House Manager, Salmon Family Home
Our first blog featuring members of our Jawonio family is Gerthy Declonat. Gerthy has been with Jawonio for almost 8 years. In 2023, Gerthy was selected as one of our employees of the month, and you will read why!
“Gerthy not only cares about us, but she is always looking at ways she can help us be more successful in life.”
Gerthy, share a bit of background with us, where did you grow up and go to school?
I was born in Haiti and attended schools until I was 15. Around that time, I came to the United States. We moved to Rockland County and I attended Spring Valley High School. I attended RCC for a short time and then went to a trade school in the Bronx. I graduated as a Patient Care Technician that included expertise in EKG testing and Phlebotomy.
I am passionate about furthering my education, and while working full time and a mother of two, I am currently taking courses online for a degree in Business Health Care Administration.
Tell us a bit about your family
My partner and I live in Rockland County. My mother is with me and my father visits from Haiti when he can. I have 2 children, my daughter Aliyah Joyce is currently attending Margetts Elementary and my son, Jaivyn Amoah is in daycare. My children are my motivation and the light of my life. I love them so much.
Where did you work prior to Jawonio?
Prior to Jawonio, I worked in a number of jobs including a retail job at Kohls. I then went into the human services field and worked as a home health care aide and at Spectrum for Living in New Jersey.
Now that we know more about you, let’s switch to your Jawonio journey. Tell us about applying to Jawonio and some of your first impressions?
I have had a wonderful experience at Jawonio for the past 8 years. When I applied, I really didn’t know much about the agency. However, what I didn’t know, turned turned out to be the best decision of my life.
That sounds incredible, why is working at Jawonio the best decision ever?
To be honest, I said to myself, if they hire me, I will only work for one year and here I am loving my job 8 years later. I became passionate about the job immediately because of the individuals I work with. They know they can count on me. I do what I do with joy – and that means so much when you can bring that positivity every day.
What would you tell people about working for Jawonio and the opportunities to succeed here?
I would share that Jawonio gives every employee the opportunity to grow. Jawonio cares about the individuals and they treat everyone with dignity and respect. I began my career as a Residential Coordinator, and after three years in that role, I was promoted to the Residential Manager position at our Salmon Family Home in New City. Every day I come to work I am meeting my responsibilities with love, passion, and determination. Choosing Jawonio and feeling that you are making a difference is a beautiful way to come to work.
We know for a fact that your guys at Salmon love and respect you, tell us about that special family feeling?
The Salmon guys are phenomenal. 5 guys with 5 different personalities just like all of us! We are a family which absolutely means being patient with one another. They care about each other & they trust each other. They know I have their backs. They know I am their advocate and will support anything they wish to do. They are all amazing.
So now we know even more about Gerthy at work! But, in life, there has to be a balance. What are some of the activities you enjoy with your kids, and when you get “me time”.
Of course, number one is spending quality time with my family and kids. Church is very important to us and to go as a family. Personally, I like to cook and I love to dance. I read romantic novels, enjoy playing cards and watch Nigerian movies.
If you had to describe Jawonio in one word what would that be?
One word to describe Jawonio is “rewarding”. How many of us can say that every day, you are pleased and satisfied in your work? I know that while I am just one person, I play a significant role in improving people’s lives. I know my purpose, and it is here at Jawonio, and that makes me happy. And by being happy, you can give that feeling to others. I definitely receive so much more than I give at Jawonio and that makes me happy!