The Fedcap Middle and High School Celebrates 2023 Graduates at the 13th Commencement Ceremony

The Fedcap Middle and High School Celebrates 2023 Graduates at the 13th Commencement Ceremony

NEW YORK, NY – June 14, 2023 – Yesterday, the Fedcap School, a school dedicated to helping students ages 13-21 who have cognitive, multiple, or behavioral disabilities succeed, thrive into adulthood and achieve sustainable economic well-being, graduated 100% of its high school seniors, who received New Jersey-accredited diplomas after earning 130+ credits and completing state standardized testing. All of the school’s eligible middle school students are moving up to high school. The graduation marks the sixth consecutive year in which all eligible students are graduating.

The 10 graduating high school seniors will all have successfully placed into jobs or additional services including, the Army ROTC, FedEx, Amazon, and the United States Postal Service. Four middle school eighth graders are moving up to high school as well.

The students are referred to the Fedcap School after being diagnosed with emotional regulation impairment, characterized by an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships, inappropriate behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances, or a pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression. Abuse and violence are common occurrences in the lives of the students, which contributes to or exacerbates their symptoms.

Small class sizes and specially trained and dedicated instructors enable the students to learn and heal at their own pace, setting the stage for future success.

Students expressed their joy at reaching this milestone. “I will miss my days at the Fedcap School. You were always available, with an open door policy for conversation for any concerns we may have had. I cannot believe my time here is over,” said Valedictorian Kia’Rona Johnson during the ceremony. Another student, Al Rasheed Durden said, “The Fedcap School made me feel safe. The teachers really care.”

“The successful graduation of another class at the Fedcap Middle and High School is a testament to the inner strength of the students and the unshakable belief by our faculty that every student, when provided with the right supports, can succeed in school and step onto a path of sustainable economic well-being. We congratulate the Class of 2023 and wish them continued success,” said Christine McMahon, President and CEO of The Fedcap Group.

“We serve our students by communicating, listening and suspending judgement. We earn students’ confidence and we demonstrate mutual respect,” said Luanne Macri, Fedcap School Director. “Every year, we are profoundly moved by the remarkable progress each student makes and we’re proud of them all.”

About The Fedcap Group
For 87 years, The Fedcap Group has developed scalable, innovative, and disruptive solutions to some of society’s most pressing needs. Serving 340,000 people this past fiscal year, The Fedcap Group provides educational services to every age group, vocational training and job attainment in high-growth industries, as well as support services such as behavioral health services—all targeted to helping people achieve long-term self-sufficiency. The Fedcap Group also invests its time and resources in broader system change—working in partnership with federal, state, and local government to improve the way services are designed, funded, and delivered.

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The Fedcap Group Golf Tournament: Bringing Sponsors and Supporters Together

The Fedcap Group Golf Tournament: Bringing Sponsors and Supporters Together

The Fedcap Group’s annual Golf Tournament raised funds and awareness of The Power of Possible.

On Monday, August 8, The Fedcap Group held its annual Golf Tournament at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York. Eighteen golf foursomes played under beautiful summer skies at the highly regarded par-70 course designed by renowned golf course architect A. W. Tillinghast.

The event, attended by representatives of partners and supporters, was an opportunity to gather together to advance the mission of The Fedcap Group: to create opportunities and improve the lives of people with barriers to economic well-being.

Following a day on the links, attendees enjoyed a buffet dinner with raffle prizes ranging from golf accessories to gift certificates to the Quaker Ridge pro shop. The lucky winner of the “50/50” raffle donated his winnings back to The Fedcap Group.

Many thanks to our sponsors – ABFS Facility Service Solutions, Ken Raisler, Cleaning Systems, Metro Elevator, Ocean Janitorial Supply, Sterling Sanitary Supply Corp, American Paper & Supply Company, Caso Document Management, Imprint Marketing Concepts, J.E. Ryan & Associates, eProcessPort, Platinum Maintenance, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Compass, Huron, Mutual of America, RAL, USI, and Blackheart. Thanks also to Quaker Ridge and all our friends and supporters who make this event possible.

Remembering Dick Cattani—A Longtime Friend of The Fedcap Group

Remembering Dick Cattani—A Longtime Friend of The Fedcap Group

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our friend and colleague Dick Cattani. Over his many years with Restaurant Associates, Dick and his team developed a strong partnership with The Fedcap Group. Restaurant Associates catered many events for Fedcap including our Galas, hired people who graduated from our Culinary School—offering them a good job with a career ladder in their journey toward economic well-being. Dick participated in numerous Fedcap Golf events, served as a distinguished panelist for our Solution Series, and was a generous supporter of our work.

