We are proud to announce the launch of the CREATIVE CARE COUNCIL! LEARN MORE
Hello! My name is Liz Alvarado, and I had the privilege of caring for my mother in Los Angeles, California. The experience was profound, it provided a different perspective on the arduous process of individuals losing their independence, besides going through certain health condition. With a deep desire to contribute to improvement within our society, I made the decision to join the Care Fellowship. Perhaps interesting, as someone that comes from a foreign country, I held high expectations for greater support from the community, mostly on resources and assistance.
My name is Filbert Aung. I care for my grandmother with my family on occupied Tongva land otherwise known as Rowland Heights, California. I joined the Care Fellowship because I want to leverage my experiences of as a first-generation immigrant of Tai/Shan and Chinese Burmese descent from Myanmar who has grown up within an intergenerational, disabled household. I hope to create a radical future for care alongside everyone who I am in community with. Something that is interesting about me is I speak three languages and am working on my fourth!
I am Cheryl I receive care and I deeply believe in the Alliance.
My name is Ned. I care for my mother in Napa/Pasadena. I joined the Care Fellowship because I love elderly people like my mom and helping people that need unconditional care & love.
My name is Crisantema Gallardo (she/hers/ella). Folx call me Crissy or Kriza. I live in Atwater, Ca in Yokuts Central Valley. I have been a caregiver since I was young and helped take care of family, elders and children. I currently care for my teenage nephew and elder parents. I joined the care fellowship because I wanna connect with other caregivers that share my values and want to transform communities. I’m a Queer, Xicana organizer and
am embarking on my journey to become a birth worker <3 I love learning about astrology and discovering new recipes.
Deanna Gerstel Harris is a dedicated caregiver, advocate, and strategist who has dedicated her life to supporting and empowering others. Born and raised in California, she currently resides in Washington DC, devoting her time to caring for her spouse who lives with Lupus. However, her journey of caregiving began years earlier in Northern California, where she cared for her children who live with chronic health challenges.
Hello, my name is Leona Harrison . I am a dedicated and compassionate caregiver with 15 years of experience in providing personalized care to individuals in need. I have always been passionate about helping others and making a positive impact on their lives. Throughout my career, I have worked with a diverse range of individuals, including seniors, individuals with disabilities, and those recovering from illness or surgery. I am skilled in assisting with activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, meal preparation, medication management, and mobility support.
My name is Jolene. I care for my friend in San Diego. I joined the Care Fellowship because we need to work together to address the inequities in the caregiver system, including the fact that we can no longer continue to operate with a one size fits all approach to providing help for the caregivers and those we care for. Something interesting about me is that I also sell makeup and skin care products for men and women.
My name is Ash Level. I care for my mom in Pasadena, CA. I joined the Care Fellowship because society needs to learn and speak out more about care. I want to learn more vocabulary and best ways to tell my story so that I can be an advocate for the care community. Something cool about me is that I’m an Artist.
My name is Justina Lewis. I was a caregiver for my Mother in Los Angeles, California who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but unfortunately passed. I joined the Care Fellowship because being a caregiver changed my life. I want to continue helping fellow caregivers understand they have a voice and can create change for future caregivers. I am grateful to Caring Across Generations for this amazing opportunity. In my spare time, I love going to amusement parks, meeting new people and connecting with my community in effective ways.
My name is Monique and I have been a long time caregiver for my child that has asthma and ADHD. I also was a caregiver for my chronically ill sister until she passed away in 2019. I am grateful to be offered the opportunity to join with other like-minded individuals that advocate for support for caregivers and those they care for. I subscribe to the philosophy of this Helen Keller quote; “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” Each day I listen to music to help get me through the day because to me, Music is Life.
My name is Daylou Sente. I care for my friend here in Torrance California.I joined Care Fellowship because for me this is great opportunity that impact my life and to the community. I really have the passion to care people and help them be optimist motivated in life.
