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

MEET MARIE DENISE PIERRE – Marie is originally from Haiti and lives in Spring Valley just a few miles from her job at Jawonio’s Johansen House, a residential group home for adults with disabilities.

Marie has been working at Johansen House for the past eight years. She first came to Jawonio after learning about the organization when she worked for a local bus company that transported children with disabilities and special needs to and from the New City Main Campus. She worked as a bus aide for 15 years and referred a lot of people to Jawonio. In addition to this position she also worked at a local nursing home as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She also earned her certificate as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA). Marie got into the care profession because she loves helping others.

“I love my job because I love the people I work with and care for. I like to help others. We are a family for the residents, caring for them and making their days special. The residents show how they appreciate us. Carol likes to give me a kiss on the cheek,” Marie said.


Marie’s typical day starts at 3pm, usually working until 11pm, but she does do extra shifts when needed at other Jawonio residences. Her typical day starts with checking in on the residents and the notes from the morning team. Marie prepares the kitchen for the evening meal, prepares food for the residents, provides bathing and personal care, distributes medications and cleans. Preparing the right meal for the right person is important since every resident has different food needs. Some need pureed meals. “We have a great team here at Johansen House. Everyone looks out for each other,” says Marie.

“Marie is one of the hardest working DSPs I have every worked with in my 9 years in the field. Her work ethic, drive, and outright love that she has for everyone who lives in Johansen is undeniable. Her relationships with the consumers is evident in their interactions and deep relationship. They love her weekly dinner that she cooks because they can feel the love that she puts in it. Marie always goes above and beyond what is required of her, she always comes to help when there is a need within the house, and she has even stepped in to help other houses when she can. Marie is a pleasure to work with and have on our great team in the house,” said Kristine Aponte, House Manager.

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