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NewsNov 30, 2023

Threshold Lifelong Support finds its champion

A new support program is launched to help Threshold students navigate life after Lesley.

Photo of Stacey smiling against a gray background

As Lesley doubles down on its commitment to neurodiverse learners and the Threshold program embarks on its fifth decade of transformative work, the program has warmly welcomed a new member to the Lesley community: Stacey Villani, the inaugural Director of the Threshold Lifelong Support program.

Thanks to the generous support of two anonymous donors, as well as Lesley University Trustee Veronica Ohanian Heath and her husband Donn, and patrons of the Threshold 40th Anniversary Gala in May, the Threshold Lifelong Support program has come to fruition.

The Lifelong Support program aims to support Threshold students beyond their years in the current program, and offers holistic services that will help neurodiverse learners succeed throughout their lives. These services address a critical post-education gap, and this nuanced program requires a leader with the expertise, compassion, and dedication to help participants thrive.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the perfect candidate was personally acquainted with Threshold and all that it can offer.

Stacey Villani was trained to help people and organizations work to their potential, receiving her undergraduate degree in Human Resource Management at Boston University and her M.Ed. in Organizational Management from Endicott College. Her career trajectory was guided not only by these educational experiences, but by her son and the journey they have undertaken together.

He has cerebral palsy, and Villani dove into assisting him throughout the complexities he faced, developing a vast array of new skills and igniting a passion along the way.

“My career was shaped in part by my amazing son with cerebral palsy who taught me how to advocate and navigate the many systems, which forced me to acquire new skills and re-focused my career.”
Stacey Villani, Director of the Threshold Lifelong Support Program

Her son’s path eventually led him to Lesley and Threshold. As a proud Threshold parent, Villani knows as well as anyone how impactful the program can be, and the need for continuing support afterward.

Her career has provided many opportunities for her to help individuals and families find their way. In her recent role as Division Director for the Family Services Division of the Northeast Arc, Villani managed the Family Support Center, Autism Support Center, Recreation and Leisure, Specialty Applied Behavior Analysis services, and adult education on housing and state benefits.

Both professionally and personally, Villani understands the potential people have if given the resources they need. As she helps launch this innovative and vital program, Threshold Lifelong Support participants can count on an experienced leader and a fierce advocate in their corner.