An Employee

My Name is Carl, I have known Kamelia for over 6 years. I just thought something had to be said about her, because we all now she doesn't like recognition. I don't have enough room to tell you how AMAZING she is. All I can say is that she is the best MENTOR, LEADER, BUSINESS WOMAN, DISCIPLINARY, and of course MOTHER. I have had the pleasure of learning from her throughout the years. I could not ask for a better person to help me understand, learn, believe in myself, and advance myself in this world.


Testimonial #1

For the past 18 months, our family has been receiving services from Friends of Cyrus (FOC) in our home for my son, Phillip 17 yrs old. I was a little worried when DDD decided to transition us into the CPEP program, but my fears were soon laid to rest when I met Kamelia for the first time. She was so warm, open, and approachable. I knew right away that I had met someone who truly understood the help we needed. And she couldn't have made a better choice for us than the team of Donna Simon, and Michael Tunick. Both Phillip and I connected with Donna and Michael right away. Any fears I had were gone. They are both very professional, but at the same time, their relationships with us have grown to feel like extended members of our family. This is such an incredibly important thing in the type of work they do being in someone's home. As I've said to them both, they see it all; the good, the bad, and everything in between…all the vulnerability including some life changing events in our family with various ongoing medical issues, threat of job loss, and the passing of my sister (Phillip's Aunt) who lived with us, all in the past 18 months.

Donna brings an abundance of professional experience, knowledge, and expertise; and yet does it in such a personal, caring, and compassionate way. She is one of the most positive individuals I have ever met. Any new challenge that comes up is met with a positive attitude and the three of us communicate and setup a plan to target the current behavioral issue. The communication is fantastic and they both treat me with incredible respect as Phillip's Mother. Children with developmental challenges are actually more in tune with people than most of us. They know when someone is genuine. And I know that Phillip sees this in both Michael and Donna. That is something that can only come from their hearts.

Michael is with us day to day, and I could fill several pages with all the good things about this wonderful young man. He bonded with Phillip almost immediately. He is so in tune with Phillip and me, and has the most extraordinary instincts I have ever seen. As a parent, you know when someone understands your child and makes decisions that are right on target for what your child needs – often without my having to say a word. Michael is consistent on a daily basis always guiding and encouraging Phillip. He believes in him and knows that Phillip can achieve amazing things.

Michael is caring, considerate, empathetic, fun, light-hearted, intelligent, thoughtful, attentive, patient, and understanding. He is strong, confident, grounded, and mature so far beyond his years. He has high morals and is a complete gentleman. He knows when to be firm and assertive, but does it in the most respectful gentle way that Phillip responds to. Phillip really looks up to Michael. I know he wants Michael to be proud of him and he knows that Michael is. Michael helps without being asked, pays attention to details, and takes pride in doing things right. He knows when to be silent support, and yet knows when to be the leader and take over. Often times, I tell him he is our strength. Phillip recently typed on his ipad: "Dear Michael, I really love you. You ar so good to me and help me become a betterperson. I cant thank you enough for all you do. You are like a brother to me. You ar th best thing that ever happened to me. Love phillip"

In spite of all the challenges our family has faced this past year, Phillip has continued to thrive, showing personal growth and development in so many areas. He has made remarkable strides in increasing his coping skills, independence, daily living, and communication skills. It is such a joy to see his personality come out as his self confidence, individuality and abilities grow on a daily basis. Prior to our help from Friends of Cyrus, virtually all community outings had ceased as his anxiety would take over. But the significant improvement in Phillip's ability to cope and control his anxiety has allowed us to finally be able to go into the community again; for not only errands and grocery shopping, but also fun activities like parks, restaurants, the shore, bowling…the list goes on.

Phillip has made such remarkable progress and of course, being the amazing person that he is, deserves so much credit for all that he has overcome which only a few years ago seemed insurmountable. But he and I both know that without the unwavering support of Michael, Donna, and the Friends of Cyrus team, we could not have made it this far in such a short period of time. Their support gives us incredible hope for a brighter future for Phillip. And in spite of being a single, full-time working Mom, I feel like I have some of my life back as there is so much more Phillip and I can do and enjoy now. As his parent, I have a renewed sense of peace, confidence, and hope for Phillip's future.

With an abundance of thanks and grateful hearts to Michael, Donna, and Friends of Cyrus,

Testimonial #2

To Friends of Cyrus:

We have utilized Friends of Cyrus for the past year for self directed day services for my son, Scott. His favorite support buddy, Brian Kennedy, has been a dedicated and wonderful friend to my son . His understanding and support has been invaluable to us! He displays professionalism, empathy, and is willing to do whatever is necessary to make his time spent with my son enjoyable and a learning/growth experience.

His Behaviorist, Donna Simon, has also been a blessing to my family throughout many trials and tribulations this year. Donna has gone beyond what was required of her services, and continues to do so. Donna has worked diligently to create a Transition Plan for my son as he moves to his next adventure in his life...a group home!

Thank you for the dedication of these people, who definitely make the world a better place!

Testimonial #3

We are new to the Friends of Cyrus community, but in the brief time our son Kevin has been coming, we could not be more pleased with the day program. From the very beginning, when we first toured the facility, everyone was so pleasant and helpful. Patrice made our first impression a positive one. When we were in the "paperwork" phase, Liz, in particular, was a big help, even meeting me in Trenton near my office to help with the final steps. Kevin began attending in early January, and he looks forward to his Monday and Wednesday visits. Pam is a wonderful ambassador for the program, and has been a great help as well. We are very happy Kevin is now a part of your community.

The McNeil family