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Category Archives: News


Director of Career & Transition Services Matthew Kreydatus receives VAISEF Making a Difference Award

Posted on May 2, 2022
Congratulations to Matthew Kreydatus, our Director of Career and Transition Services, for receiving the 2022 Making a Difference Award from VAISEF! For over 20 years at the Villa, Matthew has been extraordinarily committed to meeting students’ most immediate needs so that they can thrive in and outside of school. Many of our students face significant food barriers and rely on the Villa for two meals a day. In 2019, Matthew ...Read More

Emily finds a safe space to ask for help at the Crisis Stabilization Unit

Posted on April 22, 2022
What makes the Crisis Stabilization Unit at St. Joseph’s Villa different from a psychiatric hospital? For Emily and her mom, Heather, access to a nurturing, less clinical setting for mental health services brought healing to the entire family. “Emily walked away with coping skills, and found out that she wasn’t alone in her challenges,” said Heather. “She gained a renewed sense of pride in allowing herself to get help.” Emily ...Read More

New Villa Garden Greenhouses quadruple sheltered growing space for students

Posted on April 11, 2022
The possibilities that come with each spring are always met with excitement at the Villa. They bring a new season of growth in the Villa Garden, meaning fresh opportunities for students to immerse in the colors, textures, smells, and wildlife that reawaken. This year, we had even more reasons to celebrate the return of spring with the installation of two beautiful greenhouses, made possible through a generous gift by Mark ...Read More

Navigating the Pandemic for Children with Autism

Posted on March 30, 2022
Column by CEO Kathleen Burke Barrett Published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 26, 2022 More than two years ago, COVID-19 was declared a national emergency. The prevailing assumption was that U.S. schools would be closed for a week or two before reopening and returning to “normal.” Given the primary challenges for students with autism amid COVID were a lack of structure, social interactions and instruction delivery, our goal at St. ...Read More

Dooley School, VCU students team up to imagine brighter future for their communities

Posted on January 24, 2022
Career and Transition Services (CATS) continues providing opportunities for Villa students to explore their creativity in partnership with local colleges and universities. This fall, Dooley School and VCU students will share ideas for improving their communities using models created with a 3D printer. “Our shared goal with CATS is to help Villa students practice teamwork and communication skills, while also reflecting on what Richmond needs to be a healthier and ...Read More

Crisis Stabilization Unit helps Caroline cope with trauma

Posted on January 7, 2022
The effects of childhood trauma echoed through the years for Caroline. She moved in with her 70-year-old grandmother after enduring neglect by her parents, but had trouble managing her emotions despite a more caring environment. Her anxiety and anger would often erupt into violent outbursts and destruction. When crisis situations escalated and became too much for her grandmother to handle, Caroline’s cousin Brittany stepped up to help, and was awarded ...Read More

40 years without a home, Mr. Davis rebuilds his life with Flagler

Posted on October 27, 2021
For 40 years, Mr. Davis lived alone, homeless, under a bridge. He remembers a happy childhood with loving and supportive parents, and as one of three siblings, he'll tell you he was the baby of the family. But as a teenager, he suffered the unbearable loss of his mother to cancer, followed by the passing of his father one year later. Overwhelmed with grief, Mr. Davis could no longer focus ...Read More

Sarah Dooley Center for Autism receives 2021 Design Award from AIA Richmond

Posted on October 8, 2021
When we first began planning our new Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, Odell led a series of charrettes with faculty, parents, and public school partners to make sure we got everything just right for our students. We're thrilled that AIA Richmond has recognized the transformation of our 1931 school building with a 2021 Design Award! Designed by Odell and constructed by Daniel & Company Inc., the Sarah Dooley Center's unique ...Read More

St. Joseph’s Villa Announces Grand Opening of New Autism Center

Posted on August 6, 2021
Historic School Building Repurposed to Serve as National Model for Autism Education and Teacher Training RICHMOND, Va. – Inspired to make a difference by rising autism rates and the demonstrated long-term impact of expert educational intervention, St. Joseph’s Villa unveiled its new Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA) on Sept. 2, 2021. The school will expand SDCA’s capacity beyond the current 96 students, with the goal of reaching thousands more ...Read More

Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness achieves Functional Zero for Veterans

Posted on May 20, 2021
While responding to COVID-19, the community of Crater Region/Petersburg, Virginia came together to reach functional end veteran homelessness — now it is working to sustain it. When the pandemic hit the Crater Region of Virginia, the community was faced with even more barriers to ending homelessness and keeping communities safe. Luckily, the community was able to lean on a strong network to focus on ending veteran homelessness with the accountability ...Read More



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