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A busy first year for Josette Sobers with big plans on the horizon

The Olean Center staff’s strong commitment to supporting those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities is a big part of what drew Josette Sobers here one year ago when she was hired as Director of Community Partnerships. 


With more than 15 years of experience in the field, Josette knew what to look for in her colleagues. Her positive impression has been validated over the past year. 


“The teamwork at the Olean Center has been wonderful. You never have to face a challenge alone. Everyone wants to help and find a solution,” Josette said when asked to reflect on her time at the Center. 


And her previous attraction to the community in general has been reinforced over months of outreach. 


“It has been great meeting families, individuals we support, and the local business community at various functions, including the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours events,” she said. 


Outreach is part of Josette’s role, and she is working on two fronts in that regard: bringing in additional staff and individuals served, and pursuing more opportunities for inclusion with businesses, organizations and the community in general. 


Josette’s primary responsibilities are working with participants in the Shared Living Arrangements program, Vocational Services, and those transitioning from Children’s Services to Adult Service programs 


Josette admits to being particularly passionate about a few specific areas of her work. “I really enjoy helping youth transition into adult programs, and also preparing our participants who have never held a job to learn those skills and become more independent,” she said.   


As for the future, Josette has some significant goals. 


“We have such a great team here and I want to continue to grow our base of participants and expand our programs.  Quality is, and has to be, our highest priority. I also want to start a Job Ready Boot Camp for youth. Increasing our Shared Living program, so we can bring our services to more individuals across Rhode Island, is also very important to me and the Olean Center.” 


All in all, it’s been a productive and encouraging year for Josette. 


“I want to continue to help build a solid and confident team who empower the population we serve.” 

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