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Sharing inspirational messages of hope and resilience

Public health emergencies, like COVID-19 (Coronavirus), can be stressful and challenging for families and communities. At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, we believe it is important to promote positivity and a sense of calm as we navigate these unprecedented times together. One way we are doing this is by finding inspiration amid the uncertainty. 

We invite you to look below for videos, and excerpts from letters and emails, offering messages of hope, kindness and resilience from Devereux’s families, caregivers, employees and supporters as we strive to emerge safer, stronger and healthier than ever before. Please note we are withholding last names for privacy purposes.

Letters and Testimonials  |  Videos


Letters and testimonials

Look below to see what we are hearing from Devereux family members, caregivers and employees. 


Recently, a Devereux foster parent reached out to team members in Florida to express just how much she loves providing a supportive and nurturing home to children in need.

"Every child should have the opportunity to be a child, and I am delighted that Devereux has given me an opportunity to be a foster mom. I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.”
- Devereux Florida foster parent


A youth who receives services through Devereux Florida recently wrote a note to show Direct Support Professional Racquel Gist how much she values and appreciates her support.

"She always gets me going when I’m depressed, and doesn’t stop trying until she’s successful. She provides a lot of activities for us so we aren’t bored, and goes above and beyond for us. Thanks so much, Ms. Racquel. You’re the best.”
- Devereux Florida individual


Team members at Devereux centers across the country recently celebrated Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week - Sept. 13-19 - by thanking their colleagues with personalized cards, tasty food and appreciation gifts. 

Here are just a few of the activities we held to honor our DSPs …  

  • At Devereux Florida, Executive Directors Lisa Kroger and Michelle Llorens wrote notes of thanks to their DSPs for making a meaningful and positive difference in the lives of those they serve every day.

    “Devereux Florida team, sending a ‘high-five’ to each and every one of you. My thanks to you all for creating the amazing team we have here to collectively make a difference every day. You are servant leaders.”
    - Lisa Kroger, Devereux Florida executive director

    “Sincere thanks to all of our direct support professionals who consistently demonstrate their commitment to those in our care, and have continued to rise to the unique challenges presented through a global pandemic. You are true Healthcare Heroes.”
    - Michelle Llorens, Devereux Florida executive director

  • Devereux Georgia. During the week-long celebration, team members recognized DSPs “for making all the difference every day” with cards and posters signed by students; colorful balloons; food; and other gifts, including Devereux-branded ponchos.  
  • Program managers and directors at Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island held different activities each day to recognize their DSPs, including gift card drawings and raffles for Devereux-branded items. DSPs also were treated to doughnuts, pizza, ice cream, and goodie bags filled with pens, candy and thank you cards.

Look below to view photos of Devereux’s DSP Recognition Week festivities. Learn how we celebrate our 3,700 DSPs during this annual appreciation week and all year long.


Devereux Arizona Clinical Program Manager Michelle Marvin, LPC, received a phone call from a family member and caregiver, thanking staff at the center’s residential treatment center in Scottsdale for helping the youth in his care manage his emotions and behaviors more effectively.

The family member updated Marvin on the child’s progress since leaving Devereux, saying, “He is a totally different kid!”

During the phone call, Marvin also spoke to the youth, who told her, “Ms. Michelle, I miss Devereux.” He then went on to say how “awesome” he is doing.

Marvin wrote a note to colleagues, praising their efforts.

“Shoutout to all of YOU who taught this boy how to release his energy in a healthy way; helped him cut his food at mealtime; taught him his ABC’s and how to spell his name. We did some good work with this kid!”
- Michelle Marvin, LPC, Devereux Arizona Clinical Program Manager


A Devereux family member recently wrote a letter to our team members in Texas, expressing her gratitude for their dedication and commitment as they continue to care for her loved one during COVID-19.

“I am so appreciative for your dedication in caring for our friends, particularly in this time of isolation and stress. Please give my very loved special friend, Bekah, a hug for me.”
- Terri, Devereux Texas family member


Devereux Georgia staff are rallying behind a former colleague who is battling cancer.

Team members recently created a care package for former Health Information Management Coordinator Jane Meizlish, who retired in May after 27 years of dedicated service to the organization.

Staff collected various items, including a blanket, pillow, gift cards, flowers and snacks, and delivered them to Meizlish, who wrote a note to her former co-workers, expressing her gratitude and appreciation for the thoughtful gifts.

“I was up until 3 a.m. reading cards and messages on the blanket. Everyone was so sweet. Very humble that people thought so much of me. Please tell everyone ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart.”
- Jane Meizlish, former Devereux Georgia health information management coordinator


Devereux Arizona’s Advisory Board recently sponsored a food truck to thank front-line staff at the organization’s Residential Treatment Center in Scottsdale for their dedication and commitment to the youth and families they serve.

Employees were welcomed with a banner that said, “Thank You for All You Do!” and spent some time relaxing and socializing while enjoying treats from the Culinary Skol food truck, such as deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hamburgers and salads.

“We want to thank our wonderful Advisory Board members for their support, and our talented and hard-working team members who continue to provide outstanding care and service, day in and day out, in both our Phoenix and Tucson communities,” said Devereux Arizona Executive Director Yvette Jackson, LMSW, DBH. “The food truck brought smiles to the faces of our staff, and showed them how much we value and appreciate all they are doing.”

Look below to view photos of the food truck.


Recently, a girl who receives services through Devereux Florida‘s Viera campus expressed her gratitude to team members for continuing to provide the best possible care and support during COVID-19.

