Josefina Galvez has worked for Jay Nolan Community Services for over five years. Josephina has demonstrated her commitment to assuring that young people with disabilities have the same opportunities to live and play in their communities just like any other child. Josephina has a brother who experiences autism and she began her career in our Family Support Services Program providing support for her younger brother. Josephina’s role as a community facilitator requires that she provides the intensive supports that a family may require due to having a family member who regularly demonstrates significant challenges within the context of the family and community. Josephina was able to provide that for her brother and her family and she now shares the same passion and commitment for another child supported by Jay Nolan Community Services.

Jay Nolan Community Services believes that the key to supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is through developing relationships, which include trust, respect, dignity, and self-determination, Josephina applies all of these beliefs in her day to day interactions with the kids she supports.

Lauren is a young man who was isolated and not interested in being a part of the world. He spent his time by himself in his room. His family was very concerned. Josephina made the effort develop trust and rapport with Lauren. Slowly over time Lauren progressively began leaving his room. First to the porch, then to the curb, eventually walking around the block. Today Lauren with Josephina’s support is getting out in the world, he walks a couple of miles a day and has even made a friend that he met on one of his walks with Josephina.

Although a walk may seem like such a simple thing, these walks represent an improved quality of life for this young man. These walks have given hope for a future where there was none. These walks have inspired Lauren to consider a life outside of his room and that the world may not always be such a scary place.

Josephina’s dedication to individuals and their families is commendable and deserving of the recognition she is receiving today.

About Sunair Children's Foundation

Each year the Sunair Children's Foundation recognizes an employee of a non-profit organization for their dedication to a cause of children and young people, by presenting him or her with a $500 cash award known as "The La Rocca Award".

This annual recognition is made through the generosity of family and friends of the late Jacqueline W. La Rocca who for many years was a Chairperson of the Women's Division of the Sunair Home For Asthmatic Children and a member of the Board of Directors. It is our hope her keen interest in the cause of children will be remembered through this memorial tribute in her honor, and that this award raises the status of individuals who work with children and motivates talented people to remain in the field.

The candidates for the La Rocca Award shall: 1) have been employed with your organization for at least three years; 2) be at least 21 years of age; 3) be a hardworking and dedicated individual deserving of this recognition.