main content



NEW YORK – Students at the Lower School at Manhattan Star Academy (MSA) will be participating in a Stepping Up Ceremony on June 21 at 10 am at the school located at 180 Amsterdam Avenue.

Ten students with developmental disabilities will be graduating and moving up to the Upper School. The school’s therapists and teachers have been working with the students to prepare for their transition. The ceremony will include parent attendance, awards, and of course, students wearing caps and gowns! Parents and staff will be available to speak with the media.

"It means the world to me to see my students move on and up in the world. I'm so proud of them and how far they've come this year, and I'm beyond thrilled for them and their next adventure they will experience at the Upper School,” said Allison Finnen, a teacher at the Lower School.

MSA is part of YAI, which offers a comprehensive range of services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The school on the Upper West Side serves children with global developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, speech and language delays, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. MSA fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary learning environment. It has gained a reputation for customized learning programs that promote independence, self-confidence, and life skills.

Kamana Shrestha

ABOUT YAI: Founded in 1957, YAI remains at the forefront of an extraordinary movement aimed at empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. YAI and its network of affiliate agencies offer children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities a comprehensive range of services. YAI is committed to seeing beyond disability, providing opportunities for people to live, love, work, and learn in their communities. YAI’s 4,000 employees provide supportive housing, education, medical, dental, and mental health care, job training, community integration, and social enrichment for more than 20,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families, in New York, New Jersey, and California.