“I want to take time and give a good shoutout to Ramos and Shatoya for this weekend and this past week. I’ve noticed they have been working extremely hard. They’ve been patient working under pressure for us. Also, I would like to give an extra shoutout to Ms. Dolly for working extra long hours with us and giving us an awesome weekend with what she had, and Ms. Jessica for the way she is always working hard to keep us busy and make sure we are doing OK.”
- Devereux Florida individual


Devereux Texas Advisory Board members recently wrote a letter to staff at our League City and Victoria campuses, thanking them for their unwavering dedication to the individuals in their care during the pandemic.

“On behalf of the Devereux Texas Advisory Board, I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. Your dedication to the clients and to the Devereux mission in this trying time is inspiring to us all. We are well aware of the difficulties you are facing and your commitment to overcoming them. We applaud your efforts and stand ready to help wherever we can, from making masks to fundraising to networking on your behalf. Your work now is so reminiscent of the Hurricane Harvey event. You never cease to amaze with your endless energy. The Devereux clients are very lucky to have you on their side!! Again, thank you, and know we are with you in mind and spirit - if not in person.”
- Bob Reeves, chairman, and Devereux Texas Advisory Board members


A parent sent a note of thanks recently to Devereux Arizona team members, updating them on her son’s progress since leaving Devereux.

“My son is doing really well. He's been busy swimming and playing with his puppy. His new bike that he's been wanting for a year will arrive tomorrow. He has been an absolute pleasure, and has his sense of humor back. Hopefully, he'll start online classes tomorrow as he is excited to get back into a routine.”
- Bonnie, Devereux Arizona parent


Nothing Bundt Cakes donated a batch of Bundt cakes recently to Devereux Georgia youth to help make their day a little sweeter.

Employees at the Kennesaw, Ga., bakery whipped up eight, 10-inch Bundt cakes for youth to savor and enjoy.

“We cannot thank our friends at Nothing Bundt Cakes enough for their generous - and delicious - donation, and continued support of the individuals in our care,” said Devereux Georgia Director of Business Development Danielle Brock. “The bakery wanted to do something to bring smiles to the faces of our youth during COVID-19 - and what better way than with some sweet and scrumptious cake!”

Nothing Bundt Cakes Corporate and Community Outreach Manager Lindsey Hall also noted the bakery is a longtime supporter of Devereux Georgia. “Franchise owner, Kristi Janman, and I are involved in North Cobb Civitan Club, whose mission is focused on helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We first learned about Devereux through Civitan and fell in love with the work they do,” Hall explained. “Since then, we toured Devereux Georgia’s campus; provided Bundt cakes for the center’s annual ‘Hope Event;’ invited students to tour our bakery; and even attended a student’s graduation ceremony. We knew youth weren’t able to go on field trips due to the pandemic, and we wanted to spread joy by providing these cakes. It’s a blessing to have such a wonderful organization in our community, and we are always seeking ways to sweeten the lives of Devereux Georgia staff and the youth they serve!”


Devereux Arizona staff showed their support for LGBTQ colleagues, as well as the individuals and families they serve, during a recent Zoom videoconferencing meeting.

Members of the center’s outpatient services behavioral coaching team in Tucson demonstrated their #DevereuxPride by drawing rainbows and writing down words of encouragement and support, such as “Keep being you;” “Proud ally;” “and “Be yourself, shine bright,” and then sharing them with coworkers.

“We are truly proud to be allies to the LGBTQ community - today and every day - and we believe it’s important to share that Pride with others,” said Devereux Arizona Regional Director of Operations Sunshine Turner, M.Ed. “Throughout the month of June, our center held various events and activities to celebrate Pride Month. This Zoom meeting provided a fun and unique way for our behavioral coaching team, which has been working remotely throughout COVID-19, to promote inclusion and acceptance of all individuals and share what LGBTQ Pride means to them.”

Look below to view a photo of Devereux Arizona’s behavioral coaching team demonstrating its #DevereuxPride.


Devereux New Jersey Executive Director Brian Hancock recently wrote a note of thanks to team members for going above and beyond to support the individuals in their care, as well as their colleagues, during COVID-19.

“If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that we have the most incredible team at Devereux New Jersey. I frequently express my pride in our staff, even when we are operating under perfect conditions. But now, more than ever before, I am truly humbled by the work you do. As the current global health crisis continues to unfold, I see you tackle each new challenge with the grace, dedication and clinical excellence that have become the cornerstones of our services. Thank you for everything you continue to do as we navigate this time together. Keep up the great work.”
- Brian Hancock, Devereux New Jersey executive director


Devereux Arizona’s leadership team sent care packages recently to the center’s approximately 400 employees to show them how much they are valued and appreciated.

Team members who are working remotely received their care packages in the mail, while the center’s front-line staff received theirs before the start of their shifts.

The care packages included items such as:

  • Cloth face masks 
  • Devereux-branded folders and USB charging cables 
  • #DevereuxStrong magnets and bracelets 
  •  Flyers with the leadership team’s favorite inspirational quotes 
  • COVID-19 survival kits (Note: See image below for a description of the items in these kits.)

“We wanted to show all of our team members -  whether they are working remotely or on campus how grateful we are for their dedication and commitment, and for everything they do on a daily basis to support the individuals in our care,” said Devereux Arizona Executive Director Yvette Jackson, LMSW, DBH. “Over the past few months, our staff have stepped up to this challenge in a remarkable and inspiring way, demonstrating time and time again how we are #DevereuxStrong.”

