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Summer 2020 Newsletter

Fall 2021 Newsletter | Summer 2021 Newsletter | Spring 2021 Newsletter
Winter 2021 Newsletter | Fall 2020 Newsletter | Summer 2020 Newsletter

Checking in with Servant Leadership

“Servant Leadership is a philosophical value, which our entire organization has embraced for the benefit of all employees at Devereux,”   Amy M. Evans, MFT, LPCC, Devereux California executive director

During our last fiscal year, Supported Living Services (SLS) Program Coordinator Rexia Tabin helped keep us focused on our Servant Leadership goals as Devereux California’s Servant Leadership Champion-in-Training,. Rexia will turn the baton over to Claudia Berumen, SLS program administrator, for our current fiscal year that began July 1, 2020. Both Rexia and Claudia are enthusiastic about setting new parameters for employee excellence through relationship-building, inter-program cooperation, rigor, accountability and selfless service for those in our care.

Claudia will be guided by Assistant Program Director Jennifer Farley who, in addition to her many clinical duties, volunteered to be Devereux California’s new Servant Leader Champion for fiscal year 2021. In this role, she will be responsible for helping facilitate learning and practice in the overall Servant Leadership process. Jenn is looking forward to stewarding new Servant Leadership ideas and keeping us on track with maintaining best practices in Servant Leadership. Go Jenn!

Servant Leadership is the cornerstone of Devereux it is a mutual partnering between staff, leadership, families and funders that demonstrates an unwavering commitment to putting others first, positive approaches, moral authority, compassion and quality. Every day, the Devereux California team responds to work and service challenges and opportunities through the lens of the dynamic philosophy of Servant Leadership. As ever-improving servant leaders, we allow ourselves maximum responsiveness to the ever-changing needs and aspirations of the individuals we serve.

Some descriptions of our monthly nominees for Servant Leader recognition include:

“Going above and beyond for our clients …”

“Always showing initiative in working with our clients …”

“Ensuring the people we serve are getting the proper care they need.”

“Always putting our clients first …”

“Highly adept at compassionate collaboration, bringing an ideal blend of emotional intelligence and attention to the workplace …”

“Excels as a compassionate collaborator; her knowledge and professionalism are a tremendous asset to both peers and clients.”

The Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership are: 1) Person of Character 2) Puts People First 3) Skilled Communicator 4) Compassionate Collaborator 5) Foresight 6) Systems Thinker 7) Moral Authority. Learn more about Devereux’s Servant Leadership initiative.

“We are all so proud of our direct care staff, supervisors, administrators, case workers, coordinators, managers and directors! They exemplify what it means to be a dedicated human service professional of the best kind!”  Veronica Arenas-Soto, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Devereux California director of People Operations

Devereux Players - A New Theater Experience for Our Individuals  

Devereux California players rehearsing “A Wolf in Las Vegas” 

The inception of the play: “A Lone Wolf in Las Vegas”
By John (Crisman) Cooley, direct support professional, Devereux California Weisman Center

What attracted me to work for Devereux California when I joined the organization in 2019 was the mission: Unlocking Human Potential. This core value was the lynchpin for me!

My mission for myself as a writer, father of two daughters, and as a leader in my family theatre camp and dance communities is very similar. From my experiences, I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of theatre in giving people access to transform themselves by playing a character, other than themselves, via live performance. Theatrical production involves pure play, but also serves a critical function of allowing personal freedom to be who you want without the risk of committing to changing oneself permanently. Therefore, during my first interview at Devereux California, I declared that I wanted to produce a play for residents. Now, it’s actually happening!

My process: In our first meeting, I asked our actors to tell me who, or what they wanted to be. That could be almost anything: a person, ghost, bird or tree wherever their imagination took them. Once residents selected their character, I asked them to give that character a name. Then, I asked them to tell me: How does this character walk? How do they talk? What are some of the character’s dreams, desires, problems and obstacles? Then, I added a few follow-up questions: Do you want to speak lines? None, a few or a lot?

Once I gathered this information, I began writing the play “A Lone Wolf in Los Vegas” for our new actors! I asked myself: Where would these characters be? How would they come into conflict? Sometimes, I asked our individuals more questions about their characters and roles. When the script was finished, I began to rehearse our players. We continued, as a group, rewriting the script during rehearsal.

