Published Friday, January 17, 2020

Each quarter WJCS honors four exceptional members of our staff with Employee Recognition Awards. In December, the four highly deserving staffers listed below were honored. As you read these brief summaries of their achievements, you’ll be able to see why they are so highly valued by WJCS.

Steve Kwizera has the job title of Data Analyst but analyzing data, which he does superbly, only captures a fraction of what he does. As part of the Netsmart implementation team, Steve works closely with the finance, technical, and clinical teams and has been instrumental in the transition to this new data system. He is always a team player, willing to go the extra mile to help someone, which frequently results in very high praise from WJCS doctors, clinic directors, support staff, and the finance team. Implementing the new data system has been extremely challenging, but Steve has responded with a cheerful attitude and excellent problem-solving skills. He throws himself into learning everything he can to full tackle problems while being remarkably calm, patient, and enthusiastic.

Grace Oshin, Digital Communication Coordinator in the Marketing Department, has helped build a library of powerful WJCS videos with her excellent videography and video editing skills. These videos are an invaluable marketing tool as they convey the compelling stories of our clients, expertise of our staff, and excitement of our Gala and other events. Hosted on our WJCS YouTube channel, the videos have been promoted across WJCS digital media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, wjcs.com, and our email marketing campaigns and also used, to great effect, as part of grant applications and at WJCS events, like holiday parties, the Gala, and the Annual Meeting. Grace’s talents, kindness, and calmness are in evidence every day as she multitasks numerous priorities, including producing brochures and flyers for dozens of WJCS programs, inputting content on wjcs.com, publishing social media posts, designing emails, taking and organizing photographs for marketing purposes, helping with the Annual Review, and much more.

Verona Poyser is a dedicated Direct Service Professional at the Gramatan Residence in Mt. Vernon. She is highly committed and caring to both the individuals we serve and to our agency as a whole. Verona consistently covers extra shifts when needed, whether due to a temporary low staffing situation or staff members who call out sick. She has been a great asset to us at Hudson Terrace, making certain to get to know the residents and their families. Verona works tirelessly, arranging varied and enjoyable recreational activities and understands the importance of keeping the routines of residents consistent and ensures that such is the case.  Verona is loved by the individuals and staff. 

Maura Recabo Rawlins, who has worked for the past five years as a Program Coordinator at Margaret’s Place at Peekskill Middle School, consistently demonstrates a deep commitment and high level skills as she implements the program mission of educating youth about violence prevention and helping students manage serious situations involving violence and trauma in their young lives. Whether her students are struggling with normative adolescent relationship development or serious trauma, she is able to guide them toward safety, better self-understanding, and healthier choices. Her Peer Leadership students are eager participants, often asking to join a year or more before they are eligible.

In addition to being valued by her seventh and eighth grade students and faculty colleagues, Maura has spoken about about our program at School District meetings, to WJCS donors and volunteers, and has extended programming to the local Youth Bureau and library system. She developed summer programming that linked literature, art projects and social-emotional learning to two age groups of children, delivering a total of 12 workshops to over 70 children at the local library last summer.


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