Devereux Arizona employees were thrilled to receive the care packages. Here’s what just a few of them had to say:

“What a wonderful surprise to go to my mailbox and find a care package from Devereux. Having a leadership team like you all proves once again, what a wonderful organization Devereux has been, is and will continue to be.”
- Shannon Rasmussen, Devereux Arizona records management and compliance coordinator

“The Servant Leadership that is displayed from the top down really has a huge impact. The heart of our leaders is what will make me push harder and harder for this company every day. There is nothing that we cannot do together!”
- Shauna Sexton, Devereux Arizona survivor advocate

Look below to view photos of the care packages, along with a description of the COVID-19 survival kits.


A former Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island student showed her support for the individuals in our care by donating recreational supplies, including toys, games and arts and crafts to help our youth learn new skills and have fun, while spending more time indoors.

The student, Emma Osborne, also made soaps and sugar scrubs for the center’s staff, and wrote personalized thank you notes to show them how much she appreciated their care and service.

“We are extremely grateful to this young girl for her thoughtful and generous donation, which will bring smiles to the faces of our individuals, as well as our team members,” said Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island Executive Director Kerry Ann Goldsmith. “This serves as a wonderful reminder of how our work can have a positive impact on our youth and adults - even after they leave Devereux.”

How to participate in Devereux’s Recreational Supply Campaign: As we continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines, we need your help to provide the individuals in our care with additional toys, games, arts and crafts supplies, and educational activities. Please consider participating in our Recreational Supplies Campaign by visiting the website of the Devereux center you would like to support. Once you are on that center’s home page, select the “Support Devereux’s Recreational Supplies Campaign” banner at the top of the page to learn how you can help.

Thank you helping to keep us all #DevereuxStrong!


Recently, a parent sent a letter of gratitude to team members at Devereux Pennsylvania’s Center for Autism Research and Education Services (CARES) for serving and supporting her son for the past 14 years.

“I can't say it enough - you all form the MOST amazing team, and we are incredibly thankful for all of the ways you have loved my son these past 14 years. He is a fundamentally different person because of you. Some of you remember the painful shell he lived under when he first came to Devereux CARES at age 5. It was such a fight to get him to engage or interact in even the smallest way!

Now look at him - we call him the "mayor" of our block. He knows everyone, and everyone knows him!

THANK YOU. I hope you take deep joy and satisfaction, knowing each one of you has played a real role in who he has become today.”
- Sharon, Devereux Pennsylvania parent


Devereux Arizona is showing its #DevereuxPride.

On June 1, team members raised a rainbow flag on campus to celebrate the start of Pride Month and show their support for LGBTQ colleagues, as well as the individuals and families they serve.

This was one of several Pride events scheduled throughout the month. Youth enrolled in a culinary class baked brownies and Pride-themed cupcakes for their peers and Devereux Arizona staff. The tasty and colorful treats were part of a display in the cafeteria that also included LGBTQ educational materials on the history of LGBTQ Pride from 1970 - when the first Pride march took place - to today.

Devereux Arizona Outpatient Services Clinical Program Manager Evette Richardson, LMSW, BHP, said youth also are sharing what LGBTQ Pride means to them. “During individual, group and recreational therapy sessions, we have been talking about the riots that started the Pride movement, as well as the current civil unrest in our country following the deaths of George Floyd, and others in the Black Community. This has given youth a safe space to talk about their identities and how they feel about the current civil unrest, while allowing them to reflect on the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969. Those riots marked the turning point of the LGBTQ movement in the U.S., and led to the June Pride celebrations we have today.”

Look below to view photos from Pride events at Devereux Arizona.


Congratulations to the class of 2020!

On May 22 and 27, Devereux Florida held virtual graduation ceremonies to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of its students. Team members, along with family members and friends, participated in these special events. Devereux School Principal Pam Kenney led the ceremonies, offering praise and words of encouragement to the students. (Note: Kenney is pictured in the top photo to the right, with Education Coordinator Danielle Clark pictured in the bottom photo.)

During the celebrations, graduates thanked their families and Devereux team members who made a significant and positive impact on their lives. One student said, “I never thought I would be on this graduation stage never thought I would make it past fifth grade, really. But at this point, I have made a big change in my life, and I’m going to keep pushing to do better and better every day.”

Devereux Florida Director of External Affairs Lindsey Phillips noted, “We are incredibly proud of all of our graduates in Devereux programs statewide. This graduation year is unlike any other. While our students may not be able to walk across a stage to get their high school diplomas due to social distancing guidelines, we are celebrating their hard work and accomplishments in new and unique ways. This milestone exemplifies not only our students’ academic achievement, but their remarkable resiliency and ability to overcome adversity.”


A parent recently sent a note of thanks to Devereux Arizona team members for providing her children with the best possible care and support during this challenging time.

“I really appreciate Behavior Coach Shannon Maclean, she is always going above and beyond. I appreciate her connection with my kids. This is a very challenging time, and she makes tons of recommendations. I’m so thankful for her. My kids miss her when she’s gone, but love when people like Monica, Kylie and Safari fill in.

Everyone my kids work with at Devereux is so compassionate. We have been supported during the most difficult time (COVID-19). Staff members check in all the time, making sure we feel supported. I’m so appreciative of that. I give Devereux an A++ because I wouldn’t have known what to do during COVID-19. I appreciate all you have done. I love everyone in the respite homes. The staff has no idea how much I appreciate them. When my kids are there, I know they are safe and taken care of.

Crisis Clinician Tamara Klein is amazing. She just gets the kids. She had a connection with me right away. It was like she knew me, and was ready to work with the kids. She was willing to learn and help them. I appreciate Devereux paying attention to all of the little things. My kids are doing so well. It’s amazing. My son is building his self-esteem and relationships. He is really working effectively. I’m so happy there is an agency that meets us where we are as a family. I can’t thank you enough.”
Anna, Devereux Arizona parent


Amelia Earhart once said, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees."

