Every month, NYAPRS identifies a PROS program to showcase their excellence in recovery and rehabilitation.  Here you will find program descriptions and the curricula that support it.

If you are interested in sharing with us the special work your program is doing, please see the information at the end of this webpage.

This month’s PROS PROVIDER is:

Jawonio PROmiSe Program

Dr. Joe Zweig, Ph.D, Program Director

    1. Jawonio is a premiere provider of lifespan services in the Mid-Hudson Region for children and adults with disabilities, behavioral health challenges and chronic medical needs. Jawonio was organized in 1947 as the Cerebral Palsy Society of Rockland County providing outpatient treatment for children with physical disabilities and a variety of other special needs. In 1949, we became the first summer camp program for children with disabilities. Two years later, we became an overnight program and were known as “Camp Jawonio”. Almost 70 years later, Jawonio continues to remain true to our mission while innovating and expanding our programs. The mission of Jawonio is to advance the independence, well-being and equality of people with disabilities or special needs. Jawonio has expanded on its original programs and today is a unique organization providing high quality lifespan services, through six divisions, for over 10,000 individuals and their families annually. Jawonio is the Native American word for independence, and we support individuals each and every day to achieve their optimum level of independence.

Jawonio has an operating budget of $43 million dollars and currently employs more than 1150 people throughout Rockland, Westchester (Yonkers) and Orange Counties. As a highly respected organization in the Hudson Valley, Jawonio received the 2012 Pinnacle Award, as non-profit of the year from the Rockland Business Association; Agency of the Year, for Mental Health Services from NAMI-FAMILYA. In 2013, Jawonio received the Humanitarian Award from Rockland County Haiti Relief; and in 2014, The Salvation Army presented Jill Warner, our CEO with their annual “Doing the Most Good” award to a non-profit who excels in giving back to the community.

The behavioral health division includes PROS, a psychosocial program called the Front Porch and an IOP called Transitions.  All of these programs are integrated into the larger array of services offered by our other divisions to provide a continuum of care to our community.

2. The Jawonio PROS program began in August, 2011 as a successor to our IPRT program. We were also able to welcome a large number of participants from our Community Employment Services, which set the foundation for our commitment to employment, and continues to generate employment rates among the highest of all PROS programs.  We were also firm in our belief that peer specialists are key to successful recovery programming and have always employed peer specialists, some of whom are graduates of the our own program and the NYAPRS Peer Academy.  In addition, our Peer Advisory Committee participates in policy, programming and hiring decisions.  It was at their suggestion that we changed the name of our program to Jawonio PROmiSe and adopted the slogan, “Recovery is more than a goal,…..it’s a Promise.”

The innovations in curriculum and programming are a reflection of the fact that the skill sets among our staff are so diverse beyond the clinical and recovery based training that one would expect to find.  We are therefore able to incorporate art, music and drama therapy, DBT, wellness and nutrition classes into our 130+ classes offered each week.  Through the art, music and drama classes our participants have “taken their skills on the road” and shared their gifts with the community.

As a result of Jawonio’s long-standing commitment to providing services to those with developmental disabilities, we have incorporated those individuals into our PROmiSe program and through our Saturday program referred to as Danny’s Promise, we offer classes that are particularly useful to those whose social and cognitive challenges contribute to further recovery barriers.  We appreciate the fact that Commissioner Sullivan shares our vision and has supported this innovation.

The proximity of our PROmiSe and Transition programs offer a unique opportunity to integrate the two services in a manner that fosters warm hand-offs between the two programs, resulting in greater retention and valued outcomes in each. In this way, as an individual completes the final week of participation in Transitions, our Intensive Outpatient Program, he or she can be introduced to PROmiSe, usually by peer specialists who have themselves completed PROmiSe and are the best facilitators of this therapeutic transition.

The 3 curricula that we’re sharing are typical of our attempts to try to innovate in ways that will foster empowerment and inclusion.  While some of our classes are intended to focus on a particular area, most classes are intended to further recovery by meeting each participant where he or she is at.  For example, in Talented Recovery, which culminates in a talent show, there are those members who may find participation in the planning process difficult due to interpersonal barriers.  There may be others who find the prospect of performing in front of an audience daunting due to social anxiety or self-esteem challenges.  And there may be others who avoid new experiences because their self-confidence has been diminished.  Since this is a 3 month process that encourages negotiation, patience, risk taking, mutual support and delay of gratification each member may use this process to support the recovery process in a somewhat different way.  When the semester ends with an individual who has overcome her anxiety and her autism spectrum challenges to perform a solo and the audience, which includes other PROmiSe participants, her family and people she does not yet know, stands in unison to applaud her performance and what it truly demonstrates, it’s a display of more than talent.  It illustrates how creative interventions can move people to challenge themselves to overcome barriers and to support and recognize their peers for doing the same.  Each of these curricula are intended to have a similar impact, and because all of our classes take their final form as a reflection of input from staff and participants, their relevance is also clear.

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary









Talented RecoveryHERE


Encouraging Creative TeamworkHERE

If you have any questions regarding this program and the information they provided,
please reach out to Joe directly at: joe.zweig@jawonio.org


What about YOUR Program?

If you are interested in sharing with us the special work your program is doing, contact us and provide information about your program and what specifically you are interested in us showcasing.

Send an email to:

Ruth Colón-Wagner, LMSW

Director of Training and Development