Message From The President & CEO
On December 6, 2016, WCI held its annual Awards Banquet at the Hellenic Center in Watertown. Everyone looks forward to this event each year, especially dancing to the music of Daniel, our DJ, throughout the evening as well as hearing about the Individual & Community Awards that are presented each year. Senator Barrett made the rounds and gave a wonderful speech in acceptance of his Legislator of the Year award. We recognize and congratulate everyone on their awards!
2016 Individual Awards:
- Rachael O and Greg T were given an award for Self – Determination in choosing to move into Shared Living. They are extremely happy and so glad that they advocated to move to their new family living situations with their respective Shared Living providers;
- Jose M made a wonderful transition eventually into his new life at Clark Lane #2 and the Life Skills Day Habilitation program;
- Nancy G had a successful year getting several new jobs, one being PeaPod at Stop & Shop in Watertown;
- Robert M moved into his new 1st Floor apartment in Gardencrest Apartments and has overcome much of his health needs as a result;
- Shannon W learned about Self – Advocacy and realized how to advocate and make her voice heard against several situations that arose this year; and
- Marci S moved from sheltered employment to her new Community Based Day program and has joined the WCI Office Crew receiving minimum wage working for WCI.
2016 Community Awards
- Senator Michael Barrett – Legislator/Human Services Advocate of the Year;
- Union Street Café in Newton – Employer of the Year;
- Helping Hands Award – Jeff & Cindy Mello – Volunteering at our Wine & Beer Tasting for over 10 years; and
- Benefactor of the Year – Waltham Rotary Club
Thank you to Jamie Cooper, Development Coordinator and the Development Committee of the Board for their contribution to the event.
WCI’S Big Heart Award Winners!
WCI’s Employee Recognition Committee was pleased recently to honor two longstanding and beloved staff, Micheline Dorismond, Coordinator of Slade Street and Cece Norman, Director of the Social Supports/CBDS program with the
“Big Heart Award.” On November 22nd, we surprised Micheline at the home with flowers and cake. One of the family members who nominated her, Rhonda LeSanto, Board member, was able to be there as well. She said in her nomination, “The home she manages is just that, a HOME, where the ladies are happy and I look forward to visiting with Micheline and her staff weekly! Micheline has told me she does this work because of how much she cares for the Individuals.” Micheline has worked for WCI for over 20 years!
On December 5th, we were also able to surprise Cece at Rumford Avenue. Cece’s supervisor, Aneta Hazen, Employment/Day Supports Division Head, arranged for most of the Individuals that Cece supports to gather together (keeping the secret). When Cece walked in, there were joyful hugs (and a few tears). An excerpt from Aneta’s nomination: “When you walk into Rumford Ave., you can hear Cece warmly greeting each Individual, asking them about their morning or plans for the evening. She loudly cheers every success. Every holiday is celebrated with music, food and gifts.”
Congratulations, Micheline and Cece!
Cristello Run For Johnny’s Angels!
In their seven years running as a team, Johnny’s Angels has raised more than $130,000 for Special Olympics athletes across Massachusetts. And their team has grown from a small group of friends in 2009 to 60 runners in 2016. One of those runners, who joined the team four years ago and happens to be the top fundraiser for the 2016 Jolly Jaunt Boston, is Julie Cristello. This year Julie raised over $1400 for the cause, more than double what her goal was. Her secret to raising so much, “remind people that nay contribution is meaningful whether it’s $5 or $500. Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference. Also, reaching out to as many people possible can help increase your fundraising amount.”
Cristello joined the team when she learned that friend, and team leader, John Bogosian is affiliated with Special Olympics. “My 51-year-old uncle has downs syndrome, and competed in Special Olympics events held at Boston University. He used to run track and compete in the relay event. Because of that I wanted to get involved.” Having a family member with an intellectual disability Cristello understands how important Special Olympics is to the athletes. “To me, Special Olympics is another form of peer-support. Being around others who are similar to you is an initiative that has been extremely beneficial in the mental health field. I think there’s a shared experience among people with disabilities that others may not completely understand. Additionally, athletics are a good way to develop skills such as teamwork, confidence, and promote good health. Although Uncle John does not compete anymore, I’m really excited to provide others with the same opportunity that he’s had.”