Students at Devereux Texas’ Victoria campus are spreading kindness by spelling out “Muchas Gracias” (Thanks a lot) in rainbow-colored letters, and posting them on the center’s cafeteria windows for all essential employees to see.

Devereux Texas Teacher Lina Kruger organized the art project to teach students about the power of kindness and compassion.

“Our students are aware of how the pandemic has impacted all of us -  they see team members wearing face masks and frequently cleaning and sanitizing surfaces,” Kruger said. “I explained how Devereux New York brightened up its campus with rainbow-colored decorations to show support for its front-line staff, and we could do the same! We decided to post ‘Muchas Gracias’ on the center’s cafeteria windows to show gratitude and appreciation for our multicultural staff - and to bring smiles to the faces of everyone who passes by. This was a fun and empowering project for our students. They learned they can make a positive difference in people’s lives just by spreading a little kindness.”

Look below to view photos of the rainbow display.


Our employees are a big deal!

Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services is recognizing its hard-working and dedicated front-line staff by holding weekly giveaways throughout the month of May. Every Wednesday and Friday, three essential workers are randomly selected to receive an “Essential Employee” mug; a tote bag that says “I’m an essential worker so, basically I’m kind of a big deal;” or a badge holder that says “We are all in this together … 6 feet apart.”

“Our front-line staff are definitely a big deal,” said Devereux Pennsylvania Adult Services Executive Director Christopher Betts, M.A. “Our employees work incredibly hard every day, and we are extremely proud of their efforts. This recognition program is a way to show our team members how much we appreciate all they are doing to support the adults we are privileged to serve.”

Look below to view photos of recent winners.


Shoutout to our healthcare superheroes!

Devereux Georgia recently celebrated “Superhero Day” to honor and thank its frontline staff for going above and beyond to support the individuals in our care.

Team members wore superhero-themed T-shirts, facemasks and other attire, and enjoyed a lunch featuring Chick-fil-A sandwiches, as well as Powerade sports drinks generously donated by Coca-Cola. “Our employees demonstrate incredible courage, strength and resilience on a daily basis - and they are all superheroes,” said Devereux Vice President of Operations Gwen Skinner. “This event provided our staff with an opportunity to relax and reflect on their hard work and accomplishments, while enjoying the company of colleagues.”

Look below to view photos from the event.


Youth at Devereux Pennsylvania’s Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services (CIDDS) center showed their appreciation for the center’s front-line staff by creating a beautiful rainbow mural with messages of hope and resilience.

Children wrote inspiring words and phrases on heart-shaped cards, such as “We’ll get through this;” “We are family;” and “Be strong.”

“Individuals in our residential program spent two weeks working on this heartfelt project,” said Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS Program Administrator Edward Vincent. “Our youth wanted to show the dedicated team members who serve and support them every single day just how much they are valued, and that together we are #DevereuxStrong.” Look below to view photos of the rainbow mural.


Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School is honoring its essential employees through weekly “Thanks for Being Awesome” celebrations.

The celebrations are held on campus every Friday at 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to ensure front-line staff on all shifts are recognized.

During the inaugural celebration on May 1, team members - wearing face masks and practicing social distancing - served coffee and donuts to their colleagues in the morning, and held a food fest featuring a variety of tasty treats in the afternoon.

“We wanted to show our front-line staff - who are absolutely awesome how much we value and appreciate their hard work and dedication during this challenging time,” said Glenholme School People Operations Manager Jackie Ross. “Each week, we do something different to honor, and engage with, our team members. We’ve served meals and distributed homemade goodie bags filled with candy, pretzels and a T-shirt. Our employees love connecting with colleagues they haven’t seen in a while, and we plan to keep the celebrations going all year long.”



A foster parent wrote a letter of gratitude recently to Devereux Arizona team members who delivered face masks and coffee filters to foster homes throughout Maricopa County.

"I want to sincerely thank you for the masks. We just received them today. They are perfect, and we got the coffee filters as well. Again, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart as my family’s safety is the most important thing to me in the world. You have helped me keep that intact, and I thank you for that."
Devereux Arizona foster parent


The Worcester Railers Hockey Club, a minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders, delivered pizzas recently to Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island front-line staff as part of the hockey club’s “Food for Frontliners” program.

Railers Club President Michael Myers and Community Relations Director Paul Harris personally delivered the pizzas to team members at our campus in Rutland, and four group homes in Rutland and Paxton, Mass.

The club launched its Food for Frontliners program in late April as a way to help local community organizations in need, and provide meals for staff working on the front lines during the pandemic. The club plans to donate more than $10,000 worth of food to organizations throughout central Massachusetts.

“Devereux has had a close relationship with the Railers since they came to Worcester, and we are incredibly grateful for their continued support and generosity,” said Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island Executive Director Kerry Ann Goldsmith. “This was a wonderful gesture that made our front-line staff feel very special, and it helps keep us all #DevereuxStrong.”

Railers Club President Michael Myers noted, “We were excited to make this happen as a show of appreciation for the essential work Devereux does every day in providing treatment and education to young people in need.”



Devereux Pennsylvania’s Children’s Behavioral Health Services (CBHS) center recently served breakfast and lunch to essential staff at our Malvern and Glenmoore campuses to thank them for their efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The center’s leadership team recognized these servant leaders for their dedication and commitment to providing the highest levels of treatment, compassion and support to the youth in our care - particularly during this challenging time.

