William Yager Memorial Foundation
Our goal is to provide education and substance abuse services to young adults and their families.
My name is William Yager III, I am a Mason, Shriner, and business owner in Albany, N.Y. I like to think of myself as an intelligent and resourceful man. I have tried to prepare myself for everything life could throw my way, but there are some things that you cannot be ready for.
On August 17th, 1991 at the age of 22, I was blessed with my only child and namesake, William Yager IV, who I fondly called Webb. We knew from the beginning that Billy was different. He bounced back and forth from special education classes to mental health services. Plagued by misdiagnoses and mismanaged medications he resorted to self medicating with drugs and alcohol. Extreme highs gave way to extreme lows. Regardless of who tried to steer him toward sobriety and productivity, he never progressed until he took it upon himself to turn his own version of adulthood into something healthy and fulfilling. An extremely loving man, he lived life on his own terms. He was fearless and I envied that in him. He was open minded and embraced everyone. He used his free time to create anything he could, photographs, music, sick dance moves, art, friendships and even a little trouble here and there.
In the early morning of January 14th, 2017 there was a knock on my door and I was informed that my son was involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident, and that he was thrown from the backseat of the car. The operator of the car was drinking and driving. My son was taken from this world to soon.
I began the William Yager Memorial Foundation to honor his life. We pledge to offer financial support for young adults who, like Billy, require a different approach to life, who traditional educational services have failed, who have maybe turned to self medication with drugs and alcohol to cope and cannot afford the costs associated with treatment programs, for tuition for alternative education, or for childcare. We vow to help these lost youth find their own path to their goals.