Director of JSDD’s WAE Center
Nature Lover | Art Enthusiast
Aubrie has been at the WAE Center since 2014, beginning in Program Development, becoming Associate Director, and finally moving into the position of Director in July 2020. Aubrie holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a graduate degree in Counseling and has done advanced coursework in art Therapy. This diverse educational background informs Aubrie’s world view and belief in the potential of people to grow and thrive with the right opportunities.
“This work is creative and utilizes my love of art and desire to make a difference in the lives of people every day. I am always excited about our current projects and looking for ways that programming can be consistent, dynamic, and ever evolving.”
Director of Arts Marketing and Communications
Outdoor Adventures | Retail Therapy
Monica’s background in business brought her love of retail and merchandising to the task of creating a WAE Center product line.
She works with artists and staff to cultivate new merchandise, messages, marketing materials, exhibits, special events and opportunities in the arts community. Monica graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark University and an Advertising and Communications degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Monica sees working with members as joyful and life-affirming and considers herself lucky to be doing such important work with such wonderful people.
Hair | Bubbly
She came to this position after years of working in Non-Profit as an Office Manager/Administrative Assistant and has brought skills to bear here in her role supporting the agencies needs and the needs of our delightful members.
“I love members and staff. Everyone here is always so encouraging. Every day is a new day to make change and grow as a professional and a meaningful individual personally. I am extremely grateful to be here, and I look forward to the future.”
Gate-Keeper | Counselor
John specializes in connecting with others on many levels. His likes are art & poetry. He brings to the table his work ethic to the WAE Center with his business background and education from Bloomfield College. “I enjoy the staff and the JSDD organization. The organization is welcoming, and supportive of all members who join. Every day is a new expectation and experience!
WAE Program Management
Senior Manager of Program Operations
Food Lover | Mom
Anthonice came to the WAE Center in 2017 in the role of Associate Program Manager and WWAP coordinator of the respite program. Now, as Program Manager of the WAE Center since 2019, Anthonice works to ensure all members are able get the services and care needed to ensure they can advance in both independence and personal growth. She is knowledgeable about the everyday challenges our members face and dedicates her time to make sure they are getting the high standard of care they deserve.
“I love working with people and members within this community as each person holds a special place in my heart…”
Senior Manager of Program and Personnel Development
Reserved Optimist | Fabulous Family Man
Harry began his employment with the WAE Center in April of 2012; he comes with a bachelor’s in fine arts from New York University. Harry was thrilled when he was offered the job at the WAE Center; the Art Studio Manager position offered Harry the perfect opportunity to blend his artistic passion and aptitude for orderliness with his enthusiasm for working with others. Moving into the position of Senior Manager of Program & Personnel Development in 2021 was a natural progression for Harry; he is taking the skills he cultivated and implemented in the Art Studio for 9+ years to benefit the entire program. Harry lives with his husband and daughter in West Orange and enjoys family hikes, chocolate, and laughter.
Harry feels that it is a rare and special gift to be able to “come to work every day, not knowing what is in store, and have your soul filled in a meaningful and provocative way.”
Associate Program Manager
Fashionista | Mother
Natasha came to the WAE Center in 2018, in the position of floor supervisor. Currently working as Associate Manager of the WAE Center. She is a key link in all communications with member families. Additionally, Natasha ensures the well-being and safety of our members here at the center. Natasha is knowledgeable about the challenges faced by our members and passionate in advocating for them wherever needed. Natasha’s sister was born autism and cerebral palsy and has been helping to care for her since a very young person.
“I love this work because I enjoy helping others and the love and energy is heartfelt.0”
Manager of Prevocational Arts
Yvette joined JSDD’s WAE Center in October 2012. During that time, she has been given the privilege to teach, build, and learn in an exciting atmosphere of creativity and love through the WAE Center members and its staff. She is thankful for the opportunity to develop, manage, and teach in programs for the WAE Center such as the after-hours program WAE Beyond, and prevocational Workability/WAE Works.
Grateful for all the life experiences that are useful in her work at JSDD’s WAE Center, Yvette is a printmaker and photographer who graduated from Cooper Union in NYC with a BFA. She also studied at Mason Gross School of the arts and The School of Visual Arts for digital art. Her background as a fine artist, graphic designer, prepress manager, business owner, and longtime board member of the local arts organization, Studio Montclair, brings a diverse set of tools to her work. “I love my work with our members who bring joy into everything we do here, their greetings from my first day made me know that I belonged with them”.
WAE Program Coordinators
Art Studio Coordinator
Always have a plan B | Create
Faye Graye has been a teaching artist at the JCC In the Palisades Therapeutic Nursery/ Springboard School from 1999-2019. She came to the WAE Center as art facilitator in April, 20019. She is an advocate for housing and employment for adults with developmental disabilities. She resides in Bergen County with a tremendously supportive family.
“I love working at the WAE Center because of the immense amount of love and friendship that surrounds each person in the place. The care and concern that the staff show to the members is proof of their dedication to high a quality program. The members are some of the smartest, kindest, funniest people around. It is for sure that I am learning as much from them as they are from me.”
Judaic Facilitator and Coordinator
Mother | Reader | Runner
Hagit is the Judaic Coordinator for JSDD and a Program Facilitator for the WAE Center. She compliments the team by bringing master’s Degrees in both Gerontology and Public Administration from the University of Southern California (USC) with undergraduate degrees in both the History of the Middle East and in the History of Africa from Tel Aviv University, Israel.
Hagit delivers an Israeli and Jewish edge to the programs and is passionate about her work. She loves to celebrate Shabbat each week with program participants as well as all the Jewish holidays and feels blessed to be part of our innovative and creative team.