Hi. I’m Geanie. I’m a native Californian from the Central Valley. Being on the older end of GenXers we were raised to take care of others. You babysat at 10, took care of your little sisters, or your mom when she was sick. My earliest memory of being a caregiver was having a stool placed next to the washer so I could reach the knobs to do laundry when my mom couldn’t. By the age of 10, I ran a house and took care of my younger sisters. You were always available to grandma. I miss her. Life comes full circle and now I have a caregiver. I have a good understanding of both sides and there’s a value in sharing that experience with others. I’ve been retired for a few years. My background is in event planning, marketing and media buying.
My Name is Nancy Stevens. I am a recipient of long term care in Rancho Mirage, CA. I joined the Care Fellowship because I have first hand knowledge of so many of the trials and avoidable traumas that take place in a long term care setting. I also am witness to what my caregivers face every single day; and I know things must change. I aim to learn how to make a difference, so that our efforts have a positive affect on the way we give care. I believe this can happen through this fellowship.
My name is Shannon. I have been a caregiver in Los Angeles throughout my life for friends, my elders, and my mother. I joined the Care Fellowship because, as a Black disabled person, I have experienced firsthand the transformative power of care work, and I yearn to connect with a community that shares my commitment to making the work of care more survivable and supportive for all. Something cool about me is that I am studying for a Master’s degree in Public Health, and I hope to use my experience as a Care Fellow to support and grow my knowledge in policy development and advocacy for evidence-based healthcare policies that prioritize the well-being of both care workers and patients.
My name is Mercedes Vega. My mother and I have been caregivers to my brother here in Los Angeles, California for seven years. I see us as a team, who have been lucky enough to support him and spend so much time with him. Prior to my brother suffering a TBI, we often got together to eat at some of our favorite places, and if we could, would turned on the jukebox to play some cumbia music. My brother was always so full of energy, a big smile, and had the biggest sense of humor, his laugh was contagious.
My name is Theresa Wright. I check in on several neighbor, friends by bringing them food, cooked meals and visiting with them. My travels take me to Hawthorne, Los Angeles and Compton. I joined the Care Fellowship to learn about how to be a better Care giver and to learn about more resources to share with other people.. I am learning to stir fry meals and do good with them. I like to recycle and re thrift items. So if anyone needs households items or daily needs (I sell Avon, I have some free supplies available) I may have it.
My name is Jayleen Brens. I care for my child and occasionally my grandmother in Macon. I joined the CARE fellowship because I believe in the purpose of this program and want to contribute to a change. Something interesting about me is I am 23 with my own company.
My name is Huelin Brewster. I migrated from St Vincent and the Grenadines to the United States of America about 5 years ago. I now live in Lithonia, Georgia. My caregiving journey started in my teenage years, when I helped my mother take care of my grandmother. In my early twenties, my husband got into a vehicular accident that resulted in him being paralyzed from his waist down. I took care of him for five years before he died. I then cared for my aunt and most recently, my mother who had Vascular dementia and died in 2021. I now assist with caring for my 18-month old granddaughter.
My name is Wynton Burnette. I care for my neighbor in Warner Robins, GA. I joined the Care Fellowship because I believe it is essential to receive vital information on care-taking trends and case studies. Something different about me is I taught myself how to play piano by ear by playing Disney movie songs.
My name is Ester DuRante. I care for my partner in Austell. I joined Care Fellowship because I wanted to connect with more people that may be having similar circumstantial experiences. I feel that learning from others through similarities while growing and making a difference in each other’s lives is my number one goal. The most interesting thing about me is that I love to learn, laugh, and connect with people while uncovering hidden truths about myself.
My name is Zahkai Eloby. I help care for my father in Snellville. I joined the Care Fellowship because I saw that it was something that few people could relate to and knew I could bring something to the table. Something interesting about me is that I’m the oldest of my seven siblings.
I am Natasha Gordon. I have been a nurse for 30 years and have had the pleasure of working with nurses and other health care providers from all over the United States as a labor management consultant. I have dedicated my career to ensuring those who deliver care to others have the tools and the support to deliver the best care possible to those they care for.
