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Meeting Dana White



Hello, readers! Legacy Empowerment Services has a new employee with us. Her name is Dana White and she is our Executive Director! I interviewed Dana so you all can find out more about her.


Dana is originally from California; she started at Katherine Gibbs moved on to John Jay College, where she majored and received her degree in Criminal Justice. After John Jay College, she started working with the New York Fire Department. Although passionate about working there, Ms. White's real interest was to work with individuals with disabilities.


Working with individuals with disabilities has always been a passion of Ms. White. She explained feeling a sense of connection and they usually felt comfortable and safe around her. This expanded even more after Ms. White had a child.


Ms. White is a mother of two. Her children are sixteen and six-years-old. When asked about the children she referred to her son as a “football and academic star” and her daughter a “child with so many ABILITIES”. She further described her daughter as very smart. She said that her daughter was extraordinary, constantly surprising her. However, some things confused Ms. White, such as why her daughter would cry when she would play loud music in the car and why her daughter seemed to remember things even her or her son could not at times. Originally, at a young age, specialists believed that her daughter was neurotypical. At five-years-old, Journi was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) coupled with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Dana developed even a greater passion and interest in learning more about ways to assist people with Disabilities. She said “it was essential for her to understand Autism”. Ms. White feels it is the best way to assist someone with a disability.


She believes the qualifications needed to work with individuals with disabilities are compassion, patience, and punctuality. Ms. White explained that when working with individuals with disabilities, it is important to try to put yourself in their shoes. She has learned that she has patience and communicates better since working with individuals with disabilities. She gets to put herself in the individual’s place and try to understand how they think and feel. Ms. White brings abundance of experience and knowledge with her to Legacy. Working both with multiple disability and Autism specific agencies, Dana has also had the opportunity to gain and maintain employment for over 20 individuals in various integrated community locations such as, but not limited to, law firms , hospitals, stores, animal clinics and more.


When Dana first became interested in Legacy Empowerment Services, she learned that Mayra Martinez was the CEO. Ms. Martinez and Ms. White both had prior knowledge of what great advocates they are for those with disabilities throughout New Jersey and immediately knew it was a match. When offered the career as Executive Director, Ms. White enthusiastically accepted, and Dana and Mayra joined forces. Dana describes it as a wonderful experience because they share the same mindset for Legacy, empowering those with disabilities.


Ms. White spoke about the exciting things she experiences while working at Legacy Empowerment Services. She described it as an organization filled with positivity and passion. Ms. White believes that “we have dedicated staff working with Legacy and setting long-term goals for the participants”. Ms. White's goals for Legacy Empowerment Services are to Stay Strong as an agency and Become the Face of Supports Services in New Jersey for Individuals with Disabilities. She added that “Legacy means Life Long Term and we will transform the word Disabilities to disABILITIES"

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