YAI Careers

Group of people holding certificates
Tue, September 17, 2019
On August 28, YAI Queens’ Level II Leadership class celebrated their graduation at the agency’s Dawson Manor residence. For a year, the cohort of eight YAI employees balanced work obligations with monthly, full day training sessions designed to build leadership skills and hone expertise in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) field.
Three people stand in a kitchen, they appear to be doing food prep. There are some metal bowls in the foreground
Wed, August 28, 2019
Every year, YAI’s 4,000 employees help more than 20,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) live more independent and meaningful lives. And, every summer and fall, these staff cultivate the next generation of I/DD professionals while demonstrating what it means to be a person-first agency.
Older photo of a young man holding a cup with a young woman hugging him from the side
Tue, August 27, 2019
For Allen Cohen, YAI wasn’t just a place where he received support, it was a place where he found a second family and left a lasting legacy in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). “When Allen first came to YAI, there was still a lot of stigma surrounding people with I/DD,” said Bonnie Cohen, Allen’s younger sister. “But YAI saw his potential and he thrived because of it.”
two people stand on a floor piano together, holding hands
Mon, June 03, 2019
As Emily Heiss approached the U-shaped brick home, her heart raced. It was her first day on the job as a Direct Service Professional (DSP) at YAI’s Old South Path residence
Ja-mel standing at a podium accepting an award from ICD
Mon, April 29, 2019
Last Thursday, Ja-Mel Johnson, a YAI Human Resources Generalist, accepted an award from the Institute for Career Development (ICD) recognizing YAI as its Employer Partner of the Year.
Justine Ortiz
Mon, September 10, 2018
Justine Ortiz has been a dedicated employee at YAI for five years. During this time, she has shown tremendous growth, professionally and personally. She started her employment as a DSP in a Day Hab program in Manhattan. A fierce advocate, Justine is always looking out for the people she supports and loves the community inclusion aspect of her job. She is constantly on the go, securing volunteer sites in the community for not only her group but others as well. Justine moved to a smaller Day Hab...
Kathleen Ziccardi
Fri, May 11, 2018
What drew me to Nursing? I was hospitalized when I was eleven. Next to me was a five year old boy. He was badly burned over his upper body and had difficulty using the call bell. I became his voice. The nurses were so kind though I’m sure I drove them crazy with the frequency of calls. They actually thanked me and made me feel good about helping him. Then in High School I volunteered to go on visits in the community with the Nursing Sisters. When we would enter the patients’ homes, I saw such a...
Photograph of Elizabeth Krsnak
Wed, May 09, 2018
I have two relatives who I have great respect for, who are both nurses and always spoke of the satisfaction they felt in taking care of people. I always enjoyed taking care of people and thought that becoming a nurse would afford me a greater opportunity. As a nurse I know that I have helped people and their loved ones overcome many obstacles in their lives. In my career I have worked in many different fields of nursing from hospital nursing to nursing homes to private duty to where I am now...
Photograph of Annette Dunnah
Mon, May 07, 2018
What attracted you to nursing? I fell in love with nursing because of my mom. She is a retired Registered Nurse. She worked in the local hospital in the community in which I grew up. She was a constant source of support to our neighbors and anyone who needed her. We would often be in our local supermarket, mall, gas station etc.. and someone would come up to us and say to her “Hi do you remember me?” She would always respond “You look familiar” and they would tell a story of how my mom impacted...
Photograph Erika Heyliger holding a certificate in front of her with both hands
Thu, March 22, 2018
A wise man once said, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” For Erika Heyliger, this quote embodies her experience working at YAI. While being a DSP is challenging, she also thinks it's one of the most rewarding fields she's ever been in. She loves knowing she's having a positive impact on the lives of other people. In fact, the people she supports motivated Erika to go back to school and pursue an M.S.W. at Adelphi University's School of Social...
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