Joan Green is a native of Augusta, Georgia. She earned her B.A. from Georgia Southern University in 1988; her teaching certificate from Augusta University in 1990 and completed her M.Ed. from Cambridge College in 2000. She taught from 1989-2017 in her hometown. In 2019, Joan and her husband, a USAF veteran, moved to the Northshore area outside New Orleans and began rebuilding their lives as disabled, empty nesters. In January 2021, Joan returned to Augusta, Georgia.
As an educator and adoptive parent, Joan spent years advocating for childcare reform, equal treatment for adoptive parents in the workplace, and fair allocation of educational resources for all students. Her passion for expanded palliative/hospice care and caregiver support are a direct result of her experiences during her husband’s battle with Glioblastoma (brain cancer).
Joan is a widow, mom, Jamma, sister, aunt, friend, and retired educator. She has survived rape; defeated alcoholism; earned a Black Belt in Kempo Karate; become disabled while working; loved and lost. She is using creativity in words and art along with a deliberately cultivated positive attitude to learn how to live alone; advocate for caregivers; enjoy her life; and face its challenges. She has struggled intermittently with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
She is still here. She has much to learn and some to teach.
My name is Gwendolyn Taylor. I care for my daughter, Nefertiti in Atlanta, GA. For ten years I cared for my uncle, before he passed on last year. I joined the care fellowship because I saw it as very interesting, and I’m excited to learn more about the aspects of Care. Something different about me is my ability to remain calm, despite whatever obstacles may come my way in life. Being Resilient.
My name is Dianne Thomas. I cared for my mother Rachel Thomas in Atlanta, Georgia from 2009 until she passed away in 2015. I joined the Care Fellowship because I want to connect with like-minded individuals to build collaborations and coalitions that can collectively affect change, help others learn from my caregiving experience, support others in their journey and learn valuable advocacy skills.
My name is Lisette Anoba. I care for my daughter who is autistic. I live in Carol Stream Il. I joined the Care Fellowship because I want to become a better advocate and be the best resource I can be for my daughter and others like her in my community. I’m excited to connect with other caregivers and learn how to positively impact the lives of caregivers and those in need of their services. I’m the Vice President of a non for profit called Unique Sweets. We work with adults on the autism spectrum. We practice life skills and organize social outings for our participants.
My name is Becky Brasfield. I care for my independent, supportive, and loving family member in Chicago. I joined the Care Fellowship because I want to both honor and advocate for the important work of Caregivers throughout the country who engage in dedicated and vital work to improve the well-being of loved ones, families, and communities, and I believe in the spiritual nature of caregiving in its greater purpose to ensuring the best quality of life for those we support. Something interesting about me is that I went on my first cruise ever this year to the Southern Caribbean and visited Haiti, Curacao and Aruba. Now I love cruise vacations and look forward to future travels!
My name is Maureen Burns, my pronouns are she/her/ella. In the past, I have helped care for my father and my daughter in Chicago, Illinois. I am also a person with a disability, as I lost my hearing very suddenly in 2010. I am deaf and hear through a cochlear implant. I joined the Care Fellowship because I wanted to learn more about building collective power among caregivers and those with disabilities. In my work as a Community Health Worker (CHW) with The HAP Foundation, I engage in community education on serious illness topics.
My name is Ellen Carbonell and I have been a caregiver locally for my mother, my father, my son, and for a niece in Maryland, most with help from paid caregivers. I work with a caregiver program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and joined the Care Fellowship because I want to learn more about advocating for them. Something unusual about me is that although I’ve been a social worker for over 40 years, I once bought a bed and breakfast on vacation in New Your and ran it for 3 1/2 years.
My name is Coudra Costict. I care for my father in Chicago, IL. I joined the Care Fellowship because I know one day someone just like me will be faced with the similar experience of becoming an overnight caregiver. It can be an overwhelming and challenging journey and I want to do what I can to help improve their experience. Something interesting about me is I became a certified yoga instructor while living in New Orleans.
