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Cumming Nature Center Documentary

Follow the link below to see the documentary that videography made while D.R.I.V.E. was on their field period for the winter of 2016.

In addition, the link below will take you to the article written in the Finger Lakes Times about the experience.


Cumming Nature Center

Cumming Nature Center

For the month of January, the D.R.I.V.E. Program has been collaborating with the Cumming Nature Center in Naples, New York. The students have been placed into five different groups,in which the groups consist of Videography, Classroom, Maintnence, Service, and Carpentry. These groups all have daily tasks that are related to their group name.

Videography has been creating a documentary with information promoting the collaboration between the DRIVE Program and the Cumming Nature Center by taking clips of the center, completing interviews and filming day to day activities, as well as, the progress the students have made. The Classroom group has accomplished painting a sky scenery on the ceiling tiles in the classroom. Using chalkboard paint, the group painted a section of chalkboard on the wall. In addition, the Classroom group has designed a unique, nature related theme for the classroom. During this time, some maintenance tasks have included painting door frames, base boards and registers. The students have also deep cleaned the building and assisted with moving items as needed. The Service group has greeted guests, learned about the trails and reassembled snow shoes. Carpentry has been hands-on in making benches for the trails, making a children`s table, stools, and a chalkboard frame for the classroom, as well as, making a coat rack and fire stock for the Nature Youth Group.

This is a great opportunity for the students as they learn first hand job skills and new life experiences. The students have expressed their excitement with this opportunity at The Cumming Nature Center and the new skills they have learned along the way.

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D.R.I.V.E. Staff and Students Present at the Westchester Institute for Human Development

D.R.I.V.E. Staff and Students Present at the Westchester Institute for Human Development
D.R.I.V.E. staff and students traveled to Westchester, New York 10/6/11 to present information about the D.R.I.V.E. program at a conference sponsored by the Westchester Institute for Human Development. Staff Members, Heather Bond, Richard Shaver, Jessica VanDerpoel, accompanied students, Michael Oliver, Bethany Parson and Nate Calibria. All participated in a panel discussion after viewing of the D.R.I.V.E. All three students did an excellent job in talking about their experience in D.R.I.V.E.

College will Share in $2.5 Million Federal Grant

Published October 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm in , , by .

Peer Mentor Deanna Nortier, a senior occupational sciences major, works with a DRIVE student during art class.

Keuka College and three other local higher education institutions have received a federal grant to help students with intellectual disabilities go to college.

The five-year, $2.5 million grant was awarded to the Institute for Innovative Transition at the University of Rochester under the new U.S. Department of Education Transition and Postsecondary Program for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID). Keuka, Rochester, Monroe Community College, and Roberts Wesleyan will share in the grant.

“We are delighted to be a part of this consortium and look forward to working with the other three institutions to provide more educational opportunities to students with intellectual disabilities,” said Keuka College President Joseph G. Burke. “Our DRIVE (Diversity, Responsibility, Inclusion, Vision, and Experiential Learning) program is already recognized as a model program in this area.”


In the program, Keuka College students serve as peer mentors to young adults with intellectual disabilities as they assimilate into the college environment and explore their personal goals.

DRIVE students are given Keuka College IDs that allow them to take materials out of the library and use dining and athletic facilities, and have Keuka e-mail accounts. They are guests in at least one Keuka College course each semester.

“It’s a win-win situation,” said Anne Marie Guthrie, dean of the Center for Experiential Learning. “The DRIVE program allows high school post-graduate students and adults with intellectual disabilities age appropriate and inclusive educational opportunities while providing Keuka students enhanced experiential learning opportunities through their instructional and personal relationships with persons who have differing abilities and needs.”

The grant will allow each higher education institution to partner with a local school district and/or adult agency. DRIVE is a collaboration between Keuka College, Penn Yan Central School District, and Yates County ARC.

According to Guthrie, some of the projects that the consortium will be working on over the duration of the grant are disability and diversity awareness; self-advocacy and self-determination; understanding universal design for the curriculum; research on, and assessment of, the impact of transition programs; and job coaching and peer mentoring programs.

