TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – When Jonaah-Violet and Jaxon-Lily Super were born 17 years ago, the two girls arrived prematurely. As a result of the early arrival, Jonaah encountered some brain issues that left her “cognitively delayed” according to her father Steven.
Jonaah’s sisters Jaxon and Georgie have both held jobs and Jonah was interested in joining the workforce. Georgie works at Target at the Poughkeepsie Galleria and got her sister an interview with management. In May of last year, Jonaah got hired by the department store and has been thrilled with the experience.
Steve Super and his wife Karen credit “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” with changing the perception of how “differently-abled” people are perceived and accepted in society. The ThinkDIFFERENTLY campaign was an early initiative of Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro that fosters a welcoming environment for those with special needs. The movement has gained national attention. “We think that because of ThinkDIFFERENTLY, more and more businesses are hiring people with different abilities, differently-abled people,” said Jonaah’s proud father.
When Jonaah and Georgie were heading home from work on the day Jonaah received her first paycheck, Georgie decided to record her sister’s reaction when she opened the envelope. The video received substantial attention, including being shared on the Dutchess County Government social media pages. County Executive Molinaro weighed in on the video saying, “We are so grateful Jonaah and her family shared that special moment. This is the power of thinking differently…she’s an inspiration to us all and a reminder that when we think differently, we make a real difference in the lives of others.”
Steven Super hopes that “more businesses realize that people who are differently-abled are still capable of being a member of society.”