In honor of National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, Jawonio celebrates the valuable contributions that our DSP staff makes to the Jawonio Community by posting personal profiles of a few members on our fantastic team.

MEET ELIZABETH CESAR – Elizabeth lives in Spring Valley, NY and has worked as a DSP at Jawonio’s Balmoral House for the past eight years, since the house was first opened. Before working for Jawonio, Elizabeth became certified as a Nursing Assistant through the BOCES program, worked at a nursing home in the area and also worked full time in childcare.

Elizabeth got into this field because she likes helping others. She enjoyed her work at the nursing home but was looking for a change. She had injured herself from heavy lifting and needed to adjust her work. That is when she applied for a job at Jawonio. This was a great fit for her: “I feel blessed to be in this house as a DSP. The guys are really attached to me and I have a great relationship with them. They call me “Grandma” and I really like that. It shows that we are like family,” Elizabeth said as a smile spread across her face.

Elizabeth’s day begins at 3pm, and she usually works the 3pm – 11pm shift, although she does extra shifts when needed. Her day starts with stopping at the house to see if any of the residents are home. Most of the time they are still out at day programs. She checks notes from the morning shift, then goes to pick up one of the residents, Eric, at his day program. She brings Eric home and makes sure to check on and distribute medications, does cleaning chores, and prepares the evening meal if it is her turn to do so. At Balmoral, the staff takes turns preparing the meals. After dinner each evening there is an activity, like a walk in the park, bingo, bowling, or a trip to the library. They also take trips to the local bank where the residents are taught extra skills on budgeting and how spend their money wisely. “Our team here at Balmoral works really well together. Kerwin, our manager, is always available to answer questions and help us solve challenges that come up,” said Elizabeth.

“Elizabeth Cesar is a very dedicated DSP, not just to the individuals she serves but to everyone that she encounters. She shows up for work in every kind of weather even snow storms, and not just for her shift. She always asks if there is anything else she can do. Elizabeth steps up whenever we are short staffed and she embodies what “caring” really means: respect, class, elegance and patience. Elizabeth is a tremendously kind hearted person and of all the wonderful DSPs we have here at Jawonio, she is one of the best we have ever had. She is truly a blessing to me, her coworkers and the wonderful young men we care for,” said Kerwin Daly, House Manager.

Thank you to Elizabeth and our whole DSP staff for making the Jawonio Community such a caring place.