LGBTQ+ WAE Coordinator | Facilitator
Art Enthusiast | Amateur Gardener
Oscar’s background in fine art and the business management side of commercial entertainment created a natural synergy with the WAE Center’s.
Oscar facilitates the LGBTQ+WAE group, helping to lessen the isolation of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community or who wish to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and Master of Science degree from Drexel University. He also received post-graduate fellowships at the National Endowment for the Arts and the Smithsonian Institution and was selected to attend an Executive Development Leadership Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Oscar enjoys helping people to connect with their larger community and derives fulfillment from seeing individuals being able to express themselves fully and thrive with unconditional acceptance and support.
WAE Program Facilitators
Digital Art Facilitator, Class Facilitator
Ex-Farmer | Beat Maker | Eagle Scout
Bill’s strong backgrounds in fine & digital art, as well as his horticultural know-how, have allowed him to jump in and get his hands dirty.
Bill studied multiple disciplines under scholarship at The Maine College of Art (MECA), before training off grid as a farm apprentice on an island part of Maine’s mid coastal region. He has since worked as an NJDRCC for MHANJ and FEMA during Hurricane Sandy, held a longtime role as Social Media & Design Specialist for a local farm here in North Jersey, and developed a freelancing practice. Bill has also studied at the historical Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, CT and the School of Visual Arts in NYC.
“I love making digital art accessible, creating opportunities for others to learn valuable skills and develop interests outside of their comfort zones.
Artist | Nature Lover
I came to the WAE Center, as a working artist many years ago now. When I learned about the way art was made here, I was quite amazed. It seemed so very much in line with my own discoveries and interests. The work and process of the members inspires my own art. I have exhibited my work in group as well as in solo shows in galleries and other local venues.
What I love about my work at the WAE Center is the gentleness in which we help members discover their own voice and style in their art making. It is by listening and giving space, offering choices, and allowing for exploration and expansion that I have seen members grow and learn in amazing ways.
Art Facilitator & Graphic Designer
Artist | Animal Lover
Lisette has always loved expressing herself through art and music. She graduated from the School of Art & Design at F.I.T with a BFA in Illustration. Lisette came to the WAE Center back in 2005 when a little ad in the paper caught her eye. She fell in love with the methodology, the process and the people and has loved being part of WAE ever since.
Lisette was studio manager for over 3 years in the early days and trained other facilitators to work in the Art Studio. She works as an illustrator and graphic & web designer for various clients in the NY/NJ area including the WAE Center. She designed the branding for Chairs of Inclusion, created the WAE gallery website and designs print materials and graphics to promote the program and artwork.
Lisette cherishes her connection with members, the pure creative moments she witnesses and is continually inspired by their bold, amazing artwork.
Randy Harris, Sr.
Facilitator, Language Arts
For more than a decade, Randy Harris has been a Language Arts facilitator with the WAE Center. He has led classes in creative writing, speaking circles, meditation, geography, documentary, peer advocacy groups (e.g, ABLE – Abundance, Beauty, Love, Expansiveness), Civics (e.g, Let’s Talk About Us), book clubs as well as one to one sessions with members.
Randy is a graduate of Rutgers University, Livingston College, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He has experience as an undergraduate tutor and graduate co-adjunct instructor and counselor for Rutgers University. In addition, he has decades of experience as an analyst, consultant and project manager for Chase Bank, Prudential and MS&D Consulting.
Randy is honored, passionate and inspired to facilitate members finding their inner voice and creative spark through a variety of disciplines.
WAE Program Assistants
Fiber Art | Tea Drinking
Charlotte is currently finishing their bachelor’s degree at Bard College, where they are majoring in Disability Studies as well as working in studio art, with a specific focus on art as an alternative mode of treatment for people with disabilities. Since coming to the WAE Center in 2016 as a volunteer, Charlotte’s work with members in the art studio has completely shaped their course of study.
Currently, Charlotte works with specific members of the WAE center one-on-one to improve their American Sign Language skills as well as assisting in other classes. Charlotte looks forward to getting to see and communicate with members every week, and especially values getting to work with members in the art studio.
Mother | Styleista
Quiana joined the WAE Center in October 2016 as a direct support professional. In the years that followed she has proven to be an asset to the team in taking on different roles within the program. Promoted to Program assistant in 2020, Quiana uses her upbeat attitude, wit and love of the members to ensure members achieve their desired goals and have fun along the way.
Quiana enjoys the creativity that is brought forth everyday by our members and looks forward to being a part of the process.
Dog Lover | Friend
Erica started on board with us in September of 2021. She completed her degree in psychology at Rutgers, New Brunswick. As a Program Assistant, she is excited to be inspired by the spark of creativity that lies in each member’s artistic process. Erica enjoys spending quality time with the people she loves the most, including her dog, Mulligan. She also enjoys playing tennis and loves country music.
Mother | Selfie-Enthusiast
Miesha has been working with JSDD’s Wae Center for four years, beginning as a Direct Support Professional and recently moving into the role of Program Assistant. Working with the members is key to Miesha’s passion for the work that she does: “I love the members and the joy and happiness that they bring to each day. I am big-hearted, and had I known how fulfilling this work would be I would have chosen this career years ago.” She is also a mother of one 11 year old Princess Milan and a new dog mom to Blaze.
Miesha is excited to be a part of this new chapter in the growth of JSDD and the WAE Center.
Direct Service Providers
Direct Support Professional
Adaptive | Empathetic
Jared came to JSDD’s WAE Center in 2017 and soon discovered his love of experiencing the personalities of each member. “I love the energy of karaoke class, and being able to participate with members makes it even more fun. The goal, every day, is to help everyone feel welcomed and a part of our WAE family.”