My name is Tracy Drake. I manage care for my father, who has had dementia for the past 15 years, in Chicago, IL. I joined the Care Fellowship because I would like to learn to become an advocate for seniors as well as their caregivers. Something fun about me, as a result of living in Japan when I was in 8th grade, we have hosted six high exchange students thru AFS. A wonderful experience!
My name is Timnet Gedar. I care for my father in Chicago. I joined the Care Fellowship because I want to connect with other caregivers and learn, together, how to make things better for others that are givers and/or beneficiaries of care work. A fun fact about me is that I have lived in, worked in, or visited one fourth of the countries in Africa including my country of origin, Eritrea. Even though I don’t travel much anymore, I owe my curiosity and appreciation for mine and others’ cultures and histories to my father.
My name is Jonathon Haven and I am both a caregiver and a care receiver for my spouse Iliana in Chicago, IL where we reside. I joined the care fellowship because I want to get to know fellow people in the caregiving community and further my skillset on advocacy in politics locally and nationally for disability rights. A fun fact about me, I am a trained actor – so if you ever need an actor for a project, feel free to reach out.
My name is Shannon Jackson and I use she/her pronouns. I care for my maternal grandmother who resides in Chicago, Illinois and my two adolescent children full-time in my home. I joined the Care Fellowship because I am interested in connecting with other care givers and to receive coaching on how to advocate on behalf of all care givers before legislation. An interesting fact about me, I enjoy listening and dancing to Chicago House Music.
My name is Leona Lee. I care for my husband in Chicago, IL. I joined the Care Fellowship because supporting care that allows our loved ones to live independently in their homes is very important to me, and I want to advocate for carers and more equitable systems. Something different about me is, I come from a large family with nine siblings!
My name is Valerie Lee. I helped care for my father who developed a Parksonian-like disease called PSP or Progressive Nuclear Palsy. I understand the anguish of seeing a loved one decline. My dad needed 24/7 care. I was grateful to have the flexibility to be there for him throughout his illness, but I struggled. I joined the Care Fellowship because I want to help others figure out how to care for aging or disabled family members and earn a living while maintaining their own health and households.
My name is Angelique Little. I care for my mother in Richton Park. I joined the Care Fellowship because of my future self. Preparing to be a stronger advocate for services needed in the present and future. Something interesting, fun, cool, about me is I enjoy live theatre and helping others.
My name is NGina, pronounced: IN GHEE NAH. I care for my mother in Chicago, Illinois as well as, two clients in suburban villages. I joined the Care Fellowship because I would like to share my experiences as well as hear from others to improve my overall knowledge of care-giving in a post pandemic world. Something interesting about me is that I have traveled domestically and abroad with religious delegations and performing arts groups. I’m a preachers daughter who loves to dance and perform!
My name is Shante Nelson. I have no children or Spouse and I have a T4 spinal cord injury and take care of myself as much as possible. I joined the Care fellowship because I want to be more involved in the disability community. I would love to share my story as well as my experiences and learn from others. Something fun and interesting about me is I love and miss dancing.
My name is Ashleigh Nightengale I am 32 years old a licensed social worker for the state of Illinois and I have cerebral palsy. My mother is my caregiver who cares for me in Chicago Illinois. I wanted to participate in the Illinois cares fellowship to help develop policy surrounding disability services. So that individuals like myself can maintain their autonomy in decision-making, as it pertains to their life as human beings. Human beings with equal value and stake in society. Despite needing assistance within their chosen environment.
My name is Veronica. I cared for both of my parents in Chicago, I am also a mother. I joined the Care Fellowship to gain leadership skills and meet other like-minded individuals with goals of influencing public policy. Something interesting about me is I used to be a prop and wardrobe stylist.
My name is Armanette. I care for my grandson and myself in Park Forest. I joined Care Fellowship because I wanted to be able to extend the care that I have done to others. I have cared for both my fathers and my stepmother and despite it was a lot of work, there is no greater reward than caring for the ones that you love. Something interesting about me is that I still enjoy reading hard back books along with writing poetry. Currently, my grandson and I are writing a book about bullying.
