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Allies, Inc. Names Clifford Rogers a 2021 NJACP Community STAR

On April 19, staff at Allies, Inc. proudly celebrated the achievements of Clifford Rogers, naming him a “2021 NJACP Community STAR”. Clifford has received residential services from Allies for the past 10 years and has made incredible progress in his life.

As a member of The New Jersey Association of Community Providers (NJACP), Allies participates in their annual STARS Awards Celebration each year. The Awards provide organizations the opportunity to recognize one individual with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities that has overcome challenges and achieved success towards reaching their full potential. This year Allies was thrilled to nominate Clifford.

Clifford was honored at a small gathering at Allies headquarters, where Michael Haggerty, CEO of Allies, and Shynaqua Jarvis, Executive Director of Union/Somerset, presented Clifford with his STARS Award. Clifford, looking dapper in his suit, was pleased to receive the award and applause. Clifford’s parents, Clifford Sr. and Gail, looked on with admiration. Clifford Sr. remarked, “We are grateful to the staff at Allies for taking such great care of Clifford and turning things around for him 180%.”

When asked about Clifford’s progress, Sama Bangura, the Support Manager where Clifford resides, said, “Clifford’s award is well-deserved. I have seen many positive changes in him over the last year. He’s very helpful around the house, his behavioral issues have decreased, he’s more reserved and less defiant.”

Shynaqua agreed wholeheartedly saying, “Clifford is more motivated now – he’s on track with his daily living skills, self-care, and is more careful with his own belongings. He is also exploring more Day Program opportunities; and is getting out in the community more. He enjoys going out to eat.”

(From left to right) Sama Bangura, Support Manager, Central Ave.; Anil Singh, V.P. of Residential Services, Northern Region; Phil Monetti, Chief Operating Officer; Clifford Rogers STARS Award recipient; Michael Haggerty, CEO; and Shynaqua Jarvis, Executive Director, Union/Somerset.

Sama and Shynaqua shared that Clifford’s turnaround and success are a result of strong support and understanding. “The support of Clifford’s mom and dad, along with the support from Allies staff, has been very valuable for his progress,” said Shynaqua. In fact, Clifford now mirrors that support by helping some of his own housemates. Sama added, “As we worked with Clifford more, we got a better understanding of him and techniques we could use to motivate him. This helped him a great deal.”

After receiving the STARS Award, celebrations continued with a luncheon featuring chicken fingers, fries, and food from Taco Bell – all requested by Clifford who stated those were his favorite foods. Clifford said the “food was great,” and that getting the award was a “good surprise.” He also mentioned that his next step could be Hollywood, and he’d like to help direct Dizzy Tremaine in the Disney Descendants movie.

Although Dizzy Tremaine wasn’t at the event, Allies did ensure that Clifford had some surprise guests that would make his day. After learning that Clifford was a huge fan of the Power Rangers, Allies reached out to My Dream Visits, a company providing characters such as super heroes for special events. Clifford was beyond excited when a blue and red Power Ranger (red is his fave!) charged through the door and greeted him.

The Power Rangers took the celebration to the next level, with the Rangers teaching Clifford some famous “Power Moves”, and leading the whole room in fun songs, games, and dancing. At the party’s end, one of the Rangers presented Clifford with an official Red Power Ranger Card. The size of Clifford’s smile could only be matched by how much joy everyone in the room felt.

Clifford is definitely a STAR in our eyes, and we hope that with continued support and understanding he’ll continue to make positive changes in his life for many years to come. Be sure to visit us on Facebook at “Allies NJ” to view all of the photos from this event!

To learn more about Allies programs and services, call 609-689-0136 or visit www.alliesnj.org.

Gail and Clifford Rogers strike a pose with their son Clifford and the Power Rangers.

Allies, Inc. is a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing housing, healthcare, meaningful employment and recreational activities to people with special needs in the communities of their choice.  To learn more, visit www.alliesnj.org.

“A world where limitation does not distinguish nor define.”

Contact: Nicole Zamerovsky, Director of Communications, Allies, Inc.
Cell: 609-508-6181
Email: nzamerovsky@alliesnj.org

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