As part of the #bFair2DirectCare advocacy campaign to ensure that Direct Support Professionals are paid the living wage that has been promised in the New York State budget, we join together with agencies across the state to show the great work our DSP’s do everyday.

Jawonio proudly recognizes the outstanding professionalism and dedication of Jean Cheron, a Habilitation Instructor in its New City Day Habilitation program.

As an ordained minister, Jean’s faith informs an extraordinary mission of service that is always offered with a smile and a kind word. “Every day is an opportunity to support our participants not only to realize their potential but also to help them find joy in their daily experiences,” Cheron explains. “We are here for them but they are here for us in a very special way. They inspire what is best in us by their gentleness and by the courage with which they reach beyond their perceived limitations.

Working with the program since 2009, Jean believes in the agency participants, and his confidence in them is often rewarded by their progress that he sees regularly. The warmth of his demeanor has an infectious quality, as participants always seem to have a happy and eventful day when he is around.


There for his participants in good times and bad, Jean’s thoughtful insights and gift for oratory often has him presiding over the gamut of program milestones, marking events from seasonal celebrations to final memorials. “Jean has always promoted DSPs as the most important and vital staff within the field. He is a true advocate for the program participants and for his coworkers and he does his work with tremendous compassion,” says Julio Vargas, Day Habilitation Supervisor.

A man for all seasons, Jean proudly exemplifies the spirit of Jawonio but also the best intent of our state community for service that is not only compassionate but exceptional! Thank you, Jean!