Marc Ramos pointed out a sign on the wall he looks at every morning before work at AHRC New York City’s 213th Street residence in Queens. It reads: “One small POSITIVE THOUGHT in the morning can change your whole day.”
“That one thought can change your whole perspective,” Marc explained. “That way I can be a better teacher and do a better job.”
Marc began his AHRC NYC career as a Community Support Professional in Day Services at Cyril Weinberg Day Services and Joseph T. Weingold Day Day Services, supporting people in a variety of ways. At Weingold, he enjoyed working closely with poet Daphne Desinor and encouraged her to write a second collection of poems. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Marc jumped at the opportunity to work in residences, first at 204th Street and then at 213th Street, both in Queens.
Adaptable Support Methods
“I started working here at 213th Street maybe in spring 2021. It’s been going well so far,” Marc said. “I go out on walks with one of our residents. Another person loves to do puzzles and I may help him out with those.” He assists some of the residents with logging on toMarc Ramos began working in an AHRC NYC residence during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the principles of positivity with him. and participating in their daily Zoom sessions with their day habilitation programs.
Marc says that he has had to adapt his method of support depending on where he was working at the time, from Weinberg to Weingold to residences. “Weinberg was much more hands-on experience—changing, cleaning people, feeding them,” he explained. “Weingold was much more about doing things in the community, like going to the movies or to parks. The residences are a little bit of everything.”
Marc had to exhibit caution initially at the residences. “We didn’t want to be taken out too much when I first started working at residence. If we did see people, we would cross the street. I tried as much as I could to make them have a happy, active life. It’s nice to change it up as much as possible.”
Marc has long been interested in helping people grow into their best selves. At 14, Marc worked at his elementary school, PS 11 in Woodside, as part of the Summer Youth Internship Program; he was offered a full-time position at the school when he graduated. “I always enjoyed working with grades K-6. I’ve always been a people person and could work with different behaviors.”
He stopped working there when I was 20 and joined Weinberg two years later. “I was told by a neighbor in my building, Wittenberg Cabral [now Weinberg’s Program Director], that I should check it out. Since then, I really fell in love with it. You feel good about yourself working with people and helping them achieve their goals. You learn to have patience; you learn new skills to learn what you must do. I loved moving from class to class and meeting new people.”
Marc enjoys engaging in hands-on activities—coloring, board games, cooking, and more. “These things are interactive, fun, and something they have an interest in. I called directors to get iPads delivered to the residence. I always want to feel like they are a part of their programs—they can’t feel like they’re stuck here. They still need to see their friends.” Marc said many in the home look forward to the Our Broadway group with Dale Hensley.
Althia Rowe, a Direct Support Professional who has been working with Marc at 213th Street residence, said that he has been an outstanding colleague in his short time at the home. “It’s been nice to have him here—he’s exceptional with the residents. He’s so attentive and helps a lot,” Althia said.
Marc’s relentless positivity is pushing him to take what he has learned during the pandemic and apply it to even greater things. “It was a learning experience for me. How can interact with them in new ways? I’ve learned that everyone always has something to offer. That’s what asked this job fun—this is my passion. I want to build schools and charities one day.”