Since 1981, PROJECT HAPPY (Hunter Activity Program for Parents and Youth) has been providing sorely needed athletic and recreational services to New York City’s children, youth and young adults who have disabilities.
Project HAPPY aims to address the needs of those with disabilities by providing opportunities for structured physical activities, sports, and community building within a supportive and enriching environment.
Presently we serve about 150 participants between the ages 6 and 35 who have disabilities such as:
The program operates at the Brookdale campus of Hunter College between 1st Avenue and 25th Street.
Program participants have access to a large space for activities
Project HAPPY’s activities are conducted by specialists in adapted physical education and include swimming, dance, aerobics, frisbee, basketball, softball, soccer, yoga, weight training, table tennis, and arts and crafts.
The instructors are assisted by a group of approximately 40 volunteers from Hunter College, local high schools, and the community.
Penny Shaw received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Bard College and her M.A. in Education from New York University. She taught at Hunter College in the departments of Health and Physical Education and Curriculum and Teaching from 1974 to 2003. She has been the project director for Project HAPPY since it's beginning in January 1981 and is a teacher of the Alexander Technique.
Semra Kayabas received her B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University, and her M.S.W. from Hunter College School of Social Work. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the State of New York. She has been part of the staff since 2010.