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Expanding the Liberty ARC Family

Do you have a valentine this year? Here at Liberty ARC, we have SIX!

…six members of the Valentine family, that is.

Jovan Valentine, who’s been working at Liberty ARC since 2013, has encouraged five of his siblings to join the Liberty ARC “family.”

“I just loved working here and my family could see that I loved it,” Jovan said. “So I told them to apply to Liberty ARC too, because I knew they’d love it just as much as I do.”

Jovan started working as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) and knew right away that he wanted to advance his career. After two years of working as a DSP in the same residential home, he became an assistant manager in a different home.

He was working as an assistant manager up until last November when he was offered a manager position.

“I had great leaders around me,” he said. “They influenced me all the time and helped mentor me so that I could get to the manager position I wanted. They knew I wanted to move up in my career and they helped me.”

Jovan said he’s had many great and inspiring highlights in his career here at Liberty ARC, but a select few come to mind.

“My biggest highlights here would have to be getting my family into this rewarding career,” he said. “I knew they’d love it like me. I also really enjoy forming all of the relationships I have with the individuals we support and the staff who work here, and I’ve just enjoyed growing with this agency in general.”

Jovan’s brother, Roberto Rivera, started working as a DSP in 2017. He said his job is very fulfilling and, daily, is a great experience.

“I worked in a similar field in Puerto Rico, so when Jovan talked about work I thought I should give it a shot here,” Roberto said. “I’m glad I did, because I love it here. This is a very satisfying job and I get to  work with the same individuals Jovan did; they remember him doing a great job, so they trusted that I’d do the same.”

Roberto’s wife, Elsig Velez Garcia, recently became a DSP at Liberty ARC as well. She’s currently in her third week of staff training but she already knows she’ll love the job.

“My mother and father are teachers in Puerto Rico, and my dad is a special education teacher,” Elsig said, “he influenced me to get into this field and I love it.”

Jovan’s sisters, Evita and Hidania Valentine started working at the same time for Liberty ARC in 2015. Evita started as a fulltime DSP and immediately fell in love with her position.

“I just love my job, there isn’t anything else to say,” she said. “We all love our jobs, and it’s obvious because when we get together we all end up talking about work; it’s hard not talking about Liberty ARC in our family.”

Hidania started her position as a floater DSP but really wanted to work with the individuals in the Helping Hands program, so she specifically applied there.

“I loved how they helped with community service and I wanted to be a part of it,” she said. “I love the people I support and what we do in the community – I just love everything about this position.”

Jovan’s sister, Aida Roman, started working at Liberty ARC in 2015 after Jovan told her she’d be perfect for the position.

“I knew I wanted to work in the health field, helping and supporting people, so Jovan said working as a DSP at Liberty ARC would be perfect for me,” she said. “I love the people I work with – they make me happy. And if it wasn’t for Jovan’s suggestion, I wouldn’t have started working here and then the rest of us might not be working here either. Seeing how happy Jovan was here influenced me to start…and then it was a chain reaction.”

The siblings said they bring some of the individuals they’ve known for a while to family birthday parties and other events.

“It’s like they join our family when they come over,” Jovan said. “And all of us have joined their family by joining the Liberty ARC family.”