HOPE PROGRAM

HOPE Program

HOPE Program (Harvesting Occupational and Personal Excellence)

At the HOPE Program at Allaire Community Farm, we strive to provide a meaningful, individualized and goal driven approach to support individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities as interns on our farm.

  • We are a Pre-Vocational Program.
  • Our program serves adults 21 and over with I/DD.
  • We accept DDD and private pay.
  • The HOPE program runs from 9am – 2pm.
  • Interns can select from 1-4 days to attend during the week.
  • We are open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Our program is unique in that:

  • Our program was developed by a special education teacher and a speech language pathologist.
  • The interns are an integral part of the farm. They engage in meaningful work that contributes to the running of the farm.
  • The farm layout is ideal for interns to gain independence navigating around the farm
  • A speech language consults and oversees our program. Social Communication skills are emphasized and incorporated throughout the day.
  • Our program is goal based and data driven.
  • NJ certified Special Education Teachers develop and individualize teaching plans based on intern’s goals.
  • Interns review and reflect on their individual goals daily and participate in goal planning meetings.

Interns participate in daily farm work including:

  • Animal Care Jobs
  • Gardening
  • Working in the Farm Market
  • Creating and Assembling Products for the Farm

Interns work on many skills including:

  • Pre- Vocational
  • Social Communication
  • Independence
  • Workplace Professionalism
  • Self Advocacy and more!

Please contact hopeprogramacf@gmail.com for more information.

HOPE Program Allaire Community Farm
HOPE Program

OPEN POSITION: 

Allaire Community Farm, a 501(c)(3) NJ Non Profit, is seeking a compassionate, dedicated individual to join our team as a Job Coach to work in our Learning Resource Center’s Pre-Employment Education Program to support individuals with disabilities exploring vocational settings/opportunities throughout the Farm. LEARN MORE

HOPE Program Staff

Janice Palmadesso

JANICE PALMADESSO – Program Director

Janice received her BA and MA in Speech-Language Pathology at Montclair State University. While pursuing her degrees, Janice worked in the Therapeutic Recreation Department at the Monmouth County Park System. As a Head Counselor, she was responsible for the direct supervision of camp counselors and campers with special needs. She developed and implemented behavior management plans and daily camp activities. Janice served as Camp Director, the summer before receiving her master’s degree. 

Janice began her career in Speech-Language Pathology working for Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center in Brick, NJ, where she diagnosed and treated a variety of speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing disorders in children and adults and earned her Certification of Clinical Competence. Janice worked in a variety of settings including acute care and outpatient therapy at Ocean Medical Center and acute rehab at Shore Rehabilitation Center and provided school-based therapy as a contracted service. 

Janice’s passion for working with children and teens on life, social, and vocational skills led her to the School for Children in Eatontown, NJ. As a Speech-Language Specialist she worked with students ranging in age from 3-12, evaluating and providing therapy for students in the areas of receptive and expressive language, oral motor skills, pragmatics and augmentative communication.  This was a formative experience where Janice was privileged to work and collaborate with students, families, teachers, and therapists to help her students meet their potential.

Janice took time off from her career to stay at home with her daughter and son though maintained her Speech-Language Pathology license and Certification of Clinical Competence throughout this time. With time to reflect on her career, Janice decided it was time to leave the therapy room and to use her knowledge and skills to help others achieve friendship and purpose in their life. She was hired by Family Resource Associates in Red Bank to work as a Job Coach in their Employability Department. Janice takes pride in being an employee of an agency that shares her values and goals for the people she supports. She has completed a twelve-week ACRE Supported Employment Online Course.

Job coaching brought Janice to Allaire Community Farm. Immediately, she observed the opportunity the farm provides for exploration of employment fields while making connections and building friendships.   After months of planning and collaborating, the HOPE Program was developed.  Janice is committed to providing an inclusive and individualized pre-vocational experience to each of the program participants. 

Janice resides in Lincroft, NJ with her husband, two children and two golden retrievers.  In her free time, she enjoys skiing, hiking, reading and the beach.

Janice Palmadesso

TERESA MALTZ – Program Teacher

Teresa Maltz is a teacher and Horticultural Therapist for the HOPE Program. Teresa has worked as an educator for a number of years and a registered Horticultural Therapist through the American Horticultural Therapy Association since 2008. She plans to continue to pursue a Masters Degree in Holistic Health Studies at Georgian Court University.  She has a BA in Psychology from Rutgers College and is certified as a Teacher of the Handicapped, Elementary School and Nursery School Teacher.  Other certifications include Master Gardener and Permaculture Design. Prior to working at the Allaire Community Farm,  she worked as a Teacher of the Handicapped in a three year Arc of Monmouth transitional program for young adults with intellectual and learning disabilities at Brookdale Community College and a support staff  for the Arc of Monmouth’s Achievement Zone.  She also has worked for several schools and at a mental health day treatment program where she ran Horticultural Therapy groups and other groups.  

Teresa has worked with individuals with varied ages and populations.  Her diverse background includes psychology, education, holistic health and horticulture.  Her mission is to inspire people through nature, animals and horticulture.  She currently lives in Tinton Falls with her husband and two children.

MARIE WEIDMAN – Learning Specialist

Marie Weidman is our Learning Specialist for the HOPE Program. Marie holds a BA in Communication Arts from Marist College and a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. She began her career working for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Throughout Marie’s years at the Administration for Children’s Services, she worked as a Protective Service Caseworker, Preventive Service Caseworker, Staten Island Family Court Liason and a Protective Service Unit Supervisor. Her focus was the protection of at-risk children in Staten Island, as well as, promoting the safety and wellbeing of the children and their families.

Marie took some time off to raise her three sons with her husband, Todd, in Little Silver, New Jersey. While home with her children, Marie was heavily involved in community volunteering – the Little Silver PTO, Chaired Community Programs of the Junior League of Monmouth County, Director and Coach of Little Silver Travel Basketball and coached teams in the borough recreational programs.

Marie returned to the workforce in 2014, taking her career in a new direction through work with young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her work was performed at the Arc of Monmouth through the summer of 2020 – supporting both the KACH and TAZ Programs. Marie was an instructor who developed and taught a curriculum for assisting students develop marketable employment skills, life skills and a better social awareness.

Marie is also trained in CPR, Seizures, PANE (Prevention of Abuse Neglect and Exploitation), Danielle’s Law and Komninos’ Law. She enjoys working in this field and loves coming to work each day at the HOPE Program seeing the difference she makes in the participants lives and also the difference they make in her life! In Marie’s time away from work, she enjoys going to live music events, the beach and spending time with her family, friends and her boxer dog, Emma.

ELIZABETH DICKER M.Ed – Program Teacher

Elizabeth holds teacher certifications in special education, elementary education, early childhood education, and music education. She also has a master’s degree in special education with a concentration in autism.

Prior to teaching at Allaire Community Farm, she taught life skills to adults in a group home setting and taught preschoolers with disabilities in a public school setting.
Elizabeth is dedicated to her students and strives to assist them in reaching their potential. She is actively involved in autism advocacy and aims to be a role model for others with autism. She has a broad knowledge of the special education system and has extensive experience in curriculum writing.

Elizabeth enjoys drawing and does art commissions. She also loves to sing.

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Allaire Community Farm Petting Zoo Wall New Jersey
Allaire Community Farm Petting Zoo Wall New Jersey
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Allaire Community Farm Petting Zoo Wall New Jersey