Team members were welcomed with cheers and “thank you” signs as they entered the campus and event. “We wanted to show our outstanding front-line staff how much we value and appreciate all they are doing to keep the individuals we serve safe and healthy,” said Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS Executive Director Patricia Hillis-Clark, Psy.D., BCBA. “Words cannot express the deep gratitude we have for these team members - this was just our small way of giving back to those who are giving their all on a daily basis.”

Look below to view photos from the event.


Devereux Georgia is honoring its dedicated front-line staff through daily “shoutouts” on loud speakers and telephone intercoms across campus.

Each day, department leaders share messages of gratitude, hope and resilience at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The goal is to help our healthcare heroes feel appreciated and supported as they continue to keep the individuals entrusted to our care safe and healthy.

Click on the link below to listen to a shoutout from Devereux Georgia Program Director Shaun Walton.


More than 100 years ago, our beloved founder, Helena T. Devereux, led the organization through the Spanish flu (with far fewer resources than we have at our disposal today).

As we work together to stop the spread of the current pandemic, we are receiving an outpouring of support from so many community supporters, including one very special person, Miss Devereux’s niece, Emily Brown. Emily recently donated her time and talents to make cloth faces masks for front-line staff at our Devereux Pocono center. Look below to read a letter of gratitude Executive Director Tina Skoda shared with team members.

“We are deeply honored that Miss Devereux’s niece, Emily Brown, put her talents to work to make face masks for our center. We were equally as honored to have had the privilege of caring for Emily’s sister, who was an adored Devereux resident for many years until her passing in 2019. Emily and her family have been great supporters of Devereux throughout the years, and were a great source of love and guidance to Emily’s sister.

Miss Devereux would be very proud of Emily, as well as all Devereux staff and family members who continue to lift each other up each and every day so that we can emerge stronger than ever before.

We wish to offer our sincere thanks to Emily, and to all of our generous sewers, for these much-needed masks. We are incredibly grateful to them for keeping us safe and healthy, so we can continue to keep their loved ones safe and healthy.”

- Tina Skoda, Devereux Pocono executive director


Recently, a parent sent a note of thanks to Devereux California Director of Behavioral Services Noelle Escovedo and team members at the center’s Foothill house, expressing his gratitude for their unwavering dedication and support as they continue to care for his son.

“My son recently completed his first year in Foothill house. Who would have ever imagined you and the Foothill staff would have endured a fire/evacuation AND a global pandemic in that timeframe?! You, Devereux leadership, and the amazing staff at Foothill have simply blown me away. The manner in which staff and the team has managed and (more importantly) loved and cared for this kid is amazing to me in itself. When you layer upon that all these emergencies, words cannot express how impressed I am with each and every one of you.

The quote I often go to in my life is the following: ‘Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.’ The character of all of you has been clearly revealed, and then some! You have done your jobs; no complaints; no excuses; you have over communicated (which is rule No. 1 in a time of crisis); you have been complete (and compassionate) pros.

Thank you all, for all you do, and the types of people you have shown yourselves to be. My family and I are so lucky and appreciative of you all.”
Marc, Devereux California parent


Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School Executive Director Noah Noyes, M.Ed., recently wrote a letter thanking team members for their dedication and service during COVID-19.

“The efforts of the Glenholme team through this pandemic have been the embodiment of Servant Leadership. You have made sacrifices; demonstrated flexibility; been committed to overcoming obstacles; and put service above self for our students and families. Words or an email cannot begin to thank you for your service and intense focus on fulfilling our mission during challenging times. You have remained positive and vibrant, even in the face of great adversity. Customer service and quality have been displayed in spades, and delivered in an individualized manner for students, families and colleagues.

Through trials, tribulations and adversity come great strength, wisdom and unity. I have never been more proud of our team, humbled to serve alongside you all, or privileged to be your executive director. Keep up the tremendous work you are an inspiration, and making an essential difference every day.”
- Noah Noyes, Devereux CT - The Glenholme School executive director


Devereux New York team members - with help from the Red Hook Police Department - held a parade to show their support for the center’s front-line staff, and the youth and adults entrusted to our care, amid the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Led by a police car with flashing lights, a caravan of about 20 cars, driven by employees, winded its way around campus and past our community group homes.

Devereux New York Executive Director John Lopez said the goal was to show, “We will all get through this - together. And we are Devereux Strong.”


Devereux Arizona’s outpatient services team recently wrote down positive words and phrases that have helped them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, and shared them with colleagues during a Zoom video conferencing meeting.

Team members’ personal mantras, and messages of hope, included, “This too shall pass;” Can’t pour from an empty cup;” and “Just keep swimming.” Look below to read the team’s inspiring and hopeful words and phrases.


Students at Devereux Connecticut – The Glenholme School showed their gratitude and appreciation to local hospital staff on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by preparing meals and creating greeting cards. Look below to read a letter of thanks from the Glenholme community to New Milford Hospital staff.

“We are writing to express our deepest gratitude for your work in keeping our community healthy through this difficult time. Your tireless efforts, long hours, and compassionate care are not only admirable, but an exceptional representation of the dedication necessary to overcome adversity.

As a thank you for your incredible undertaking, our students have cooked meals and designed cards for you all to enjoy. They were eager to demonstrate their appreciativeness for all that you accomplish each day in keeping our community healthy.

We hope that you will enjoy the food and messages of recognition. The Glenholme School is both thankful and proud to have you all as a part of our great community!”

– Devereux CT  The Glenholme School


Devereux Texas is showing its support for our front-line staff and local first responders amid the COVID-19 pandemic in a big and colorful way.

Team members at our Victoria and League City campuses placed signs saying, “We love our staff;” “Devereux loves our first responders;” and “Devereux heroes work here” at the entrances to the two campuses for all to see.

