Staff and participants mourned the loss of Jeri Harrington, who died unexpectedly in January
Jeri Harrington was new to the Olean Center, joining the staff last Autumn. During an interview soon after her arrival Jeri said she was attracted to the Center for the opportunity it provided her to “make a difference.”
Jeri said she was tired of jobs where she “punched in and punched out” and felt that she had accomplished little in the bigger picture.
During that interview, and with a few months under her belt, Jeri said “It’s been very good, I really like what I’m doing. I love the participants and the people at the Center are wonderful. It’s really a kind, caring, supportive staff. They’re open to questions and helping you learn. It’s much different than coming in and then swiping a clock and leaving.”
Jeri’s career change didn’t exactly come out of the blue, however. Her grandson, 11, has a sensory disorder and he lived with her for a three-month period during which Jeri learned a great deal about these types of diagnoses. “We bonded and learned how to better get along and understand our actions,” she said.
At the Center, she worked with three participants in the Adult Program.
“Jeri was always willing to do anything to support our participants and was a wonderful help in her short time with us,” said Executive Director Ruth Tureckova. “She was outgoing and had a infectious smile and she made lots of friends here. We miss her dearly.”
Jeri said she had worked in retail and at one of the casinos for 20 years so the Olean Center was a completely different experience. “I wanted to make a change and be a helpful person and make a difference,” Jeri told us.
We know she made a difference! We will miss her good work, and her positive attitude. We send our sincere condolences to Jeri’s family and friends.