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Making strides toward independence

Making strides toward independence

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Making strides toward independence

At Community Services, our number one goal is making dreams come true for the people we support and helping them become independent.

Mary Ann has been working toward her goals with us for many years, and recently, she achieved two huge milestones!

“I got a job at Delta Sonic! Most of you know I was told I’d never be able to work or even live on my own. My struggles were so bad I didn’t even think I could do it,” she said.

Mary Ann worked hard to overcome challenges and is so excited to be working at her first job. She said she loves working at Delta Sonic. She works there three days a week and some of her responsibilities include helping to wipe down the cars after they go through the car wash.

Not only did she start a new job, but Mary Ann also moved into her first apartment! She said she enjoys being able to be on her own and do things for herself.

“If this agency didn’t exist, none of this would be possible,” Mary Ann said.

While we are thrilled to have helped Mary Ann achieve her dreams, she succeeded because of her hard work and effort. We are so proud of everything that Mary Ann has accomplished and grateful that she shared her story with us!

“I am where I need to be thanks to you all,” Mary Ann said. “I learn a lot down the line from you all, like not to use my disabilities as an excuse. It does not define me. I have an ability not a disability!”

Mary Ann headshot

Becoming a hero in the community

Becoming a hero in the community

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Becoming a hero in the community

Craig “Bucky” Carder, a Self-Hired Community Habilitation Assistant, is being recognized for helping Malachi, a young man he supports, give back to the community.

Malachi loves superheroes and he recently became one after donating blood to the American Red Cross. Malachi was talking with Bucky about how Bucky had recently donated blood and how the process works. Bucky asked Malachi if he had ever thought about donating his own blood and Malachi said no. When Bucky explained to Malachi that in donating blood he could save a life, Malachi instantly indicated that this was something he would like to do.

Just a few short months later an opportunity came up for Malachi to donate. Before going to his scheduled appointment, Malachi practiced answering some of the personal questions he would have to answer before donating. When Malachi arrived to the appointment to donate blood, he sailed through the questions with complete ease. The Red Cross staff were patient and very understanding with Malachi as he sat proudly and gave one unit of blood without any hurdles whatsoever. After several high fives, Malachi left his appointment feeling proud. Bucky even dressed up as “Captain Red Cross” in support of Malachi.

Since donating, Malachi has learned about how our blood contains iron. Bucky also encouraged Malachi to add the Red Cross app to his phone so he can track the amount of blood he donates throughout his life. When asked, Malachi said he plans to donate blood again.

Thank you, Bucky, for helping Malachi find a way to give back to his community and supporting him through the process!

Craig "Bucky" Carder dressed as Captain Red Cross
Malachi was happy to donate blood to help others.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional meal

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional meal

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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional meal

​This year we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at our Jefferson Career Center in the Culinary Arts Suite with a traditional corned beef and cabbage meal.

Throughout the week, Chef Meredith discussed the background on this American Irish dinner, and the people we support had the opportunity to learn and make their own soda bread to go along with the dinner, both face to face and via Zoom.

While making the bread, they discussed portion size and oven safety as well as the ease of cooking this at home, promoting independent living skills and knowledge!

Picture of meal kits with corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes.
Picture of a young man we support with his St. Patrick's Day meal kit
Picture of homemade soda bread

Turning an internship into a job

Turning an internship into a job

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Turning an internship into a job

A headshot of Brandon

Brandon began his employment journey in the Employment Training Program, ETP, in March of 2020. ETP is a program funded through New York State.

Brandon worked with his job coach to discover various career fields and responsibilities, work on development of skills and to find and secure a paid internship. Brandon decided to do his internship at Community Services for Every1 at the Jefferson Career Exploration Center as a Custodian and began on March 17, 2020.

After completing his ETP internship, Brandon gained employment though our agency as the Custodian for our Jefferson Career Exploration Center in September 2020 and is doing wonderfully! He continues to work with his job coach and is truly a wonderful addition to the team. Brandon is always punctual, completes his daily tasks on time, monitors any needs and barriers that arise, communicates with other staff, and helps to ensure the building is clean and safe for everyone.

We are so proud of Brandon and excited to have him on our team!

Student donates homemade self-care gift bags

Student donates homemade self-care gift bags

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Student donates homemade self-care gift bags

Emmy, a Nichols student and friend of Community Services, recently made special self-care gift bags for our frontline employees. She wanted to give back to our essential workers who have been working tirelessly since the pandemic started a year ago.

We are so thankful for the time and thoughtfulness Emmy put into making and donating these bags!

A Nichols student poses with the gift bags she donated

Leadership: Interview with Cheryl Houston

Leadership: Interview with Cheryl Houston

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Leadership: Interview with Cheryl Houston

Leadership at Community Services for Every1

As an organization, we always want to celebrate our differences and embrace the rich history we all bring to our jobs. We are fortunate to have a diverse work group that contributes to our agency’s mission and vision each day. As we celebrate Black History Month and the accomplishments of historic leaders, we recognize a new generation of leaders right here at our Agency. Read below to learn about Jessica’s journey at Community Services and her words of wisdom for the next generation of Human Services professionals.

Cheryl Houston headshot

Cheryl Houston has been with Community Services for Every1 for almost 20 years! During her time with the agency, she has held various positions and advanced through leadership. She is currently the Program Coordinator for Community Based Programs. She took some time to answer our questions regarding her leadership role at Community Services for Every1.

Where did it all begin?
Cheryl shares that her journey at Community Services began back in 2001 when she started her career as a Direct Support Professional. Working as a DSP helped her discover the true meaning of patience, kindness, and acceptance. Cheryl stated that she was fortunate to have a few great leaders take her under their wings and offer guidance and mentoring. They helped her tap into her own leadership skills. These very leaders helped her to “dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.” Eventually, she was promoted to Program Manager in 2008. She shares that at times being a Program Manager was a real challenge but it helped humble her and taught her to be open to change.

In 2016 she was promoted to Program Coordinator. Since her time as a Coordinator, she has learned that failure is a part of the growth in order to be successful in her role. Being in a leadership position has helped her expand her skills by having the opportunity to create, oversee, and maintain programs. Over the past 4 years in her role as PC, she has shared that she is happy and very satisfied in her position; she is very appreciative of the opportunity that Community Services has given her.

What do you like about the agency?
Cheryl shares that she loves the fact that the Agency provides learning and growth opportunities for all employees!

What advice do you have for an employee just starting at the agency?
Cheryl advised that incoming employees should take full advantage of all training and growth opportunities such as Ladder to Leadership. These opportunities could provide you with the necessary skills to become proficient in your role.

“Dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.”