Naturally, there were some challenges I had never encountered. Some of our residents are not able to read, or read at remedial levels. I worked to overcome these obstacles by using a rote “Repeat after me” learning method. This approach seemed like a natural way to teach and learn, and our individuals picked up on it well. Some of our residents also have physical limitations, and I knew I needed to accommodate for them by adjusting actions in the play. In addition, the pandemic required special precautions and social distancing protocols. Finally, there were the logistics of gathering everyone at the same time for rehearsals, keeping in mind personal schedules for other activities.

What I noticed consistently is that everyone, without exception, was having fun! The only concern I have received to date is, “I don’t have enough lines!”

All of our residents show up joyfully for rehearsals and seem uplifted by this theatrical experience. If I needed proof that we are on the right track, this joy would be that proof.

“A Wolf in Las Vegas” is scheduled for a debut performance in fall 2020.

Devereux California Amazon Smile campaign wrap-up

We would like to thank the following individuals for their generous support of our 2020 COVID-19 recreation campaign: 

  • Anonymous
  • Maureen Keane
  • Theresa Laurabee
  • Victoria H. Selesnick
  • Meagan Tambini 

Their gifts serve as therapeutic enhancements that augment Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), as well as person-centered planning and implementation (PCPI) at Devereux California. Recreation supplies work in tandem with evidence-based platforms designed to improve outcomes and success of the individuals we serve, regardless of external challenges such as COVID-19. Recreation items also support our ability to adapt care while keeping our individuals safe and engaged indoors, or with one-to-one outdoor interaction with Devereux California staff.

Julia enjoying her bumper bubble.

Laura taking a break from her art project activities.

Development Roundup

Devereux California is pleased to announce receipt of the following 2020 grants:

  • Sensory tools and equipment: Chumash Band of Indians Foundation - $2,500
  • California Wellness Program of exercise and health: The Towbes Foundation - $5,000; The Santa Barbara Foundation Senior Programs - $2,500 
  • General support: The Williams-Corbett Foundation - $10,00; Union Bank - $1,000
  • Emergency supplies and equipment: The Santa Barbara Foundation Roundtable of Foundations - $5,000 
  • Person-centered planning: California Department of Developmental Disabilities - $65,000

We also would like to acknowledge the following individuals and local business for their outstanding gifts-in-kind support and Amazon Smile campaign support:

  • Anonymous 
  • Janet and Edward Chen 
  • Lori Clayton 
  • Albert Covarrubias 
  • David Echols 
  • Letitia Harper 
  • Maureen Keane 
  • Linda Kendall 
  • Kyle’s Kitchen 
  • Theresa Laurabee 
  • Victoria H. Selesnick 
  • Sophie Spier 
  • Meagan Tambini 
  • Bob and Diane Wagner

We also would like to thank the following individuals for their assistance with donations of handmade Personal Protective Equipment and donations for our #WeAreEssential campaign:

  • Adrian Hayne 
  •  Alston Hayne, Jr. 
  • Susan Hopkins 
  •  Pierre J. Nicolas Trust/Susan James 
  •  Arlene Norcutt 
  • Amy Papazian

We would also like to acknowledge our Spring 2020 general donors:

  • Mary Abbott 
  • Richard Bihn 
  • Byron Blanco 
  • Janet & Ed Chen 
  • Denbury Resources, Inc. 
  • Anne L. Desmond 
  • Terry Falberg/Kareena Hamilton 
  • Goleta Lions Club 
  • Virginia & Paul Hernadi 
  • Maureen Keane 
  • Theresa Rutledge 

Devereux Family Day Canceled

Devereux California would like to acknowledge and thank the following small businesses who graciously provided discount contracts and postponement without penalty for our Devereux Family Day festivities:

  • Scott Topper Productions - DJ and event audio/visual services
  • Country Catering - delicious food prepared for our local events
  • Ventura Rentals - tents, tables, and specialty items for any event

Fall 2021 Newsletter | Summer 2021 Newsletter | Spring 2021 Newsletter
Winter 2021 Newsletter | Fall 2020 Newsletter | Summer 2020 Newsletter