Beneto Congratulates 2009 Culture of Caring Recipient


Devereux Beneto
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Selema Thomas

The Beneto Center is proud to present this year’s Thomas Donovan Culture of Caring award recipient, Selema Thomas. She is currently a program manager at our Mapleton main program. Selema started with the Beneto Center as a part-time residential counselor while a student at Cheyney University in the fall of 2000. By the end of her first year, Selema had moved into a full-time position and was lauded by her supervisor as demonstrating leadership skills for co-workers and clients alike. Since then, Selema has been described time after time with the terms consistent, dependable, pro-active, invested, client-centered and committed. One supervisor described her as a "beacon of light for others" and another referred to her as a “life-saver.”

Selema Thomas possesses many wonderful qualities that contribute to the success of Devereux and the Beneto Center, but the focus here is on her caring and supportive approach. Everyone understands that Selema is not an easy mark; she is insightful, task-oriented, goal-directed, resilient and determined to see that our clients succeed. As such, she demands the best of herself and expects it of others. In serving our children and adolescents, Selema involves them in all treatment processes and successfully utilizes the community meeting process to engage them, as a community, in their successes. Selema’s approach is a strength-based one and she tirelessly works to find new and creative ways to positively motivate our clients. Selema is the ultimate client advocate, and there is nothing that she will not try, to support their individual growth and positive treatment progress. Our children and adolescents have complete faith in Selema because she is genuine and trustworthy, and she creates a safe and healthy environment for our clients, so crucial for individuals with limited coping skills and traumatic backgrounds.

Selema Thomas is an unassuming individual, unencumbered by self-interest or self-promotion. She gets it; she knows exactly why she is here, what her role is, and she goes all out every day, no matter what, and never loses faith in the clients she serves. She is an exemplary role model.

The Beneto Center recognizes that Selema Thomas embodies the very essence of the Culture of Caring Award, “…. furthering Devereux’s legacy of innovative treatment and always with a human touch.” We very much appreciate this opportunity to celebrate her contributions to Devereux, the Beneto Center, her co-workers, and the children and families in our care.


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