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Remembering Jennifer Woods

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In 2015, we lost an amazing member of the New Avenues family, Jennifer Woods. For over 30 years, Jennifer brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to New Avenues and the individuals we serve. Her strength and leadership skills gave peace to individuals, quietly reassuring them of the opportunities that lay ahead.

In 1993, Jennifer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For some people, this diagnosis may have ended a career, but Jennifer continued to work. She was the epitome of how to accept the challenge of achieving despite having a disabling condition that requires one to “…find a better way…” which she truly has done over the years. Even when her illness caused her physical absence from the home, her presence was still felt. Her daily calls to stay abreast of individual needs and instructions to staff make her home an example to other group homes. She was a role model for individuals served and staff who wish to follow her lead.

Throughout the years, staff has described Jennifer as a “beautiful personality”, “fair and just as a manager,” and “a great listener.” Daryl Weiland, our Program Director, shared “I have been proud to work with such a dedicated and competent supervisor and her personal and professional growth has been phenomenal, despite her own personal disability.” Staff have also recognized that the individuals experience growth under her supervision. Because of these assets, Jennifer received numerous New Avenues “Employee of the Month” nominations and awards. She also has volunteered for New Avenues at fundraising events, again evidencing her commitment to individuals with disabilities.

She will be missed by everyone whose life she touched.