Charles spent 11 months at Cheshire Home, focusing on physical therapy here, and at Kessler Rehabilitation, five days each week. He returned in June of 2017 to his family home, and during the summer months he will be auditing a course at Hunter College in preparation for attendance in the spring of 2018. Previously he majored in Government and The Classics, and he is happy to return to academia. When Charles was asked what his experience at Cheshire Home meant to him, he noted that the peer environment was very significant, seeing and talking with people at various stages of recovery. He worked hard at his own rehabilitation, and shared that the care and services he was provided at Cheshire Home made it possible for him to not only return home, but return home successfully. "If I had left sooner, like I initially wanted to, I just would not have been able to make it. I needed the transitional time to prepare, to learn to live independently, and now I'm ready."
After three years of rehabilitating at Cheshire Home, in May of 2017 Herson rejoined his parents, who he said are his motivation to live, in Costa Rica. Herson feels that he could not have found a better place anywhere, than Cheshire Home, where he was well cared for by our nurses and care assistants, and where he could work in physical therapy so that he could go home again. "At Cheshire I felt very comfortable and was treated with respect," he said, "and I will miss everyone." He added with a smile that he will miss the parties, also, when residents, staff, family and friends forget the work for a little while, and celebrate...together.
At one of these parties, we all discovered that Herson has a beautiful singing voice, and he joined the Holiday Express orchestra in entertaining residents, staff, family and friends!
Quinn's motto is "Living Happy With a Disability." His ultimate goal is to become a counselor to adolescents, and he is a former recipient of the Tri-State Muslim Youth of the Year Award. He has completed studies at the County College of Morris in Psychology and Art History, and he has also had the honor of displaying his self-portrait, in 2005, at the Newark Museum.
Quinn has received recognition due to his exceptional belief and high motivation to succeed and to help others. "I have been tested with my disability," he said, "but I see it now as a gift that has humbled me and brought me to appreciate life." Having participated in community activities at Cheshire Home, Quinn next decided to seek employment, and he successfully applied to Walmart, where he has been employed since October of 2015 as an Associate at the Cedar Knolls store.
Quinn is a "People Person", and he can be found assisting customers in a variety of departments throughout the store. "Walmart has been very good to me," he said. "I'll give my all every day I'm lucky enough to work here."
Resident Julissa Santiago is working five afternoons a week as a Walmart Associate at the Cedar Knolls store. Her long term goal is in the area of dramatic cosmetics, and her present employment is offering valuable experience in working with the public.
"I love it," she said. "I feel welcome and I look forward to going to work each day." Julissa is currently assisting customers in the Fitting Room area, and directing phone inquiries to the appropriate Deprtament.
Julissa first learned of Walmart employment opportunities during a 2014 visit to the Flanders store, arranged by Walmart Human Resources Manager Kellilynn Auryansen. A number of store representatives spoke, and Associate Samantha De Sande, who has a physical disability, shared her story of becoming independent once she became an employee of Walmart. Now Julissa is part of the team!
Rell is a Dean's List student at County College of Morris. Having begun his studies in 2014, he initially completed the required pre-requisite courses including Fundamentals of Math, English Composition and Introduction to Business, and then advanced to his core area of study - Business Information Systems and Accounting. Rell has been an "A" student throughout his college career, and as 2016 opened he advanced further into the field of Accounting and Principle Management.
While Rell is carrying a busy course load, he also works as a Cheshire Home front desk receptionist and dedicates himself to comprehensive physical therapy, at Cheshire, and also at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, where he was selected to participate in a clinical study for people with paraplegia. At Kessler, he is learning to walk with the use of of the Robotic Skeleton.
"I will be living on my own and working as an accountant," Rell states very assuredly, and adds, ""No doubt." We have no doubt, and as he works toward that day, we are inspired by his determination and his achievements.
Perry, through his art, adds a touch of beauty and grace to our home.
Prior to residing at Cheshire Home, Perry studied art at Union County College in Cranford. While learning the intricate aspects of painting and exploring some of the world's Great Works, Perry began to sketch people, with a concentration on capturing the unique features of each subject's face.
At Cheshire Home he decided to work in acrylic paints, and his interests expanded to the many colors of our natural landscapes. He works from his imagination, first picturing the scenery that is especially moving, and then imagining the colors that will best portray the impact of his scene.
Perry paints in the physical therapy center at Cheshire Home, usually completing a painting within four hours. He particularly likes to mix colors, and layer colors, to create the tone that is most inspiring. His painting, "Blue Moonlight" hangs beautifully framed at the entrance of the center, right above another of his favorites, "Cherry Blossoms". In March Perry began to create notecards featuring his paintings, and he immediately sold out of his first printing. He's now on his fourth printing of the very unique cards, and is developing a marketing plan that will propel him forward.
Shay, also a former resident, achieved her Masters Degree in Human Behavior and Organizational Psychology from Kean University in May of 2014. Shortly before graduation she became employed at Community Access in Elizabeth, which provides quality support services for people with developmental disabilities and at-risk adolescents. She fulfills a variety of Human Resources responsibilities, and works part time assigning and monitoring student projects at the Kean University Communications and Science Study Skills Lab.
Shay's degree provides future opportunities for consultation to a range of businesses and educational systems. She began work in September in the Marriage and Family Therapy Professional Diploma Program, and she is advancing toward her certificate as a licensed therapist.