Hillside Leader Shanes Honored by Onondaga Community College

Karinda Shanes, Regional Executive Director of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection’s Syracuse and Binghamton/Union-Endicott programs, was honored this week by her alma mater, Onondaga Community College, in the school’s annual “Alumni Faces” recognition event. OCC’s “Alumni Faces” program celebrates the achievements and contributions of distinguished graduates who have made a difference in their communities and professional lives. A ceremony was held Wednesday, October 6, to recognize Shanes and other OCC “Alumni Faces” honorees. In a profile of Shanes that appears on OCC’s website, she describes how her professional and academic experiences have equipped her to lead regional operations for the nationally recognized…

Read More

Special Santa 2021 Starts October 30 with All-Online Campaign

It’s back! Hillside’s annual Special Santa campaign will return Saturday, October 30 with an online campaign that aims to provide toys and gifts to thousands of children and families. For nearly 40 years, generous individuals and local businesses have donated toys, games, clothing and other gifts to children served by Hillside throughout much of New York State and in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Last year alone, more than 4,000 young people enjoyed a brighter holiday season thanks to the public’s embrace of this perennial campaign. For the second year in a row, Special Santa 2021 will be an all-online effort.…

Read More

Access Hillside’s Wish List on Amazon Smile

Hillside is always grateful for donated items that support our work with children and families in need. Our most-requested items can be purchased online, year-round, through the Hillside Children’s Center Wish List at the Amazon Smile online marketplace. These purchased items can be delivered directly to our programs—and by using the Amazon Smile charity service, a portion of the purchase price of every item is also donated to Hillside. If you’re not on Amazon or would like to make a donation of items purchased through other means, frequently requested items include: School supplies (notebooks, folders, paper, pens and pencils, etc.)…

Read More

Hillside Awarded $65,000 in Grant Support for Prince George’s County Operations

The Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program, dedicated to reversing the trend of multigenerational poverty by helping students earn their high school diplomas and prepare for entry into the workforce, was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support HW-SC operations specific to the program’s work with students in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Hillside’s program was also awarded $40,000 from the Community Partnership Grant (CPG) of Prince George’s County, the main discretionary grant initiative offered by that county’s Office of the County Executive. CPG awards are determined based on criteria including a recipient’s community value and organizational stability. “Hillside Work-Scholarship…

Read More

How to Participate in Summer Meals

There are many schools, community centers and other organizations in local neighborhoods across the country that will be serving meals to kids and teens this summer through the USDA Summer Food Service Program.  Are you a parent or guardian looking for locations that serve summer meals near you? Find a meal site in your community by using the Summer Meals Site Finder mapping tool. Text “Summer Meals” to 97779, or for Spanish version text “Verano” to 97779, or call 1-866-348-6479 to find a site near you. United States National Hunger Hotline Also, the USDA National Hunger Hotline remains a helpful…

Read More

Across All Regions, HW-SC Seniors Celebrate Graduations

In districts around New York State and in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection’s classes of 2021 celebrated their high-school graduations in a variety of ways. The nationally recognized HWSC program typically honors soon-to-graduate seniors with live Senior Celebration events in the community of each participating district, but safety precautions due to COVID-19 made innovative alternatives necessary for the second straight year. Long-form video tributes were produced and shared via social media to salute the graduating seniors of schools from the Rochester and Gates-Chili school districts as well as in the Prince George’s County Public Schools. Forty-nine students from…

Read More

Nestor Hernandez Joins Hillside as Western and Southern Tier Executive Director

Hillside today announced the appointment of Nestor Hernandez as Executor Director of the agency’s Western and Southern Tier regions. Hernandez will join Hillside effective Monday, June 14. Hernandez brings deep credentials in leading mission-driven service organizations, including a nine-year tenure as Associate Vice President at People, Inc.; and executive experience with the Erie Regional Housing Development Corporation and the YMCA of Greater Buffalo’s Delaware Family Branch. “The people of our Western and Southern Tier regions look to Hillside for a wide range of community-based services that help them build pathways to stronger, successful futures,” said Maria Cristalli, Hillside President and…

Read More

Hillside Announces Minimum Wage of $15/hour for All Employees

Hillside has announced the establishment of a new minimum wage of $15 per hour for all positions in the organization. The change, which has been in development for several months and will take effect beginning June 5, 2021, was shared with all staff by Maria Cristalli, President and Chief Executive Officer. “I am delighted to announce this permanent shift in Hillside’s compensation structure,” Cristalli said, adding that the change will also positively impact those making above this new minimum in the future. “This is an important step in raising compensation for the many critical roles that our staff play in…

Read More

Hillside Releases Updated School Re-Opening Plan

The 2020-2021 academic year has been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting students, families and communities everywhere. Hillside today announced the release of an updated School Re-Opening Plan that reflects a careful return to in-person learning. Hillside Day Treatment Programs: In-person learning is highly encouraged five days per week for grades K-12. Fully remote K-12 instruction remains available under special circumstances at the request of a parent. Schools on Hillside Residential Campuses: In-person learning will resume for all K-12 students five days per week. Some offline learning will remain available. The full plan can be reviewed here. The re-opening…

Read More

42-Year Hillside Veteran Honored at Annual Meeting

A longtime Hillside employee was saluted this week, in a virtual presentation for staff, leaders and partners that looked back on a tumultuous year of achievement. Tess Mahnken-Weatherspoon, a 42-year agency veteran, received the Chair’s Award at Hillside’s 184th Annual Meeting on May 4. Traditionally an in-person event, the Annual Meeting was presented online this year to an audience that spanned all of Hillside’s service areas in New York and Maryland. Mahnken-Weatherspoon, who has held a wide range of program and leadership roles during her tenure, is currently Program Manager for the Hillside Institute of Family Connections (IFC) and a…

Read More