In our words: A spotlight on Western Mass. adult services staff


My name is Janette Winterle and I am a Program Coordinator for Western Massachusetts Adult Services and a member of the D&I Council. I have worked for six years in various adult service programs at May Institute. Over the last three years, I was a program coordinator in a mainly Spanish-speaking home in Western Mass. This year, I was assigned to coordinate another program, leaving my comfort zone.

When I started at this program, I noticed something that I had not seen in other programs where I had worked; the staff have been working together for a very long time. They have been with the program for more than 15 years. I was curious about what motivated them to work at May for so many years.

Here is what they shared:

“My work is my passion, my heart. I love to provide care, help, and offer security to others. May Institute has given me the opportunity to have a great working environment for 16 years. Working here gives me joy.” —Michaelle Joseph

“I love to work 1-1 with (individual served). I have been working with him more than 10 years.”—Marcia Scott (19 years)

“We enjoy working with the individuals because we are so engaged in their daily living, they are our world.” —Dorina Pearson (20-year tenure), Viola Martin (20 years), and Jeanette Moore (18 years)

“I love to work with people with special needs. This makes me happy. The individuals that I serve have brought so much joy in my life during these 20 years working for the May.” —Carmelita Reid

What also captured my attention was the diversity of cultures, languages and customs including clothing, beliefs, and meals. The mix of my colleagues’ values has been beneficial in creating a harmonious atmosphere for the individuals we serve and for new employees. Staff are always in great spirits and work as a team to provide quality care.

My program is one of the most diverse sites where I have ever worked, with staff from countries in the Caribbean and Africa, and places in the USA. I hope that this article will inspire others to write and share how diversity and inclusion are positive factors in their work environment.

Read more stories from this issue of May's Diversity@Work Newsletter.