News : 2014 : October

Tiffine Dennard makes the transition from intern to employee

Tiffine Dennard makes the transition from intern to employee

Tiffine Dennard works at the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development.

PHOTO COURTESY OF APD

By Christine Call

Special to the Democrat

MIAMI — Tiffine Dennard is now an employee of the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development. She began her job in March
Prior to being offered a permanent position, Dennard spent 12 weeks learning various job skills at the center as part of a paid internship sponsored by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. She enjoyed her internship so much, she offered to volunteer when it ended.

Shelly Baer, associate director of training, is one of Dennard’s supervisors. Baer was so impressed with Dennard’s drive, passion and potential that she went to bat for her, advocating for Dennard to get a part-time administrative assistant job.

“We just clicked,” Baer said. “Tiffine’s willing to do anything and eager to learn. Couple this with her contagious enthusiasm and she is a constant breath of fresh air.” Dennard’s other supervisor is Carmel Bronzetti, an administrative assistant. “Tiffine always says yes and is willing to learn and try new things. Dennard’s a good worker who likes staying busy and helping others,” Bronzetti said. Dennard has a developmental disability and is a customer of Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and APD is highlighting working Floridians with disabilities during the month.

Dennard’s duties include administrative support, making copies, putting binders and calendars together, assisting in the mailroom, helping around the building, and organizing files, shelves and books. “I love my job,” she said. “I am so blessed to work here; everyone is awesome and supportive. The job keeps me motivated and keeps me focused on the progress I’ve made.” In addition to learning new skills, the job has raised her self-esteem and she’s more comfortable with her abilities. “Everyone acknowledges my work, coworkers brag on me and always thank me for my assistance. How can I not love working with such a great team?” Dennard said.

Baer added that Dennard is working toward full-time employment and getting computer training to expand her skills. “Dennard adds so much to the team because she’s highly responsible and has a great attitude. Everyone loves working with her and she’s always sought after by others for her help.”

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities and Down syndrome. For more about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1-866-273 -2273.