Garden abundance

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Pam Pacer, a supervisor at the Youth Home since 2009, gathers veggies from the Youth Home’s garden. Thanks to a hot summer and lots of TLC from the teen gardeners, this summer’s garden produced an abundance of squash and tomatoes. Continue reading…


Affirming respect

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Lisa Powless, who is a DSP III / Behavior Tech at Lifeskills, has worked for the Agency for 13 years.  She began her career at the Children’s Learning Center working with children with Autism. Later, she worked part time until transitioning to full time in December of 2008. She completed certification testing as a registered Behavior Tech in April, 2016.

Continue reading…


Allowing space to grow

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Jessica Martin, The Employment Connection’s Community Employment Specialist, supports people’s journey into community employment.

In her role, she is a combination of a job agent, coach and personal cheerleader, urging the people she supports to overcome hurdles to achieve their goals. Sometimes, that  may mean going with changes she doesn’t think are best for the person. But, Jessica feels her work as a Direct Support Professional is to encourage the person to make choices and learn from them. Sometimes they work out, sometimes not.  In this case, it worked out.

“If a job is what they want, I say, ‘Great, let’s get started.’ But, if they want to move on from the job, it’s all about what they want, and I just say, ‘Ok, let’s look for something else,” she said, adding about one particular case in which someone she helped get a job, wanted to leave and work elsewhere, a choice Jessica didn’t favor, but went with it anyway.

“Sometimes it’s tougher to go along with it,” she said. “It’s easy to think we know what’s best, but then they have to make their own choices and learn from them. In this case it turned out fine.”

As a good parent has to let their child experience the consequences of their choices, that’s also true for the people she supports.

She feels it’s important for a person’s self esteem and empowerment to grow from mistakes and learn to overcome their own challenges. Each one gives them the confidence to embrace another hurdle and with each success comes greater self-esteem.


Power of the mind

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Alyssa Richardson began her career with the Agency at the Children’s Learning Center.
Since, she has worked for several of the residences as a Direct Support Professional, including Hinsdale, Fall Road, Buffalo Road, Five Mile,  and now at Prospect Avenue where she’s worked since December, 2015. She is now med certified and working on a degree in nursing.
Continue reading…


Comedy Night!

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Who’s Ready to Laugh for a Good Cause?

Thank you to all who joined us for 2016 Comedy Night. Hope to see you next year!


—THANK YOU TO OUR CORPORATE SPONSORS!—
A Jason Clemons Salon
Allen’s Wine & Liquor
One Group
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
Bryans and Gramuglia CPAs, LLC
Community Bank, N.A.
Comfort Zone
Kessel Construction
Mazza Mechanical Services, Inc.
Peterson Roofing Co., Inc.
Valley Tire Company
Dan Horn Pharmacy and Health Services
Orthodontists Associates of Western New York
Olean Times Herald
J. G. Stein General Dentistry
Kinley Corporation
Nephrology Services Medical Group of Olean & Bradford