Joan Henry – Employee Spotlight
For nearly 30 years, Joan Henry has helped people with Intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). After moving from Jamaica to New York in 1990, she began working with a day program in Queens, New York. “I was not familiar with the I/DD population prior to moving to the United States,” says Joan. “During orientation, the instructor showed a movie about an organization called Willowbrook. The story was brought to the limelight by Geraldo Rivera on how the individuals were treated poorly in that institution. That movie resonates in my mind until this day. Since then, I made myself a promise that I will make it my duty to protect and serve this population for as long as I have breath. As a result, I worked pretty much every area in the field.”
Joan has been part of the Chimes family for three years and currently works as the Day Support Coordinator for Chimes Virginia. One of the things she loves most about her job is the opportunity to serve our individuals. “Being able to advocate and implement meaningful day-to-day activities for them is near and dear to my heart,” she warmly shares. For Joan, it is important to integrate our individuals into the community, and aspires to create more integration opportunities for them in the future. She also notes the amazing staff at the day program makes her job “doable,” noting their patience, respect and kindness towards the individuals.
Joan says if anyone truly wants to know about this population they should either work or volunteer in the field. “Not everyone with I/DD requires total ‘help.’” In addition to her full-time job, Joan volunteers with several organizations to provide services for women and girls who experience domestic violence and homelessness. For the past 10 years she has successfully hosted a Women’s Entrepreneur Expo at various locations throughout Maryland for women looking to start or enhance their business. She also hosts “The Joan Henry Radio Show” on Blogtalk Radio every week. Additionally, she in the final stretch of completing her Doctorate in Business Administration with a focus on Management. We are thrilled to have Joan on our team!