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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

James Abrokwah

James Abrokwah, Devereux California Program Manager

Center/office location: Devereux California – Goleta

Length of service: September 2022

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?

Since joining Devereux California, I have held multiple roles, from providing direct support to providing clinical case management for a residential and adult day program. Currently, I combine program management with clinical case management for a residential program. I am responsible for staff supervision and training, daily program operations, and ensuring a safe, therapeutic environment that is compliant with applicable laws. I lead the development, implementation and monitoring of treatment plans, and conduct relevant clinical assessments and interventions. I also lead Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (D-PBIS) implementation, advocate for each of the individuals I serve and collaborate with team members, families, agencies and other relevant stakeholders.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing a smile on the faces of the individuals I serve puts a smile on my face. I find it rewarding every time I notice happiness, progress, growth and positive change in the individuals in our care. It is also satisfying to be part of a team of highly motivated professionals who demonstrate similar levels of commitment and purpose with a common goal.

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

I try to be innovative, courageous and decisive in my quest to see positive change in the lives of our individuals. I value each person as an individual, respect their aspirations and seek to understand their potential and priorities. I endeavor to put my residents first by showing care and concern for their needs, and meeting each need the best I can. I also like to do the right thing and lead with moral authority. I am fortunate to work with team members who bring similar Servant Leadership qualities to our workplace.

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

I take an hour walk each day, rain or shine, in darkness or in daylight. Walking is the best medicine.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?

Heroism comes naturally when people find themselves in professions that are more of a calling than a job. I have been lucky to work in healthcare (mainly mental health) for more than a decade in a few roles, settings and countries. Regardless of the role, setting or country, the passion has been the same. Together, with my fellow Healthcare Heroes at Devereux California, we are making a difference by striving to put smiles on the faces of the individuals we serve, and by making their lives progressively better and safer than before to the best of our abilities.

View More Healthcare Heroes


Servant Leadership Snapshot

Gabriela Puente

Gabriela Puente, Lead Teacher

Center/office location: Devereux Texas/Victoria, Texas

Length of service: April 2021

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

As a teacher, I shape my classrooms into places of growth and learning, not only for our students, but also for our youth care professionals (YCPs). By prioritizing and putting others first, and treating people with respect and fairness, I provide a safe environment where our individuals can grow and develop ever-lasting life skills.

How do you inspire others to embrace Servant Leadership practices?

I inspire others to embrace Servant Leadership practices by leading by example, and by being respectful and kind, no matter the circumstances. I believe in the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. All can be accomplished if we serve each other with selflessness and love.

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

Throughout my journey with Devereux, there have been occasions in which I have been needed to take on extra duties. As a lead teacher, I gladly take on these additional responsibilities because I am there to serve our YCPs and all my team members in their time of need. In addition to serving, encouraging my team in and out of the classroom is part of my daily routine. This demonstrates compassion and quality customer service because my team knows that I am available at all times, and will always be on the sidelines cheering them on, saying, “Sí, se puede!” (Yes, it’s possible!)

View More Servant Leadership Snapshots


Honoring Devereux’s Direct Care Team Members


Taylor Powell

Taylor Powell, DSP
Devereux Georgia

“Taylor has been with Devereux Georgia for several years, and she is the epitome of a servant leader. She has an amazingly positive attitude and great rapport with all staff and individuals. Her infectious smile and upbeat personality bring a light to all those around her. Taylor’s personal mission is to treat others with respect and kindness in an effort to foster a safe and positive environment. She’s tremendously instrumental in daily milieu operations, fulfilling roles on every shift and unit and providing support to supervisors. Taylor is a leader among her peers, and it is such a pleasure working with her.”
Melanie Washington, Devereux Georgia direct care
team member


View More Team Member Testimonials