Meet the Staff

JULIE RODRIGUEZ

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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Julie leads our team at Abilities Without Boundaries with an impressive resume and strong passion for our nonprofit organization. She has personal experience of helping individuals with disabilities and understands deeply the challenges faced by both individuals and their caregivers. Her enthusiasm for our clientele, and her experience in nonprofit organizations, align well with her leadership role as Executive Director for Abilities Without Boundaries. She is working to expand offerings for Abilities’ day programs and employment services. Her prior experience demonstrates measured growth within the nonprofit arena. Julie has worked for numerous nonprofits across Connecticut serving infants, children and adults with intellectual, mental and physical disabilities. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Human Services from the University of Bridgeport and her Master’s degree of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management from Albertus Magnus College.

GARFIELD WELLINGTON

CAREER SERVICES COORDINATOR

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Garfield has over ten years of experience developing relationships with employers and businesses in the community. Garfield has a passion for helping individuals achieve success through employment and vocational opportunities. He comes to AWB from Wheeler Clinic where he was a Vocational Coordinator for their Job Readiness Program and a Vocational Assistant at Northwest Village School. Garfield has a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree in Political Science from Northeastern University.

ASHLEY DAWKINS

SENIOR PROGRAM CASE MANAGER

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Ashley comes to Abilities Without Boundaries with more than 10 years of experience working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Ashley has advanced in her career from: Direct Support Professional to Assistant Program Manager to Program Manager. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Human Services from Albertus Magnus College. Ashley takes pride in serving our population by being an advocate for the individuals served. She is dedicated to our mission. Her primary goal is to encourage individuals to meet their long-term independent goals by maximizing their potential through service plans.

TASHIRA FERGUSON

BEHAVIORIST

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Tashira joins the Abilities Without Boundaries team with more than 14 years of experience in Human Services leadership. She has extensive experience in supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and managing non-profit organizations across the state of  Connecticut. She is passionate for servicing the DDS population and others in need. Tashira specializes in behavioral and Therap, LLC supports. Tashira comes to AWB with 6 years in a leadership and quality assurance experience. She has her bachelor’s degree in Social Science and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration at Albertus Magnus College.

JAYDE FORD

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

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Jayde joins our team with extensive experience serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For more than 10 years she has worked in agencies similar to Abilities Without Boundaries managing day programs and employment services for individuals with disabilities. She is very familiar with the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and its requirements. In previous jobs she coordinated with and reported to DDS on programs similar to those AWB provides. For Jayde, working with individuals with disabilities is truly a passion. She enjoys helping in the many aspects of their lives so they live the most independent life possible. She is a true believer in empowerment. She advocates for all individuals to have choice in their lives. Jayde has a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University.  Her first postion was as a case manager in social rehabilitation and working with individuals with disabilities became her career path.

AMANDA BARNES

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

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Amanda started her journey in 2005 as a personal assistant to Kay Wyrick, former community activist of Waterbury, CT and founder of the Pride Cultural Center. She then in 2011 started as a front desk agent at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotels, where she was promoted to Front Office Supervisor in 2013. She began her journey with AWB in July of 2016 as the interim Administrative Assistant. With hard work, dedication and extreme knowledge of the business, Amanda is now a part of our AWB team for the long haul. Amanda has a great love for the individuals served and believes in our mission statement. She is currently pursuing her degree in Business Management.

LARRY BROWN

SENIOR ACCOUNTANT

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Larry brings in-depth knowledge and experience of Abilities Without Boundaries’ unique financial needs. For more than a dozen years he was Vice President of Business Office Operations at Marrakech Inc., a services provider for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that is larger than, but similar to, AWB. There he managed payroll, AP, AR, personnel and more. Therefore, he is very familiar with procedures for working with the Department of Developmental Services, primary agency for AWB’s state support. After leaving Marrakech, Larry wanted to stay in nonprofit accounting and says AWB is a perfect fit. He has a deep affinity for AWB’s mission and the individuals it serves. When he’s not working the books, Larry likes to travel the globe; it is his other passion. Before joining the nonprofit world, Larry combined his interest in travel and tourism with accounting and was general manager and financial controller at several different hotel properties. Larry has a degree from Central Connecticut State University in Geography with a minor in Accounting.

A Behavioral Consultant is also available.