A Message from President & CEO: Jo Ann Simons


Jo Ann SimonsCelebratory. This describes the past three months here at Cardinal Cushing Centers. December was a festive month, full of opportunities for us to gather as a community and share excitement for the holiday season. A yearly special treat is our celebration with Bob Sweeney and the Boston Bruins Foundation in Hanover, as well as a Bank of America sponsored holiday party that takes place on our Braintree campus. In January we celebrated the success of our Opportunity Fund campaign, realizing our goal of over $150,000 from 325 donors. We are grateful and appreciative to everyone who helped us achieve success.

We also celebrated our partnership with Best Buddies. On Tuesday, December 10th, Cardinal Cushing Centers proudly received the 2013 Champion of Inclusion Award at Best Buddies’ annual Evening of Opportunity. Over 300 guests gathered at the Seaport Hotel in Boston to celebrate the individuals employed through the Best Buddies Massachusetts Jobs Program as well as the employer partners who make inclusion in the workplace possible. Tedeschi Food Shops was also honored with the Employer of the Year award.

Supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities in their search for meaningful, paid employment opportunities is an integral part of our mission. As you will read in our newsletter, we have made great progress with a new employment program, made possible through the generosity of the Arthur F. Blanchard Trust via the BNY Mellon Charitable Giving Program.

To express just how integral employers are to our mission, we are planning for our annual April luncheon that honors our current employment partners. If you or someone you know would like more information on the benefits of hiring individuals with intellectual disabilities, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to start that conversation.


Jo Ann Simons
President & CEO


Introducing Our 2014 Marathon Team


CCC-Marathon-Logo-FINALCardinal Cushing Centers is pleased to announce the members of our inaugural 2014 Boston Marathon team: Tessa Casey of Duxbury, Jonathan Peck of Pembroke, Gabe Dutra of Hingham and our own employee, Rob Wheeler. Our mighty team has set a goal of raising $25,000 for Cardinal Cushing Centers.

Tessa is a parent of one of our adult residents, Matt Casey. Matt also participates in one of our day programs for adults, Life Opportunities Unlimited (LOU). Tessa is the owner of Sweet Sense.

Jonathan is the Regional Vice President of DTZ, Inc. and is a wonderful advocate for organizations that support individuals with disabilities.

Gabe is a Regional VP for Ridgeworth Investments. Ridgeworth has been an avid corporate sponsor of our organization for several years and Gabe is excited to become more personally involved with Cardinal Cushing Centers.

Rob, who works in our education department, was one of the finish line heroes during last year’s marathon. You can read more about his life saving efforts here:

If you would like to support our runners as they battle this artic winter we are having, visit:

To read more about our runners, check them out in the Hanover Mariner:


From L to R: Student Shawn H. of Seekonk, Jonathan Peck of Pembroke, student Cory M. of Marshfield, Tessa Casey of Duxbury, Kaitlin R. of Brockton, Gabe Dutra of Hingham and Coles P. of Randolph



Braintree St. Coletta Day School: A Place to Learn, Work & Play!



Alicia Fontes with Staff

The Braintree St. Coletta Day School, a school for students with physical and intellectual disabilities, is expanding its offerings to students.6photo  While the School has always offered an educational curriculum, art therapy and adapted physical education, it is in the process of expanding its Music Therapy Program and Job Training Program.  “We are continuously looking for ways to enhance our students’ experience at the St. Coletta Day School.  By growing our music therapy program, we are giving students the opportunity to express themselves in a new way.  Even better, we benefit from many generous funders as well as a donation from our friends at Zildjian.  Without the support of our donors, program expansion would not be possible,” says Larry Sauer, Vice President of Student Programs and Services.


Jessica Doherty


Nicholas Pugsley

To help prepare students for the workforce, the St. Coletta Day School will increase its offering of job training opportunities to students ages 18-22.  On its Braintree campus, students will manage a new Central Supply Program, a school and office supply management program including tasks such as tracking and ordering inventory as well as filling and delivering orders to staff.  Students will also have the opportunity to travel to the Hanover Campus to work in the retail sites including the Bass Village Café and the Timeless Treasures Thrift Store.  “Preparing our students for employment is such an important part of the work we do at Cardinal Cushing Centers,” states Jo Ann Simons, President and CEO.  “The businesses that hire our students and adults appreciate the experience and positive attitude they bring to the workplace.”

To learn more about the Braintree St. Coletta Day School, please contact Michelle Markowitz, Vice President of Admissions at


Powering Potential through Job Opportunities

As we all know, having the right job for your interests, skills and personality is the key to finding happiness and fulfillment at work.  Fortunately for Cardinal Cushing Centers, BNY Mellon understands this, and is willing to support our efforts to place young adults with intellectual disabilities in the jobs which suit them best.

Through a grant from BNY Mellon’s Charitable Giving Program and the Arthur F. Blanchard Trust, we have the resources to support our Intensive Employment Program and a part time staff person to work individually with 4 adult clients under the age of 30 to find the right job match.


Job Coach Alex Manorak with Nick Hanson
working on a job application

Brendan McGuirk, Employment Specialist at South Shore Industries, is particularly excited about this opportunity.  “With this additional support, staff can now work at an individual level to help each person create a resume, draft a cover letter, apply for jobs, and practice interview techniques.  Once hired, our clients will need additional supports to ensure success and the staff will be able to help them navigate challenges in the work place including transportation issues, social skills and requesting appropriate accommodations.”


Caroline Dane working hard at the Verc Mobil station

In Randolph, Caroline Dane is finding employment success at a Verc Mobil station.  She enjoys her work which allows her to use her skills to keep the store gleaming.  She dusts the shelves, cleans the glass cases and makes sure the doors are always shiny and welcoming to Verc’s customers.  Caroline graduated from Cardinal Cushing Centers’ school and employment training program which helped prepare her for this opportunity.

As the program advances, Employment Specialists are working to find the right placements for additional clients.  “We continue to build relationships with local businesses while developing the skills of our adult clients so that we can secure the right job for each person participating in this program.  It is exciting to see where our adults will find the right opportunity” says Jean Rogers, Vice President of Community and Adult Services at Cardinal Cushing Centers.

If you are interested in learning more about employment opportunities at Cardinal Cushing Centers, contact Brendan McGuirk at 781-335-5601 or