In addition, Devereux Texas staff is joining in with Devereux New York to participate in the national “Rainbow Initiative” by decorating trees with rainbow-colored ribbons to bring smiles to the faces of those we serve. Rainbows will be popping up in more places at our Victoria and League City campuses in the days and weeks ahead to spread joy and hope during this challenging time.

Look below to view Devereux Texas’ signs and rainbow creations.


A Devereux California team member recently wrote a letter to her colleagues, praising them for their compassion, collaboration and dedication. In addition, she noted how the center successfully launched Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports three months ahead of schedule to help the individuals we serve stay safe and healthy.

“Often in times of crisis, it can be so easy to only focus on what insurmountable challenges lie ahead. Here at Devereux California, we decided to have our own narrative, and go above and beyond to focus on our core values and mission statement by continuing to change lives by unlocking and nurturing human potential.

To show our resilience, Devereux California launched its Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (D-PBIS) initiative three months earlier than planned. Members of our team rallied together to kick off D-PBIS in the hope we could provide time to focus on the good things that occur every day, and help teach skills that focus on safety, responsibility and respect.

A week after implementation, we (individuals and staff) celebrated with an ice cream social (keeping social distancing in mind). So many good things happened in just five days! Our individuals worked on being safe by washing and sanitizing their hands. They had shown responsibility by helping with their routines and continue to focus on exercise and group activities. They had also shown respectfulness by informing staff when others needed help, and by using their words when they were frustrated.

By starting D-PBIS earlier than planned, we have provided an outlet for folks to nurture their potential with a positive outlook on the current crisis.”
Clare Penny, Devereux California Clinical Coordinator


“I am so grateful for the staff of Devereux Texas, not only for their bravery and dedication to the students during this pandemic, but also for the help given to my son while he was a client there. Even then, the staff of Devereux showed their strength, endurance and dedication to their students. My son was a client at League City during Hurricane Harvey.

Even then, I knew that Devereux staff were giving their all to the clients while their own homes were at risk. But the strength and stability they showed the kids during that traumatic time paid off my son came out stronger and whenever things seem hard we remind him, "You survived a hurricane, you can get through this!"

So, to all the nurses, teachers, therapists, doctors and employees of Devereux, I want to remind you, "You will survive COVID-19, you will come out stronger, and more importantly, the young lives and minds entrusted to your care will learn how to get through anything life throws at them because of you!"

Thank you for all that you do. Stay healthy and safe and strong!”

Joi, Devereux Texas parent


“We wanted to thank you and your team (at Devereux Arizona) for your work and efforts toward helping our daughter toward healing. We are looking forward to her homecoming and are optimistic going forward. We realize there will be challenges and trials in our future, but we’re very hopeful that what she has learned at Devereux will be a positive factor and will benefit greatly.”
Rick and Judy, Devereux Arizona parents


Devereux New York’s “Rainbow Initiative” is in full effect.

Individuals and staff are spreading good cheer on campus, and in our community homes, by painting rainbows and messages of hope, and posting them on windows. The goal is to show our colleagues and community supporters, “We are all in this together.”

Look below to view Devereux New York’s rainbow creations.


We’ve spoken with my son, often by phone, and have been pleased with how he seems to be managing with the excellent care and support from the Devereux staff. We’re very grateful to Ryan (staff member) for loaning my son his iPad to have occasional chats by Zoom. That has made an amazing difference!

(About a recent family meeting) “It was wonderful that we were all able to meet when we did. It gave me confidence to know how prepared Devereux was for what came so soon after. This time is certainly a stark reminder of what’s most important in life. Here’s to a thoughtful end of this crisis. May you all stay safe and well.”
Amy, Devereux California parent


Recently, a Devereux parent sent a note of thanks about an email her son received from Devereux Massachusetts/Rhode Island nurse Sara.

“Thank you for doing your best to lead during these crazy times. I think it’s really important to focus on positive things during anxiety-provoking times. Sara is that positive thing for us. She is always thorough, and so kind, but this email was above and beyond. She did not need to converse with my son about if he has chatted with us, nor did she have to delve into knowing how much we must miss him. Those little conversations, about these things, are GOLD. This whole thing has been very hard for us as a family. Knowing that my son is at a place where people care so much for his whole health makes a huge difference. I just want all of Sara's supervisors to know what a blessing she is, and what an incredible nurse and person she is. I’d also like to say how much I appreciate Chrystal’s (a case manager) availability and responsiveness to our concerns. She was thorough in her approach to answering our questions, and that's very reassuring for us.”
 Katie, Devereux Massachusetts/Rhode Island parent


“I would like to take the time to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Devereux New York Direct Support Professional Kristen. For the past four years, I have seen Kristen exhibit nothing but extreme care and compassion for the individuals in her care. In times of difficulty, Kristen helps provide a stable and caring environment. Whether she is providing comfort in moments of emotional distress, running my appointments or taking an interest in my education, Kristen exemplifies what a direct support professional should aspire to be.”
 Samantha, Devereux New York individual


Devereux New York is spreading positive spring vibes. Recently, our team members - and individuals enrolled in our residential program - painted flowers and other sunny images (later posted on our windows) to generate smiles and good cheer across campus.

In a note to Devereux New York staff member Michelle (who led the painting exercise), fellow colleague, Krista, wrote: “Thank you for being a source of happiness and stability for the individuals we serve - and bringing smiles to the faces of staff. You truly are a gift to the organization and we are lucky to have you. Thank you for coming to work each and every day and giving 100 percent. Stay healthy and keep being amazing!


