This week we celebrate National Activity Professionals Week by taking a moment to honor our amazing Personal Expression Managers, Memory Care Programming Managers and Memory Care Programming Assistants at our various communities.
Taking the time, day in and day out, to focus on enriching the lives of our residents by promoting overall wellness through physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual engagement these associates support our social model and vision to love, honor and provide in the quality of life for our residents.
Today we honor our Carlton Senior Living Davis community by recognizing our Personal Expressions Manager Jessalyn Eernisse, as well as our Memory Care Programming Manager Jesse Vasquez.
For our Personal Expressions Manager, Jessalyn, she recalls that honestly, she stumbled into the activity field on accident. Having recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz (GO SLUGS!) with a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics she began looking for a job and found that Carlton Senior Living Davis was hiring for an Activities Assistant. She had prior involvement working with the senior population throughout high school and college and found that her experience was exactly what Carlton was looking for! Having given it a shot and being selected for the position, she has found that she LOVES IT! A little over a year into her position as an Activities Assistant she was promoted to the Personal Expressions Manager position reaching almost her two year anniversary (and counting) in the role.
Jessalyn recalls that, as an Activities Assistant she was lucky enough to have a supervisor, Pamela Roy, who not only trusted her but saw her potential. By teaching her the skillset and offering her freedom to be creative and successful, Jessalyn found her own motivation to grow within the department. She found with her Pam’s guidance she was already completing many responsibilities of the Personal Expressions Manager. By the time she started in the role she had mastered our newsletter program Serif, was planning and leading her own activities and creating budgets for the activities programming. Receiving the promotion within the same department and within the same community was incredibly helpful since she already knew the residents, established rapport with them and knew what they liked and disliked.
There are so many aspects of the job that she finds to be her favorite. She loves listening to our residents share their stories and life experiences. She loves the satisfaction of planning and leading a successful activity. She loves the aspect of how creative she is able to be, bringing her own passion and interests to the community and how, often she is challenged to expand in her creativity. Some of her favorite activities, that are really enjoyed by the Davis residents as well, are the intellectual type that focus on brain fitness such as; Jeopardy, Crosswords and Educational Opportunities.
That being said, it should come as no surprise that Jessalyn’s life motto is “Never stop learning. Every day you learn something, regardless of your age!” She is proud of the number of resident suggested activities and outings that she has been able to successfully incorporate into the daily schedule. With every idea she is approached with, she is always willing to try and give it a shot, regardless of if she believes it can work or not. Most often times she has found that she is proven wrong and that things do work out for the best! It is incredibly rewarding to see the resident’s joy and satisfaction when something they have wanted to do comes to fruition. By striving to incorporate as many suggestions as possible, Jessalyn believes that the residents know she not only takes their feedback seriously but really listens to what they want.
When she isn’t at work she can be found at a baseball game cheering on the Oakland Athletics, Jessalyn and her boyfriend’s favorite MLB team! She is currently attending California State University, Sacramento studying to complete her Masters of Arts degree in History.
Jessalyn shares that, “Being a Personal Expressions Manager is immensely rewarding. Every day I feel like the Personal Expressions team and I have made a difference for the residents we serve. The stories you get to bring home are pretty good too.”
Jessalyn thank you for all the joy, creativity and passion you bring to our residents, their families and associates. You are appreciated!
Upon graduating in 2016 from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Jesse had hopes of becoming a teacher. He began at our Carlton Senior Living Davis community as one of our Director of First Impressions and with his welcoming smile and happy disposition it was easy to see how at ease and comfortable he made our guests and residents. This position really paved the way for him to become a Programming Manager. He was in constant contact with upper management who were able to see his work ethics and his desire for more responsibility within the community.
When the opportunity came about to work in our Memory Care as a Programming Manager with the residents he saw the perfect chance to utilize his educational skills, as well as his inherent love for senior, to strive to become the best activity director that he could be.
In the 2 ½ years since coming into the position, Jesse states that his favorite part of being a Programming Manager is that many of the residents see him as their buddy, friend and even confidant. At any given time he hears them chatting with one another about him and they say the nicest things you could ever imagine simply because of what his job allows him to do. If there has ever been a morning or day, for one reason or another it was hard to get up and head into work that feeling for Jesse dissipated the moment he sees the resident’s faces, it gives him a reminder of how happy I am to make a positive difference in someone’s life and recognize in turn the positivity they bring to mine.
Jesse truly pioneered his position as Programming Manager here in Davis and in doing so has created a successful activity program which makes him feel proud of himself. His life quote is “If you can’t laugh at yourself, then life is going to seem way too boring.” This quote is almost like a mantra for Jesse as an Activity Programming Manager because he constantly is doing things out of his comfort zone that make him feel foolish but that give his residents a smile or laugh which in turn makes Jesse reciprocate the feeling himself. It’s truly success in the best form.
“They love me just because I’m me and I love them like they were my own family.” ~Jesse
Jesse thank you for all the joy, creativity and passion you bring to our residents, their families and associates. You are appreciated!