Thanks to Cristello and all of Johnny’s Angels, more athletes like Uncle John will experience what it feels like to score a goal in soccer or run a relay as part of a Special Olympics team. Johnny’s Angels are true angels whose efforts make a difference every day in the lives of Special Olympics athletes across Massachusetts. Congratulations and a special thanks. Can’t wait to see what you accomplish at next year’s Jolly Jaunt Boston!
Mission In Action: WCI Movie Nights!
WCI Individuals have been spending one evening a month socializing and watching movies, thanks to the Mission In Action Grant. Spearheaded by Erich Shafer, WCI’s IT Team has hosted a movie night at our main office. Popcorn and drinks are served, and the Staff are able to bring people to a new social opportunity. The Individuals have all been thankful to come and see the movies, and interest and participation has increased each month that we’ve held a movie night. Movies are close captioned as well. Thank you to the IT Team for putting on these successful events and to the Development Committee of the Board for approving the grant.
Staff Holiday Party!
On December 15th, we celebrated with many of our staff at the annual Staff Holiday Party at The Chateau Restaurant in Waltham. We, once again, enjoyed listening and dancing to music from our DJ, Daniel, with many families and children in attendance. It’s also a time for us to recognize many of our staff who have been with WCI for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years! We congratulate and appreciate all of the wonderful work our DSPs and Supervisors do for the people that WCI supports.
|5 YEAR STAFF:|
|Simon Akowe||Guilherme Batista||Joe Havas|
|Samuel Kabunga||Tiffany Malachowski||Juliet Nserko|
|10 YEAR STAFF:|
|Marie Alette||Enold Antione||Irina Calandra|
|Jesse Farren James||Ruth Louissant||Edward Segawa|
|Marie Souffrant||Adama Soya – Bongay|
|15 YEAR STAFF:|
|Karen Dooley||Elmane Louijeune||Paul Mubiru|
|20 YEAR STAFF:|
|Joseph Boussicot||Erin Chorlton||Jacky Gelin|
|Jeannot Melon||Cecelia Norman|
|25 YEAR STAFF:|
In addition, the Human Resources staff had a nomination competition for those staff in attendance. Everyone in attendance could write a nomination or several nominations stating why the staff person was to be recognized that evening. Everyone recognized came up on the dance floor to be recognized personally and received a gift card for their great contributions to WCI!
In addition, we had approximately 15 donated prizes available from various companies, Amazon, Shell Gas, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and others that we raffled off that evening.
Everyone had a wonderful time at the event! Happy Holidays and thank you to all of our staff who give so much to the Individuals that we support!
New Manager of Employment Services
The Community Employment Program at 3 Common Street is excited to welcome its new Manager of Employment Services, Greg Chludzinski. Greg has been with WCI since March of 2015 in the role of Job Developer. During the brief time in that role, he has been successful at connecting with employers and supporting 4 Individuals into new competitive employment opportunities. Greg has a solid understanding of job creations and values employment focused program designs. He believes that all Individuals have the right to work, which aligns with WCI’s mission and with DDS’s Employment First initiatives. We are thrilled to have him be a part of a successful team at 3 Common Street. Lastly, for all the soccer lovers, he is a Liverpool fan!
Greg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 781-570-1114. Please stop by at 3 Common Street and meet him in person.
Voting For President!
24 Hour and Individual Supports turned out in big numbers to vote this year!
After talking about the election in self-advocacy meetings, many people were very interested in going out to cast their votes in the Presidential election on November 8th. WCI staff were thrilled to assist individuals in this important community and human rights activity.
Also remember to check out the all new wearewci.org and our Social Media feeds! Please like, share, and subscribe to our feeds to keep up to date on WCI and community events, interesting articles and videos, and updates on political happenings that affect the lives of our Individuals and their families!