"I am very impressed and appreciative of the dedication and good care that is being provided for my son by the staff at Devereux Pennsylvania – Adult Services. I know they really care about the guys, and are working very hard to keep them safe and engaged. They are truly fantastic.”
Marie, Devereux PennsylvaniaAdult Services parent


“Just got off the phone with (name here)’s mom and she was so grateful we are providing video therapy. She said (another nonprofit) told her they don't know when they will be able to see her other daughter for therapy, and she felt like they dropped the ball. Our client (name here) also really appreciated it. She was sad thinking she wouldn't be able to see me in person and got so excited knowing she could still see me on video, and maybe even get to meet my dog over the camera. Mom was beyond appreciative and just kept saying ‘Wow!’ So please know all of your hard work to make sure our families are being supported through this is such a HUGE deal. Sending all the virtual hugs your way as you work through all of this!”
Alison, Devereux Arizona team member


“I reached out to a group of staff at Devereux who were instrumental in helping my son through an emergency during this crisis. I wanted to know if they accepted deliveries, as (spouse) and I wanted to send a gift package to show our gratitude. The staff caught on as to what we were trying to do and simply said, ‘This is what we do for our children and adults at Devereux. We are here for (individual name here) and we will not accept any gifts, a thank you is all we need.’ Those words say it all.”
Lena, Devereux New York parent


“Thank you, and each and every staff member at Devereux! My heart aches that in this time of national, or should I say international, uncertainty and insecurity, the most important person in my life is away from me. In my heart and gut I believe my son is safer there with you than he would be here with me. How in the world did it happen that someone else could protect my child better than I could? I don’t even know how to fully process that, to be honest.​ I am so grateful to you and everyone there for your commitment to our children, and to doing everything you are able to keep them safe. Thank you for your stellar and regular communications and updates. What little sleep I’m getting really is because I know that, at this moment in this crisis, my son is safe, and that I can trust if that changes, I will be notified immediately. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to you and your team.”​
— Devereux CT – The Glenholme School parent


"I am a teacher at Devereux. I just wanted to express my gratitude for the way Devereux is handling this difficult time. Management could be draconian, using threats and warnings about losing our jobs if we don’t come to work, but instead, you are supporting us and offering incentives for doing things as simple as just coming to work. The way you are respecting your employees is doing a lot to reduce the stress we are all feeling. Thanks again and we appreciate you too."
Mike, Devereux Massachusetts team member


“We want to express our heartfelt appreciation for each of you during this unprecedented time. Thank you for lovingly, skillfully providing for our children/relatives, and the most vulnerable, with your unsurpassable care, quality, and expertise. This pandemic has triggered a lot of fear and anxiety for me with our children’s health conditions/concerns. (Individual #1 name here) was scheduled for ENT/GI procedures, which have been cancelled. And (individual #2 name here) being immunocompromised in the midst of COVID-19 is terrifying. UCLA was already in the process of coordinating her immune globulin infusions before the pandemic, but everything is delayed. All that to say, we are very sensitive to, and supportive of, your cautious, conservative position in minimizing exposure and promoting health for your clients, residents, staff and community. 

You have miraculously adapted and optimally protected everyone at Devereux. We have told our family, friends, and colleagues what a model of excellence y’all are. You have been on top of all the details and managing the situation like the best hospitals. Your tireless efforts, countless hours, reassuring family conversations, endless task force meetings, continuous corporate and community agency discussions, are obvious and fruitful.

Along with our fellow parents and families, we have the utmost confidence and overflowing gratitude in your executive team, leadership and staff at Devereux. We forever celebrate that God connected us to (individual #2 name here) at Devereux almost a year ago. And each of you played an instrumental role in making this MIRACLE happen! (Individual #1 name here) is now thriving in his new home, achieving his full potential and experiencing breakthrough beyond what we could have ever imagined. Be assured of our ongoing prayers for Health, Peace, Provision, and Protection upon you, your loved ones, and entire Devereux Family.”
Channing, Devereux California parent


Judy said she thinks Devereux’s response to the current crisis, “should be the gold standard for how it’s handled. I know that I can be a tough customer, so if I’m this happy then you guys must really be doing it right!”
Judy, Devereux CT – The Glenholme School parent 



Watch inspirational and educational videos below from Devereux team members.


The importance of being flexible
We can’t always change what’s happening around us, but we can change our perception and attitude toward what’s happening and, most importantly, how we use our energy to move forward. In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., offers the following tips to build emotional flexibility and resilience:

  • Laugh more: Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine. If you feel stressed, use laughter to relieve tension and increase your energy levels.
  • Ask for help: Don’t suffer in silence. If you feel overwhelmed or anxious, ask your child, spouse - or even a professional - for help.
  • Be open to new ideas: Don’t fight it - every new idea is an opportunity for growth. 

Poyner says, “Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned, or a better ‘you’ to be cultivated because you allowed yourself to be flexible.” 


Strengthening resilience through self-reflection
Self-reflection can help us process our thoughts and feelings, and strengthen our resilience. In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., suggests spending a few moments in self-reflection, and asking yourself the following questions:

  1. How am I feeling about (a topic)?
  2. Do I need to do anything differently?

Poyner says, “If you need to make some changes in your life, reflect upon them. If nothing changes, nothing is going to change.”


The importance of practicing empathy
Empathy is defined as the ability to recognize, understand and share the feelings of someone else.

In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., discusses the importance of putting yourself in another person’s shoes. Poyner suggests that, in your efforts to be empathetic, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is this person feeling?
  2. Have I ever felt this way?
  3. How would I want to be treated if I felt this way?

Poyner says, “Empathy doesn’t mean you have to agree with the person. You’re just trying to have a better understanding of how they are feeling.”


