Archives: Family Stories

Brian Lyman

By Chris Lyman and Nancy Ensor Growing up with 10 brothers and sisters made us a tight-knit family. Brian is the youngest sibling, and we all looked out for him. Our family moved to Maryland, and Brian saw his older siblings get married and build our own lives. He wanted his own home too. Brian’s not a big talker but… Read More »

Jason Howlin

By Cindy Burroughs* You will dream new dreams. Those were the first words to resonate with me after my son Jason was diagnosed with autism at 15 months old. It would be close to 22 years after Jason was born before I could really start seeing my new dreams for Jason come true.  That was when Jubilee made that magical… Read More »

Enrique Bryce

Enrique connected with Jubilee through our Breaking Barriers program, which works to expand access to disability services to Hispanic and Asian communities.  Enrique’s mom, Blanca Maldonado, has struggled over the years to access needed support for him.  “Since Enrique began with Jubilee, he has been able to have a more active life after work. He goes to the gym to swim and exercise, visits… Read More »

Davin Golder

“Davin’s always been really independent,” said mom Rhonda Golder. “He joined the church choir on his own when he was younger. He loves to sing and the guys in the choir treat him as one of their own.” Davin now lives independently with two housemates, and Jubilee direct support staff assist with daily living – including driving him to choir… Read More »

Max Poznerzon

I was born in Germany in 1948, and I was a “blue baby”. I needed oxygen. The hospital didn’t give it to me. It caused permanent brain damage and mental health issues. We moved to America for a better life when I was a kid. It wasn’t easy being me when I was young. After high school I lived in… Read More »

Olalekan (Sho) Shobowale

I’ve grown as a direct support professional since I joined Jubilee in 2017. I’m excited to keep learning. I’m a graduate of Jubilee’s DSP II program that teaches advanced job skills. When Jubilee first approached me about the One Job program, I wasn’t sure about putting all my eggs in one basket. In addition to Jubilee, I was working as… Read More »

Kirsten Davidson

I’ve always liked to be independent and keep busy. I can’t see, but I don’t let that slow me down. I’ve been with Jubilee for more than 15 years. I live in a great house with my friend Michaelis. Odunayo from Jubilee lives with us and helps me be on my own. For 29 years I worked at the U.S.… Read More »

Melissa Cory

As told by Jubilee Program Manager Mary Amoji-Ogar When I met Melissa fear and anxiety had taken over her life. She had a phobia about falling that led her to stop walking completely. Even using a wheelchair frightened her. She would crawl from place to place in the house. It was heartbreaking. We wanted to help her get back to… Read More »

Joyce Sampson and Molly Corti

I’ve been a champion for people with developmental disabilities ever since my own son was born with a disability. Joining Jubilee as a direct support professional matched my passion. I’m a big advocate for people doing exceptional things. Molly and I talked about her goals, and how I can help her achieve them. Molly shared that she wanted a volunteer… Read More »

Ben Apt and Steve Brent

As shared by Ben Apt. Featured right to left in photo with Steve Brent. I was looking to do something meaningful when I moved to D.C. after law school. A friend connected me with Jubilee about volunteer opportunities. It was a natural fit for me. My first job out of college was at a group home for men with developmental… Read More »

Margaret Welch

As told by Jubilee’s Aviva Bensimon I met Margaret when she was 35. “What’s your dream,” I asked Margaret. “Let me help take you there.” She said she wanted her own place. A key to her own mailbox. Privacy. Purpose. A job. A place to go. People to meet. We set out to make her dreams come true. Together we… Read More »

Eli Lewis

“We were always told, the best thing we could do for Eli is help him live on his own by 25,” confided mom Mary Ann. “So our family always had that as our goal, and it was what he wanted.” At the family home, there’s a poster with goals to achieve for independent living. “It’s a big transition. Getting services… Read More »

James and Margie Billian

James’ mom Margie shares how he found his “golden moment” with Jubilee I knew right away something wasn’t right. My beautiful new baby just didn’t behave like most babies do. And he never, ever slept through the night. But oh, we loved him so! School was hard for James. When he needed help, he got punished and labeled as a… Read More »

Candace Talley

Before joining Jubilee, Candace lived with her grandma. She really liked living with her, but grandma got sick and she couldn’t live with her anymore. Her aunt helped her connect with Jubilee, so that Candace could have more independence but still be supported in her day to day life. Candace is nuts about her roommate Pat because they both like… Read More »

The Pellegrino Family

Frank and Francesca always believed in a bright and inclusive future for their beloved son Alex. In the early years their vision for Alex focused on education and socialization. As he matured into a young man that vision grew to include housing and employment. They needed support to achieve Alex’s desire to have his own apartment now and into the… Read More »

Brandon Bell

“I’m a people person,” Brandon Bell admits happily with a bright smile on his face and laughter bubbling up right behind. “When I first met Brian, David and Jerry, I felt like we would connect and it would all work out.” Five years later, the four men are a tight unit, sharing meals together, talking late into the night, and… Read More »

David Mahler

“David is following his dream here. We’re just really grateful to Jubilee.” – Chess Campbell, Grandmother

Mary Amoji-Ogar

“When I started working at Jubilee’s St. Peter’s house, I felt love pouring out to me unconditionally from the women who lived there and the other staff. My time there as a residential counselor truly started me on my journey in this field,” says Mary about her early days at Jubilee. Over time, Mary rose from a part-time on-call staffer… Read More »

Stanley and Debbie Roth

Stanley found Jubilee’s request for virtual volunteers on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center website. He and his mom Debbie brainstormed the idea of a weekly virtual sign language class for Jubilee. They taught the alphabet, proper names and how to ask questions. “It’s been very rewarding,” says Stanley. “It’s great to see how eager everyone is to learn. It’s something… Read More »

The MaryKnights and Knights of Columbus, Fr. Rosensteel Council

The Maryknights, along with the local Knights of Columbus, Fr. Rosensteel Council are longstanding Jubilee friends and volunteers. They have strong relationships at St. John’s House and plant flowers, cut the grass and cook dinners. “St. John’s House is close to our hearts and our parish,” says Maryknights president Margie Cuff. The Maryknights helped support Jubilee during the pandemic with… Read More »