Dick started with Restaurant Associates right out of college as back of the house steward. He eventually became General Manager of the famous “Newarker Restaurant” at Newark Airport. Over the years, Dick has held many regional and corporate operating positions. He became President of Restaurant Associates in 2003 and, under his leadership, grew the company three-fold in ten states. Dick retired at the end of 2021.

Upon his passing, Restaurant Associates said this: “As we reflect on our loss and celebrate his life, we are reminded of his genuine kindness, inspiring vision, passion for life, and love for his family. A winning combination for a truly exceptional leader. Dick’s legacy is unparalleled and his memory will live on through all of us. His favorite quote will forever echo in our hearts: Work Hard and Be Nice.”

Dick was a wonderful combination of innovation, attention to detail, humanity and humor and he will be deeply missed.


The Fedcap School Graduates Another Remarkable Class

The Fedcap School Graduates Another Remarkable Class

Seventeen remarkable young people graduated from The Fedcap School in a ceremony on June 14, 2022. This year’s class continued an exceptional metric of success for The Fedcap School—100 percent of enrolled students have graduated over the past five years. All of this year’s graduates are either starting jobs or going to college.

Many of the students are the first in their family to graduate from high school. One graduate, a young woman who joined the school at 13 and is now 21, struggled hard at first but has earned a bonded security license to provide security for banks. She said, “I thought I would never make it to this day. I’m a different person now and I can hardly believe it.”

“I was especially proud of this group because they had two years of remote instruction,” said Fedcap School Director Luanne Macri. “I saw firsthand what being out of school for that long did to them, and how they regressed. They missed their friends. It was hard, and it took a while to get it all back.”

Eric Waters, Senior Director of Wildcat, a company of The Fedcap Group, gave an inspiring keynote speech to the graduates and guests. He talked about his long years of work in the child welfare system, and his current work with people who are incarcerated. Eric teaches a class at Sing Sing Prison, and recently asked his students, many of whom were incarcerated at a young age, if they had any messages for the graduates. One of the men, who has been incarcerated for decades, responded with a moving and powerful letter that resonated deeply with the graduates: “Prison is a lonely place where all your friends and even family forget who you are. Think long and hard about what you want to become, and the places you don’t want to go. Your graduation is a step in the right direction. Now prove to the doubters that you are something. Too often we lose track of who we are and head down the wrong path. The memory of today and the happiness you feel needs to be what keeps you moving in a positive direction. Don’t give up on your dreams or take your freedom for granted.”

Located in West Orange, NJ, The Fedcap School is dedicated to helping students ages 13-21 classified with cognitive, multiple, or behavioral disabilities succeed, thrive into adulthood and achieve sustainable economic well-being. Students are eligible, and encouraged as indicated, to stay with the school until age 21, so that they can continue to receive needed services. “That way, we can focus on work readiness, attitude, and building the skills needed to be successful in college or the workplace—things unfamiliar to many of our students,” Luanne said.

The Fedcap School’s graduation success rate, and the accomplishments of the job and college-bound graduates, is all the more remarkable given that all students who attend The Fedcap School are diagnosed with emotional regulation impairment (ERI), which can be characterized by an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships, inappropriate behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances, or a pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression. Abuse, incest and violence are common occurrences in the lives of the students. Many have lost family members to violence, and all have been approached to join a gang.

What accounts for The Fedcap School’s profound impact on the lives of these children, and the team’s success if helping them to graduate?

“Students with ERI are hard to manage and that makes placement difficult, so we made a decision years ago to ensure that we were a solid resource and successfully serve children with ERI,” Luanne said. “We do it by communicating, by listening and suspending judgment. It’s easy to judge based on how they talk and act, but we listen to earn their confidence, and we respect them so they will respect themselves and us. I have seen and heard things where I have to hold it together, then go find someplace to cry and shake it off. It isn’t a job for the faint of heart.”


Gabriel Galvez Gains Stability for Himself—and His Family—Through Working with Fedcap Rehabilitation

Gabriel Galvez Gains Stability for Himself—and His Family—Through Working with Fedcap Rehabilitation

Gabriel Galvez had a hard time as a young man. He struggled with depression and made some poor decisions along the way. After a period of incarceration, he had a moment of clarity that he said hit him “like a shining star.”

“I was headed down the wrong path and didn’t realize the harm he was causing to myself and my family. I didn’t want to live in poverty. I know I could do better.”

He certainly has, A hardworking father of two, Gabriel, 31, started working for Fedcap at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building on 125th Street in Manhattan. It was a long way from his home in Brooklyn, and he and his wife had to pay for child care because they couldn’t pick their kids up from school. Gabriel was able to transfer to 14th Street to work on sanitizing projects related to the pandemic. It was closer to home, but an even better opportunity soon presented itself.