Make time for quiet
With many families working and learning from home, it may be challenging to find time for quiet in your day, let alone a quiet space to get things done.

In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., discusses the importance of pressing the pause button on life and making time - even if it’s just a few minutes - for quiet. Poyner explains that you can use that time for meditation or self-reflection. She says, “In those moments of quiet, just become closer to you. Make time to be still - and be you.”


Select a “family member of the week”
Strong, healthy relationships are key to building your resilience. In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., offers a strategy to strengthen relationships with family members while you may be physically apart. Poyner suggests selecting a “family member of the week,” and asking everyone else in your family to do something special for that person every day, such as send a letter in the mail or an electronic greeting card, or leave a small gift at his/her front door if you live nearby.

Poyner says, “If all goes well, keep going - keep choosing family members of the week. The selected family members may not know what’s going on, but hopefully, they will feel the love.”


Using music to practice self-control
Music has the power to reduce stress and anxiety, and promote feelings of well-being. In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., discusses the important role music plays in our lives, and shares how we can use music to regulate our emotions, thoughts and behaviors.

Poyner says, “There are so many ways we can use music to encourage ourselves, no matter where we are in this journey of life and how we’re feeling.”


The importance of morning rituals
The way you start your day can have a significant impact on how the rest of the day unfolds.

In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., explains the importance of morning rituals. Poyner suggests setting aside time each morning to do something that matters to you, such as writing in a journal; practicing mindfulness activities; or listening to music. She says by adding one or two rituals to your morning routine, you increase the chances that your day will be a good one.

The Devereux Center for Resilient Children wants to know how you are staying positive and resilient throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to participate in this brief survey to share your personal strategies for staying resilient.


Thank you to Devereux Texas front-line staff
Devereux Texas
team members recently demonstrated their gratitude for the courage, strength and resilience of their front-line colleagues in heartwarming video, which features staff holding signs saying, “Socially distant, never apart;” “We are in this together;” and “Sending you a social-distanced hug.”

The video, set to the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” also shows the steps team members are taking to stay safe and healthy by: 1) practicing social distancing; 2) wearing face masks; 3) washing hands and using hand sanitizer; and 4) disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

Look below to view the video honoring our Devereux Texas’ Healthcare Heroes.


Turning the ordinary into something extraordinary
Research shows resilience is “ordinary magic” - and can be learned.

In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., explains the importance of taking ordinary moments throughout the day, such as dinner time or a walk around the block, and making them extraordinary. Poyner says, “There are things you and I can start doing right now that may seem ordinary, but are rather extraordinary when you think about doing them with intention. Look for those ordinary moments and try to make them magical. I challenge you to see how many you can find each day.”


The importance of self-compassion
Self-compassion is key to building resilience.

In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., explains the importance of being kind and gentle with yourself, especially during these challenging times. Poyner says, “If your friend was having a tough moment, what would you say to him or her? I bet you would find a way to be kind, and that’s self-compassion: treating yourself like you would a good friend.”


Using humor to build resilience
Sometimes, humor is the best medicine. In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., explains how we can use humor to build and nurture our own resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Poyner says, “If you’re not ready to laugh, at least find something, or do something, that makes you smile. Keep going - we will get through this together.”


Thank you to our #HealthcareHeroes
Devereux Arizona team members expressed their deepest gratitude and appreciation for their front-line colleagues in a heartwarming and emotional video, which features letters of thanks and admiration, and photos of staff offering support.

Look below to read just a few of these inspirational messages from Devereux Arizona employees:

“Thank you for giving it your ALL every day! I am so proud and inspired by each of you.”
- Yvette Jackson, Devereux Arizona executive director 

“Your efforts and perseverance humble me. Every single day, you go out there and put our individuals some of the most vulnerable people in the state, first. You sacrifice so others can get the valuable care they need. To say you’re heroes is an understatement, a statement I will never stop believing in! From the bottom of my heart, I want to personally thank each and every one of you. I can’t wait to get back on campus, brief residential, kitchen, school or wherever you are, to tell you that in person!”
- Donovan Carman, Devereux Arizona director of finance

“Thank you for showing up every day during these extraordinary times; for caring for and supporting the individuals we serve as well as each other; and for performing your work with a continued commitment to service excellence! You are not only an inspiration, but are valued beyond all measure.”
- Mindy Green, Devereux Arizona learning program manager

Look below to view the video honoring our healthcare heroes.


We are #DevereuxStrong
Devereux Arizona’s clinical team is demonstrating resilience amid this pandemic in a healthy and inspiring way through dance. Wearing handmade face masks, the team recently performed a dance routine to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song,” and even included clinical interns who are working remotely through Zoom videoconferencing. 

Look below to watch a video of Devereux Arizona’s fun and uplifting team building dance.


Managing time more effectively
With many employees across the U.S. working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic some for the first time - they may be facing a new set of challenges, including how to manage their time most effectively.

In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., explains the Pomodoro Technique, a time management tool that uses a timer to break down work into intervals.


Doing something kind for someone else
As we take care of ourselves and our family during the COVID-19 public health crisis, we also should make an effort to do something kind for someone else. In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., discusses the importance of practicing altruism.


Nurturing social connections
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging all of us to practice social distancing, that does not mean we should compromise our social connections. Watch this video featuring Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., as she explains the importance of keeping in regular contact with friends and family during this crisis.


The importance of rules
In times of crisis, rules can help keep us safe. In this video, Devereux Center for Resilient Children Early Childhood Specialist and National Trainer Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., helps her 5-year-old daughter understand why her school was closed and her activities were canceled because of COVID-19.