My name is Brigitte Smith. I take care of my Dad twice a week. I joined the Care Fellowship to learn more about helping care givers take care of themselves. What’s interesting about me is I love hard rock music. When I tell people this fact they find it hard to believe.
My name is Gail Stone. I cared for my husband until May 28 when he passed. I joined the Care fellowship because I was hoping to gain insight into better care for the many people we met on our journey and I still have a desire to advocate for caregivers in their journey. Something interesting about me is that I have always been able to figure out difficult situations and maneuver through them, often with humor.
My name is Jennifer Thompson. I’m a caregiver for my aunt in Chicago and mother in Alabama. I also have an invisible disability and sometimes require care from my partner. I joined the Care Fellowship in order to advocate and be a resource for other caregivers. Something interesting about me is I enjoy writing, textile crafts and learning about cooking from other cultures.
I’m a semi-retired activist,advocate poet from Chicago. Educated in mental health,disability services and self advocacy for women with disabilities. I also have 7 years of theater experience.
My name is Annie L. Allen and I am very delighted to work with this organization to support caregivers. I assisted my sister in caring for my brother, Henry, who had Parkinson Disease. I also cared for my sister, Bertha, who suffered a stroke until she expired five years ago. I was employed at Detroit Receiving Hospital Senior Health Center as a social work for approximately fifteen years working with seniors. I facilitated an Alzheimer’s Support Group for Alzheimer’s Association for vast number of years. I saw many caregivers expire because they lack family support and community help.
My name is Traci Bibins. I care for my mother and son in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I joined the Care Fellowship because I would like to learn how my experiences can influence change in policy and to promote the framework for care that is fair for all individuals. Something interesting about me is that I love being a “Boy Mom!!!!”
My name is Diane Byrd Johnson. I currently care for my 95 year old mother in Detroit, Michigan. I joined the Care Fellowship to help bring awareness of the issues and concerns of caregivers and how best to advocate for them in the most effective manner. I am the 4th of 10 siblings, and although I have always had a full house I still enjoy entertaining and sharing my home and travels with others. I love to travel and explore new adventures. I enjoy treasure hunting at estate sales and finding true deals.
My name is Joyce Dearhamer. I care for my daughter who has Down syndrome in Ira Township Michigan. I joined the Care Fellowship because I want to learn how to make a difference for caregivers and how we can support each other. Something interesting about me is that I used to work as an Executive Assistant at Lionel Trains. It was a pretty fun work environment.
My name is Laura Dewberry. I cared for my Grandmother in Detroit. I joined the Care Fellowship because of my personal experience with being a caregiver and the up close inequities I experienced while doing so. The fellowship gives me the unique opportunity to positively impact the policies that often determine the medical and social outcomes of elderly, chronically ill and disabled individuals within BIPOC communities. The experience I gain here and translate to our communities is an ode to my Grandmother, Laura Mae.
My name is Yashica Ellis. I cared for my great grandmother and great aunt in Flint, Michigan when the responsibility fell to my mother after my grandmother passed. I joined the Care Fellowship because of the opportunity presented to enhance my leadership skillset. I have goals I would like to achieve and I believe this fellowship will give me the tools to accomplish those goals. Something interesting about me is I recently got to see Janet Jackson in concert in Detroit for the first time ever, it was like a dream come true! I dressed in true Rhythm Nation fashion too!!!
My name is Brittany Fletcher. I care for my children, mother, husband, community and myself in Flint. I joined the Care Fellowship because I would love to find connectedness with fellow care givers. I want to learn and grow during this experience by hearing from different individuals and their journeys. I would love to share my story and maybe learn how to make sense out of things I’ve endured while also trying to make change in the world because of certain experiences experienced. Something interesting about me is I am a music enthusiast.
My name is Renee Fussello. I care for my mother in Ypsilanti, Michigan.I joined the Care Fellowship because I would like to be more active and vocal in supporting caregivers because stress and burn out is real so making sure the people whom are caring for others needs are being met is a top priority for me. Something interesting about me is that I am a small urban farmer.
