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Recognizing Our Employees

At Devereux, our employees are the heart of our organization and our most important asset. Every day, these skilled and selfless individuals strive to provide the best possible care and support for the children, adolescents and adults we serve. We honor our talented team members in various ways, including the following article series. Look below to view our latest “Healthcare Heroes”, “Servant Leadership Snapshot” and “Honoring Devereux’s Direct Care Team Members” features that shine a light on our passionate and compassionate staff.

Access a full list of features that recognize our extraordinary employees.


Healthcare Heroes

Lucas Cepeda

Lucas Cepeda, Devereux PA CARES Clinical Coordinator

Center/office location: Devereux Pennsylvania Center for Autism Research and Education Services (CARES) – Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Length of service: August 2009

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?

As clinical coordinator, my responsibilities include the development and supervision of clinical, research, employment training (for students) and transition services, as well as the development, training and monitoring of Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (D-PBIS) programmatic aspects for the individuals we serve. In addition, as a member of the CARES leadership team, I support the day-to-day operations, staff trainings and other projects intended to improve the quality of our school services.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is when our teams or the program produce relevant improvements in the quality of life of our students or contribute to any significant growth in our students. This could be learning a new skill, expanding their ability to trust or any other improvement in social behaviors, all of which results in expanding their ability to enjoy the world and/or their relationships with others. Another rewarding aspect of my job is when we can support staff in overcoming challenges, developing themselves professionally and/or making progress toward their professional goals.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

I’ve been given plenty of good advice over the years. Something that stuck with me recently came during a professional development meeting with Devereux Executive Director of Autism Services Todd Harris, and it relates closely with the following quote from a book by Daniel Kahneman: “The easiest way to increase your happiness is to control your use of time. Can you find more time to do the things you enjoy doing?” This advice serves as a helpful reminder for me when I’m not feeling satisfied with any aspect of my life.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?

Both personally and professionally, I try to anticipate other’s needs and look for solutions from a win-win lens. I see collaboration as necessary to maximize how we help others. I strive to create trusting relationships with my colleagues and balance their personal goals with our greater goals as much as possible when supporting decisions.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?

I joined Devereux in 2009, arriving from Argentina as an international employee. I’ve spent a good amount of my adult life here. Many of my colleagues have known me almost the entire time. They’ve seen me get married (I met my wife at Devereux), buy a house, have children and become a U.S. citizen, among many other things. There isn’t much they don’t know about me after all this time.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?

I would never identify myself as such. I can, however, state with great confidence that everything I do in our program is always with the best interest of our students, staff and program in mind. I think of everyone at CARES as an extension of my family, and I do my best to help them feel cared for and supported.

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Servant Leadership Snapshot

Jewel Lerums

Jewel Lerums, Program Coordinator

Center/office location: Devereux Pennsylvania Adult Services/Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Length of service: February 2022

How do you embed an inclusive, Servant Leadership mindset into your daily processes?

I strive to demonstrate humility, empathy and a commitment to serving others through my own actions and decisions. I continuously provide opportunities for staff to take on leadership roles, fostering an environment that encourages growth and development.

How do you inspire others to embrace Servant Leadership practices?

I empower my staff to take ownership of their roles, emphasizing the value of their contributions and creating an environment where everyone feels their work is appreciated.

Share an example or story of how you demonstrated compassion or delivered quality customer service at your center.

At the end of my shift, I observed a staff member from the day program experiencing car troubles. Recognizing her distress, I immediately empathized with her situation. Without hesitation, I drove up the hill to offer assistance, understanding the frustration and inconvenience that car issues can bring. I took the time to listen to her concerns and reassure her that help was on the way. Offering more than just a jump start, I provided a comforting presence and a willingness to support her beyond the immediate challenge.

By demonstrating empathy, I sought to not only resolve the technical issue, but also alleviate any emotional stress she may have been experiencing. This instance highlighted the importance of compassion in our workplace, reinforcing the idea that supporting one another goes beyond the routine tasks and fosters a positive and caring environment.

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Honoring Devereux’s Direct Care Team Members


Lindsey Esparza

Lindsey Esparza, LDCP
Devereux Arizona

“Lindsey is an education whisperer; she interacts and plans high interest educational activities for our youth. When she engages with students, she is aware of their interactions and ability to participate. She adjusts timing and activities to ensure all students are successful and involved in the learning.”
Theresa Leal-Holmes, Devereux Arizona bilingual special
education teacher


View More Team Member Testimonials