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HELEN MURGIDA, EdD, Head of School, Pathways Academy

“Eijk and Rose-Marie van Otterloo’s generous support has had a tremendous impact on our program and students. It is deeply appreciated.”
“Our family feels very fortunate that life has been good to us. We are delighted to be in a position to support special education programs, like Pathways Academy, because they are the ones that need it most.”
—ROSE-MARIE VAN OTTERLOO, president, van Otterloo Family Foundation


Giving the gift of education

Ten years ago, Eijk and Rose-Marie van Otterloo established the van Otterloo Family Foundation with the hope of enhancing education. Since then, the Foundation has benefited many groups, including McLean’s Pathways Academy, an exceptional year-round day school for children with Asperger’s disorder.

“Pathways Academy is exactly the type of program we had in mind when we created the Foundation,” says Rose-Marie van Otterloo, who, in addition to serving as the Foundation’s president, is a member of McLean’s Board of Trustees.

“We know that every dollar of our support goes directly to the students.”

Pathways Academy serves children with Asperger’s, a high functioning form of autism, and other related conditions. It offers a full academic program, as well as skills to help students recognize verbal and nonverbal cues in everyday conversations and social interactions, which most people learn naturally. Students are also given activities that help them focus and organize their thoughts.

Over two years, the van Otterloo Family Foundation has donated $75,000 to Pathways, enabling the school to establish a computer lab and to help fund field trips, which offer valuable opportunities for students to practice their developing social skills outside of McLean. The money has also been used to purchase an over-sized van that makes the field trips possible.

“Pathways Academy is unique,” says Rose-Marie. “We are thrilled knowing that our gift helps these children succeed in school, at home and in the community.


Children with Asperger’s disorder have difficulty developing social skills and because they tend to focus on detail, have trouble understanding the larger context of their interactions. The van Otterloo Foundation funds the music therapy education program at the Berklee College of Music, whose students play for patients at McLean.