She moved from Jamaica five years ago, and she’s already giving back to the county.
By Kathryn Walsh and Philip Garrity
Rosemarie Stewart, Jamaica
Rosemarie Stewart immigrated to Westchester from Jamaica five years ago to be near family. “My parents were already living here for over 30 years. They are getting on in age so my husband and I thought it would be best to be closer to them when they need us to provide assistance.” The Mount Vernon resident—who was a training manager for the Port Authority of Jamaica—now works as a residence manager/residential rehabilitation specialist at Westchester Jewish Community Services.
My story: “I have been married to the same person for 21 years, and gave birth to one son, but am the mother of several others. I believe that family is important and that spending quality time with family members is extremely important. I enjoy helping individuals realize their full potential—perhaps that is why I work with the developmentally disabled, which is very dear to my heart…[My biggest challenge when I first moved here] was the cultural change, and the difference in the way an individual is perceived because of his or her ethnicity. It is important to recognize that some of the perceptions that individuals have are deep-seated, and it may take some people time to get rid of those misconceptions, if ever…My religious community was a source of strength, as they provided and continue to provide the needed spiritual support and encouragement.”
My feelings about Westchester: “It is a place with diversity and promise, and once people get involved in community activities they can feel a sense of belonging and can contribute in a positive way to the growth of their own communities.”