News & Events
Rising Ground honors Employee Excellence
On May 18, for the first time since 2019, we gathered together for our annual Employee Recognition Evening to recognize our incredible employees for their years of service and excellence of work. Eight individuals were honored with Employee Excellence Awards for their exceptional work performance, and they include:
Employee Excellence Award for Accountability
Youth Care Counselor, Residential Treatment Center,
Known for his boisterous voice on campus, Best lives up to his name with equal enthusiasm for motivating kids and coaching sports. Hands-on and empathetic, Gerald ensures no one is left behind and that everyone succeeds by working together.
Employee Excellence Award for Connection
Office Manager, Intimate Partner and Gender-Based Violence Services
A dedicated employee who never says no to a task, Rhonda makes it a point and finds every opportunity to collaborate with departments outside of her home unit, STEPs. A true team player, she’s respected for her flexibility, compassion, and hardworking attitude.
Employee Excellence Award for Tenacity
Housing and Community Resource Specialist, Family Foster Care
Marlene is always reliable to provide the clearest information when needed most to help both staff and families. Often described as “cooperative,” “knowledgeable,” and “resourceful,” Marlene knows what to do to accomplish the goals of getting necessary assistance to families for urgent housing.
Employee Excellence Award for Service
Clinician, Passage of Hope Unaccompanied Migrant Child Services (POH)
Lissa is adept at making life’s worst experiences a little easier to manage. She is known to connect and engage with those children experiencing the emotional challenges of familial separation. Her positive mood and determination to find new ways to serve define her sense of caring and her passion for her work.
Employee Excellence Award for Innovation
Speech Language Pathologist, Biondi School
A champion for children who always looks for different ways to engage her students. Caitlin is described by her colleagues as a “caring hard working team player, who is committed to change, and perfectly Quirky!”
Clinician, Biondi School
Always willing to go the distance, Debra perseveres through challenges with innovative solutions. Emotive words like “kind,” “caring,” and “driven,” are how she is observed working on behalf of the children at Biondi School.
Employee Excellence Award for Managerial Excellence
When Covid struck the organization, few people were as dedicated and as diligent as Lily, braving all elements, natural and pandemic, to get to the office to keep our workforce of more than 1,400 paid. Her personal values reflect everything our organization tries to accomplish every day: selflessness, dedication, and professionalism.
Employees of the Year
Assistant Manager, Pre-vocational Employment, IDD Services
Erika is wholly committed to our mission in supporting people with Intellectual & Development Disabilities. She has spent the last 5+ years in our work readiness program, before being recognized this year for her leadership and skills with a promotion to assistant manager. Erika’s person-supported focused work and leadership style are the embodiment of what employee excellence means, and the IDD department and Rising Ground are extremely fortunate to have her.
Youth Care Counselor, Bensonhurst Limited Secure Placement (LSP)
Martin sets the structure for the day with our scholars in our LSP program; although he receives pushback sometimes, he always maintains his cool and get the young men on track. Martin works in the school with the scholars and assists them when they are struggling, he always encourages the scholars to do their best and lets them know you can only do your best if you try.
Recognizing Years of Service
Perfecto Delgado, Jr.
Danielle Jean Baptiste