Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Paula Alvarez

REGION: 4– Hudson Valley

Position: Developmental Assistant II

Years of Service: 37


Paula Alvarez says she enjoys the hands-on approach to working with people she supports, planning meaningful inclusion activities as well as vacations for them. This is why Paula is still working, as she could have retired a few years ago, but opts not to, and for that, managers are grateful!


Marc Tennien, IRA Coordinator, Rockland Team 1, says Paula always goes the extra mile – whether it be for staff, those she supports or the core team.

“Paula is a mentor to the trainees working in Rockland County,” Tennien says. “She always completes a face-to-face training with her staff on all new policies and procedures and for this, Paula’s staff love her!”

He says Paula volunteered to input into the Electronic Health Records system the all the information about the individuals supported by the entire core team. “This was a month-long task and Paula completed the task and has shown the managers in the core team the ins and outs of the EHR system,” Tennien adds.

“Paula truly cares for the people she supports. She is not just here for the paycheck. She truly enjoys helping others. Paula never complains and takes everything in stride. She is an exemplary role model and she is truly an asset to the Rockland Team 1,” says Tennian.

Paula has done quite a bit to assist the people in her care. For example, she knows there are some who are low on personal funds. She seeks out sales and online deals to ensure that these people receive the same quality of merchandise as do the people who have better than adequate funds.

“Paula is frugal in this area and works and teaches people she supports how to stretch their money,” Tennian says.

Paula also takes care of the vegetable garden at the home. Tennian said the people who live there love the garden and Paula helps them to make salads and different entrees using the vegetables from that garden.

And every year at Christmas time, Tennian says Paula and the people in the home make Christmas cookies for families, staff and the core team.

“Paula is a very honest and hardworking house director,” Tennian adds. “She leads by example and is truly an exemplary role model for people she supports as well as her staff. Paula is an asset to the Rockland Core Team 1 and she is a pleasure to work with.”