My name is Robin Golden. I care about many people in and around the Greenville area. I joined the care fellowship because I believe that the one’s being cared for need to also have a voice and I have had many caregivers in the past year. Something about me is that I have a rare disorder, I’m a mother of two daughters early twenties and 18 ( please pray for me), I also became a widow back on 10/10/2020, but was in a nursing home during that time and nursing homes were not open for visitors because of Covid at the time and at least 6 months prior.
When I was given the name “Bomani” by his community of elders, I knew that I was charged with an awesome responsibility. The Malawi (South Africa) name means “Warrior”. And as a community warrior, I have dedicated my life to public service as a community and educational advocate. I care and support my wife who struggle with depression through out our marriage of 28 years. I live to Detroit, MI. I’m joined CARE to learn more information about disability laws and the polices that affect Black people in my state. In my down time, I’m an avid RV enthusiast and love camping all over this country!!
I’m Perry Hoskins, Certified Peer Support Specialist, Certified Community Health Worker for the past six and four years respectfully. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. A honorably served veteran of the United States Navy. I’ve lived in Misawa, Japan for two years, also in the Aleutian Islands for the same amount of time. I’m married 28 years, four sons, nine grandchildren, two dogs. My hobbies are chess, reading, gardening, and recently archery. I work for the Veterans Health Administration the past five years. Caring for my Mom the last few years of her was a joy of my life and fueled my desire for caring for others.
My name is Shanika. I care for my sibling/friend, in Flint. I joined the Care Fellowship because I am passionate about caring for others and I am always looking for new opportunities to further my knowledge. I also want to learn more about change that can be made at a higher level. Something cool about me is I have two dogs.
My name is Dianne. I care for my mother and father in Alston. I joined the Care Fellowship because I hope to learn and improve as a caregiver and be a support to other caregivers. Something unusual about me is that I worked as an educator in a maximum security prison for 28 years.
My name is Geneva L McCloud. I care for my parents in Detroit, Michigan along with my siblings. I joined the Care Fellowship because I am passionate about the care of individuals and would like to amplify my voice and transform my passion into actionable change, while assessing the roles and priorities of the governments influence in global health as it relates to fair wage for caregivers. Something cool or fun about me is that I enjoy running 10k races, attending comedy shows and being a health influencer.
My name is Jessica Murphy. I care for my autistic twin daughters in Portland. I joined the Care Fellowship because I want to connect with other care givers and learn about advocating to make the care system accessible for everyone. Some fun things about me are that I love to quilt and play Dungeons and Dragons!
My name is Rosanita Ratcliff. I care for my parents in Ann Arbor. I joined the Care Fellowship because I want to be part of a movement that is making things better for care recipients and caregivers. Something fun about me is that I was lucky to see B.B. King in concert four times.
My name is Suzanne. I care for my Mom, in Negaunee, Michigan. I joined the Care Fellowship because how we care for others matters. We live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where we have up to five months of winter! My Mom taught me to downhill and cross-county ski, snow shoe, ice skate and how to make the best pot of chili to warm up with afterward!
My name is Thuhuong Tran. I care for my mother in law who is 85 years old and elderly friends in the Vietnamese community in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I joined the care fellowship because I wanted to learn how to tell story and advocate for my mother in law and my friends. I love sing, learn how to cook new dish, and go out to meet new people.
My name is Lee A. Wright, Jr. I have been helping with my wife’s care since 2017 when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I’m assisting with helping care for my mother-in-law, who has Dementia. We lived in the city of Livonia, which is in the State of Michigan. Go Blue! I joined the Care Fellowship because I wanted to be more knowledgeable in ways I can help my wife, mother-in-law, and others with disabilities get the resources they need to make life a little easier and less stressful for them.
My name is Adriana Zuniga. I am a lifelong resident of Detroit. I currently work at Kids Health Connections as a certified community health worker. I have 23 years of community base work and as a community health worker. Previously I worked at the University of Michigan for 13 years on a community program called Community Action Against Asthma (CAAA). I love being involved in my community and making a difference. Currently I am a board member of Congress of Communities, Community Benefits Coalition, and Hubbard Farms Block Club.