Success Stories

We do our best to identify annual stand-outs, and in an unprecedented year, doing this was more difficult than in the past.  During the pandemic, all of our clients have had to push beyond their comfort zones to stay employed.  This year, we announced Cindi  Palermo (pictured left) as Employee of the Year at our recent virtual Annual Anniversary Celebration on November 10th

Cindi was recognized for her excellent work ethic and job performance at Target in White Plains where she has worked for the past 17 years.  Cindi has done an exceptional job at adjusting to new job tasks as a result of the pandemic. According to her managers and co-workers, Cindi is an outstanding employee who works hard, has a positive attitude, takes store policies seriously and greets every customer with her warm smile.  Cindi has always worked in the fitting room, and rumor has it that she is a strict enforcer of the rules that limit the number of garments allowed per customer.  But during the pandemic, the fitting rooms were closed, and she was unable to perform her usual job. Despite this, Cindi remained agreeable and willing to do anything and everything her employer asked of her. She even rearranged her schedule so that she could help out in different departments as needed.  Cindi learned to wear many hats during these stressful times, and we are very proud of her for all that she has achieved.


CAREERS client, Michael Werner (pictured left), has been working at ShopRite in Peekskill for 12 years. At the start of the pandemic, ShopRite, like most grocery stores, cut back on staff, and Michael was laid off from his position as a bagger.  Shortly thereafter, ShopRite eliminated baggers all together as a safety precaution, so Michael’s Employment Specialist began to focus on teaching him other skills that would help him get back to work. This included learning how to process returned grocery items by putting improperly shelved or randomly placed items back where they belong.  These new skills made Michael more employable and, while Michael is happy to return to bagging (he likes helping customers with their groceries and the social interaction), he can now handle other tasks if/when needed.  





Giavanna Cilento a Personal Achievement Award in recognition of her recent promotion to Recess Monitor at Over the Rainbow Child Care.  Giavanna is diligent and creative, especially when it comes to thinking of new, fun and engaging games and activities for the children she works with.  She also continued working throughout the pandemic and her employer is grateful for her dedication.








Cynthia Anderson has been with CAREERS for over 14 years and currently works in the deli at Stop and Shop, where she is celebrating her fourth anniversary.  At our recent Anniversary Celebration, we were happy to provide Cynthia with the Most Improved Award for being more diligent about getting to work on time — a commute for which she travels over an hour each way 4 days a week.  For a variety of reasons, arriving to work on time has been a challenge, but Cynthia has shown terrific growth in managing her situation.  Also, Cynthia strictly follows all rules and procedures at her job and has been working throughout the entire pandemic.  She does whatever is asked of her without issue, and she is a great team player.





Students from New Rochelle High School visited Monkey Pod Games in Mamaroneck, where owner Gilad Levy (third from right) showed them how the business operated, and conducted mock interviews with the students, providing valuable feedback as a potential employer. Kevin Rodriguez (second from right) used what he learned to secure a position with a City of New Rochelle program called Envirolutions.

Students from New Rochelle High School visited Monkey Pod Games in Mamaroneck, where owner Gilad Levy (third from right) showed them how the business operated, and conducted mock interviews with the students, providing valuable feedback as a potential employer. Kevin Rodriguez (second from right) used what he learned to secure a position with a City of New Rochelle program called Envirolutions.

Kevin, (pictured second from right) is a student at New Rochelle High who participates in our Education and Employment Initiative. Pleasant and motivated, Kevin wants to work as an electrician’s assistant. He had some experience with a local company and had taken a relevant BOCES course, but his work ethic was spotty at best, and he lacked some of the interpersonal and professional skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

CAREERS Employment Specialist, Damon Ragin (pictured far left), job coached Kevin during his internship at Montefiore Medical Center in learning how to manage his time, prioritize and multitask, as well as how to effectively communicate with employers and co-workers.

With Damon’s advocacy, Kevin was selected to participate in an intensive training course which provides hands-on experience as part of the City of New Rochelle’s Envirolutions program, which encourages residents to work on city construction projects. Completing the 6-week course will prepare Kevin to take the test to be an electrician’s assistant, with the opportunity to work for the City of New Rochelle.


USE-Cristina LopezCristina (pictured left, and third from left above) also from New Rochelle High, tried a variety of jobs during her internship at Montefiore Medical Center, including clerical, Adult Day Care, Environmental Services and the Nutrition office. During her second year, Cristina showed an interest and aptitude for office work, and she interned in Montefiore’s walk-in clinic as a file clerk. She would also complete hospital surveys with patients in the waiting area.

Building on her organizational and customer service skills, her CAREERS Employment Specialist, Damon, found Cristina a position at Goodwill Industries. She enjoys her job, including tagging clothes to be placed in the store for sale. Independent and anxious to learn all the aspects of her work, Cristina’s supervisor Rita has already recognized Cristina’s attention to detail and plans to train her to work on the floor as a customer associate. Her Employment Specialist, Damon, will continue to provide follow-along support to Cristina in this new paid position for as long as Cristina needs the extra assistance.


VinnyVinnie – After 18 years at D’Agostino’s Market in Rye Brook,  Vinny came to work one day to discover the store was slated to close. A steady, reliable and enthusiastic worker, he wasn’t sure what would happen next — but he knew where to turn for help.

Vinny has been a CAREERS client for close to 20 years, and his Employment Specialist stepped in immediately to assist him with the final days of his long-time position.  Knowing Vinny’s strengths and interests, our staff also helped him find, and make the transition to, a similar job at Stop and Shop in Port Chester.

With the new job came new challenges, but with Vinny’s  experience and the guidance of his Employment Specialist, he was able to master his new routine, as well as adjust to new financial considerations and changes in transportation and scheduling.

Vinny’s new co-workers and management are pleased to have his experience and work ethic, and Vinny is thrilled to be back as part of a team!


Peter Marshall UsePeter had tried a number of different jobs with limited success. His diagnosis makes social interactions difficult, making the process of finding a job and discussing his abilities with a potential employer hard for him to do on his own.

With the assistance of his CAREERS’ Employment Specialist, Peter began to learn the soft skills that would help him remain employed. His Job Coach found him a part time position at S & H uniforms, where he works autonomously cutting out uniform patterns.

Although he enjoyed the job, he wanted to be more financially secure, so our staff visited an auto dealership next door to S & H Uniforms. We worked out a position with the dealership and helped Peter to secure this second part-time job as an auto detailer. The proximity of the two jobs makes it easy for Peter to be successfully employed at both locations, and he is appreciated at both job sites as a hard worker! With the advocacy of his CAREERS Employment Specialist, Peter’s life has changed dramatically – he is doing a great job at both locations, is enjoying his work and his newfound financial security.

KatherineKatherine doing hair was a participant in our Project Search program in conjunction with New Rochelle High School. When she entered the program, she struggled with issues from self-esteem to budgeting. With the help of our Employment Specialist, Katherine learned critical thinking and time management skills, as well as the job readiness skills needed to find a position suited to her interests. She tried a variety of internships, including the salon at United Hebrew Geriatric Center.

We also referred Katherine to speech therapy services to assist her with stuttering, and helped her to access services that she will need in the future. She gained the self-confidence to self-advocate and is no longer reliant on her mother as her legal guardian. With CAREERS assistance, Katherine secured a part-time job as a Home Health Aide, and is enjoying her newfound self-reliance.