Like DRIVE, the Institute for Innovative Transition—which was launched in 2008 and sustained through $1.5 million in grants from the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation— aims to improve the quality of life for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families as they transition from school age to adulthood.

Former President Bill Clinton recognized the DRIVE program in April at the Third Clinton Global Initiative at the University of Miami. Burke; DRIVE student Helen Hymel; Kristin Curran, senior occupational therapy major and DRIVE mentor; and Heather Bond, program manager attended the event. Prior to one of the plenary sessions, Clinton discussed the DRIVE program while sharing the stage with Hymel, Curran, and Burke.

D.R.I.V.E. Program Recognized at Clinton GCU I Meeting

Published April 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm in , by .

It was a memorable weekend (April 16-18) for Helen Hymel.

Hymel traveled by plane, visited Florida, and saw the Atlantic Ocean. She had never done any of these things before.

Oh, and she shook hands with, and received a signed note from, Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States.

Those were firsts for her, too.


“It was awesome,” said Hymel of meeting the former commander in chief. “I also loved the beach.”

Hymel, a D.R.I.V.E. (diversity, responsibility, inclusion, vision, and experiential learning) student at Keuka College; Kristin Curran, a senior occupational therapy major and D.R.I.V.E. mentor; Heather Bond, D.R.I.V.E. program manager; and College President Joseph G. Burke traveled to Florida for the Third Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting at the University of Miami.

Clinton said that more than 290,000 people would be positively impacted by commitments made at the CGI U, including the ones by Keuka College, University of Rochester, Roberts Wesleyan College, and the Golisano Foundation to provide students with developmental disabilities access to college classes and campus life. D.R.I.V.E. is a collaboration between Keuka College, Penn Yan Central School District, and Yates Country ARC.

Prior to one of the weekend plenary sessions, Clinton discussed the D.R.I.V.E. program while sharing the stage with Hymel, Curran and Burke.

“Helen showed up with a D.R.I.V.E. t-shirt and wanted to give it to President Clinton,” said Burke. “There wasn’t time to do that on stage, but one of Clinton’s aides said she would give to him. In return, Helen was presented with a signed note from Clinton.”

Hymel is searching for a suitable frame for the Clinton autograph. In the meantime, she is keeping it in a secure place.

One of the lasting of impressions that Hymel has of Clinton is that “he liked to talk.” But what he talked about made an even bigger impact.

“He talked about the earthquake in Haiti and the importance of helping the people there,” said Hymel, who also indicated that Clinton stressed the importance of proving clean water for people in all countries.  “I feel bad for people who don’t have what we (in the United States) have. In Africa and other countries, some people don’t even have shoes. I feel lucky.”

Lucky and committed. Hymel came back from Florida with a strong desire to “help people who are not as fortunate as I am.”

Actually, she didn’t wait that long before turning that desire into action. On Sunday,  before heading to the airport for her return flight home, she joined some other students who attend the CGI U for a service project at the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s homestead homeless complex, a community of approximately 500 formerly homeless individuals and families. Despite incessant rain, Hymel joined Bond and Curran in doing landscaping work at the complex.

D.R.I.V.E. students are given Keuka College IDs that allow them to take materials out of the library and use dining and athletic facilities, and have Keuka e-mail accounts.

Keuka students, such as Curran, serve as peer mentors to the D.R.I.V.E. students, facilitating their integration into the campus community.

D.R.I.V.E. students are guests in at least one Keuka College course each semester.

“I sing the praises of D.R.I.V.E.—it has been a joy and highlight of my experience at Keuka,” said Stephanie Craig, assistant professor of social work. “I am very passionate about my D.R.I.V.E. students’ experiences and I have formed ongoing relationships with many of them.”

Established in 2005 by Clinton, the CGI convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Part of the CGI, the CGI U is a forum to engage college students in global citizenship.

Bond believes the CGI U will “begin to mount awareness of developmentally disabled people, who have the desire to pursue their goals and dreams like anyone else.”