In December, 2021, when Fabio Lopez, Area Manager for Fedcap Total Facilities Management (TFM), got a call about a vacancy on the MTA contract at 130 Livingston Street Plaza in Brooklyn, he called supervisors at 14th Street to see if they could recommend someone. They could; it was Gabriel.

From the start of his work for Fedcap, Gabriel was known as a great worker. “I was told that he would be a perfect fit for that location because of how he had proven himself as an employee,” Fabio said. “There were no issues at all with him and he always gave 110 percent.”

Herbert Mercado, Gabriel’s supervisor at 14th Street, concurs. “He got along well with all the other workers and always got the job done. I was happy to recommend him.”

“To me learning is fun,” Gabriel said. “I’m very handy, and I try to be open-minded. I like to help people out, I have always been that way.”

The move to 130 Livingston Street would be a good one for Gabriel. With the potential for COVID-related services winding down, and with two children ages 14 and 6 to provide for, Gabriel wanted something more stable. The work at Livingston offered that, as well as opportunities to become a team leader or field supervisor. It also meant a morning shift, leaving him enough time to pick up his kids at school.

Prior to the move becoming official, Fabio met with Gabriel at 14th Street. “He was very motivated,” Fabio said. “He opened up about how grateful he was to Fedcap for providing him with the opportunity for more stable work so that he could continue to provide for his family.”

John Savilli, Facilities Manager for the MTA-NYC- Headquarters, 130 Livingston, has been working with Gabriel since he joined the MTA contract at Livingston in March, 2022. One of the things that John noticed immediately about Gabriel is that he loves to help his colleagues. He’s very communicative, and eager to teach new skills and techniques that he has learned on the job.

For example, on a recent Saturday, Gabriel came in to learn about a new process for stripping and waxing floors. The process involved new cleaning procedures and chemicals, and Gabriel dove right in, asking questions, learning it cold, and eagerly explaining it to his colleagues.

“I never saw anyone so excited about learning a new process,” John said. “He even had some suggestions for how it could be improved. Gabriel is a real gentleman, very outgoing and very resourceful, and a mentor to other employees. He always goes above and beyond and will work any shift where he is needed, including emergency shift, overnights and weekends.”

Gabriel is thrilled with his new job, and hopes one day to be a team leader or supervisor for Fedcap. “Fedcap has been a great community and family for me. I have learned so much, and they help me out a lot with my personal disability. I’ve learned to be more aware of certain things. Fedcap is just awesome, one of a kind.”

Fedcap Rehabilitation Workers Thanked for Keeping GSA Facilities Open During Pandemic

Fedcap Rehabilitation Workers Thanked for Keeping GSA Facilities Open During Pandemic


Fedcap Rehabilitation workers at the GSA New Jersey Consolidated contract have shown unwavering commitment throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.

On Tuesday, March 29, Fedcap Rehabilitation President Steve Coons visited with the team for a thank-you lunch provided by GSA. Also present were GSA’s Gary Palmer, Mark Drumel, and John Beier, who all praised the Fedcap client worker staffs for their service, their selfless work ethic, and attention to detail as they kept the GSA facilities safe and open for business every day during the Pandemic, for tenants as well as the public who utilize these facilities.

April is Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month. This special recognition, created in 1972 by the autism community, was changed from autism “awareness” to “acceptance” because the community wanted to move the conversation away from “awareness,” a word it considers stigmatizing, as if autism were a threat about which we must be vigilant.

Autism is certainly not that. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a developmental disability characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. There are many subtypes of autism, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. Over 7 million people in the United States are on the autism spectrum–people from all racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. According to the CDC, one in 44 children is diagnosed with autism.

The increased prevalence of autism, and a growing understanding of what it is and what it is not, underscores the urgent need for education, equitable access to diagnostic evaluations, and early interventions that have a significant impact on lifelong outcomes. Young people and adults with autism urgently need greater access to employment. Up to 85 percent of college educated adults with autism are unemployed, and over 70 percent of adults with autism are underemployed or unemployed. Especially in a time of chronic labor shortages, companies could benefit by hiring more people who have autism and are neurodiverse—these individuals bring a wide range of skills to the workplace that can be harnessed with modest accommodations.

The companies of The Fedcap Group have long embraced best practices around autism evaluation and early intervention, providing evidence-based treatment for children and their families living with ASD. Our companies are at the cutting edge of advocacy, employment, and support services for young people and adults living with autism—having just established the Greenleaf Neurodiversity Center in Austin TX, helping young people transition to rewarding, community-based jobs. These services have had a profound impact on so many lives—and stand as a powerful rebuke to the stigmatization of autism, and a resounding affirmation of acceptance. All of our lives are richer when people of all abilities participate fully in community life.

Please join us during Autism Acceptance Month in celebrating people of all abilities. Thank you for striving toward making acceptance the new normal.