Director of Communications and Marketing
Melwood offers a number of career opportunities to people of differing abilities. Find your new career here.
This month Melwood celebrated National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week from September 11th-17th. The purpose of the celebration was to recognize the dedication and accomplishments of outstanding Direct Support Professionals across the country and express appreciation for the hard work and contributions they make in their communities. Each direct support employee provides essential, daily support to enable our persons served and their families to live a healthy, inclusive life of their choosing.
During that week, six Melwood employees received special recognition across our social media platforms – Rhonda McQuain, Program Reimbursement Coordinator; Eboni Borden-Manigualt, Case Manager; Latarsha Burrello, Community Support Assistant Floater; Yanitzie Gayle, Developmental Coach; Kianna Blakeney, Employment Development Services Instructor; and Yadira Coleman, Head Program Leader.
Rhonda McQuain has been with Melwood for five years. Initially starting as the Food Service Coordinator for Melwood’s Recreation Center, Rhonda is now the Program Reimbursement Coordinator for our Day Services Program. She spends her time helping participants’ families with program billing and finances. Rhonda feels blessed to be a part of such a great community. She enjoys working with each participant and their families to help make a difference in their lives. Rhonda’s manager describes her as the epitome of a team player. She demonstrates excellent work ethic and is never afraid to assist another staff member when needed.
Eboni Borden-Manigualt first heard about Melwood from a current Melwood employee regarding an open position as a Residential Coordinator. As Eboni learned more about Melwood and the multiple programs we provide, she realized what a great fit it would be. In her five years with Melwood, she moved from Residential Coordinator to Developmental Coach and then to Senior Retention Counselor. She then took on the Work Experience Group Coordinator role and advanced to the position of Case Manager at our Temple Hills location. Eboni made it her goal to help people with differing abilities through the various opportunities our programs and services can provide. Her work became her passion and her clients became her family. Her supervisor describes Eboni as a strong worker who provides exceptional on-going support to the department, persons served and their families. She has a positive attitude and a high level of commitment to the participants and the success of the team.
Latarsha Burrello has been with Melwood as a Community Support Assistant Floater for the Community Connector Program for one year. She spends her time taking individuals into the community to provide quality day habilitation in an integrated community setting. Latarsha’s favorite part of the job is getting each person served into the community to learn, be involved and have fun as she provides the utmost support she can to ensure they receive a meaningful experience. Her supervisor considers her to be a dedicated and reliable employee who is always willing to take on new tasks. Ms. Burrello continues to exemplify the best aspects of what it means to be a direct support professional. She is diligent in ensuring that her work is done and goes above and beyond the duties assigned to her. Latarsha looks forward to staying with Melwood and pursuing opportunities for advancement within her department.
Yanitzie Gayle is a Developmental Coach for our Day Services Program. For four years, Yanitzie has enjoyed working with Melwood participants in their mission to live a more fulfilling life of their choice. Yanitzie began her career assisting infants and toddlers with differing abilities. She then accepted a position at Melwood, which helped her broaden her scope of support. Her team leader describes Yanitzie as punctual, dedicated and eternally motivated. Yanitzie is truly a dedicated member of the Melwood team. Each day Yanitzie looks forward to seeing the individuals she works with; she mentioned that the participants joyous welcome every day is what inspires her.
Kianna Blakeney first became affiliated with Melwood as a volunteer in our Community Services Department. She assisted the Professional Development Training Group and Human Resources during open interview fairs. After witnessing Kianna’s great work ethic and dedication, Kianna was offered a position as an Employment Development Services Instructor with the Professional Development Training Group. Kianna now spends her time providing training to the people we serve who have expressed an interest in entering the workforce. Her most rewarding part of the job is hearing from past students that have achieved the job they originally set out to land. With a degree in psychology, Kianna is looking forward to continuing her time at Melwood and pursuing opportunities for advancement within her field.
Yadira Coleman first came to Melwood as the Creative Arts Program Leader for Camp Accomplish. She described her first summer as an exciting experience and a breath of fresh air. While still in school, Yadira continued her work with Melwood as she helped out with Access Adventures, our adult traveling program, and the equestrian Trail Team. She quickly fell in love with Melwood and all of the services and programs that it provides. She said the organization inspires her and she truly values the emphasis we place on children of all abilities coming together to enjoy an inclusive environment focused on fun. This summer, Yadira enjoyed her position as the Head Program Leader at Camp Accomplish. Yadira’s supervisor describes her as a positive, encouraging and dedicated employee who wants to make each summer a memorable experience for all involved. Yadira consistently finds a beautiful balance of providing support and care, while encouraging the participant to blend and engage with others. In the future she looks forward to pursuing more opportunities at the Recreation Center.
It is because of our Direct Support Professionals’ commitment to service that Melwood is able to fulfill our mission.