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What’s New at Trudeau?

Meet Trudeau’s Artists

Every year, Trudeau Center administration asks all programs to submit holiday-focused artwork to spread  happiness and to possibly be selected to adorn the annual Trudeau holiday card. Financial Independence, a Rhode Island financial company, also selects from the submitted artwork to select a picture for their holiday card.

This year we were blown away with the submitted artwork. From abstract to illustrations, our Trudeau artists created exquisite masterpieces. Meet the Trudeau artists and take a look at their creations.

Lillian C.

Lillian’s C. beautiful and colorful abstract tree picture was selected as the image for Trudeau’s annual holiday card. Lillian, age 16, is a Pathways student who loves being creative, helping those around her and putting smiles on people’s faces. Lillian also volunteers delivering meals for Meals on Wheels and enjoys giving back to the community.

Jon D.

Jon started to be passionate about art at a young age. He has taken many art classes and always sensed that art “just felt right.” Jon’s grandmother was an artist and as you can see, he’s inherited her talent.

Jon’s interests include models of robots, comics, collecting swords, Star Wars, electronic games, Manga, Anime, shopping, and pets. Jon’s submission was 24-inches high and includes illustrations, a fine attention to detail and an eclectic gathering of holiday decorations and people.


David lives in Trudeau’s Urban group home with his friends and his beloved cat, Sprinkles. A creative, kind and energetic man, David made two colorful pictures using a variety of supplies and methods. David’s artwork was so impressive that Financial Independence selected the snowy barn scene for its holiday card cover.

David likes to exercise and confesses that “fall is my favorite season because of Halloween and Thanksgiving.” When David is not creating artwork, you can find him watching “Wheel of Fortune,” petting Sprinkles and giving a smile to everyone he meets.

David spent the holidays preparing gingerbread houses, decorating the tree, tracking Santa, and he was lucky enough to receive a personal letter from Santa.

Rachael Q.

Rachael created this colorful gingerbread man using a variety of paints and techniques and I dare anyone to look at this cheerful picture and NOT smile!

Pictured here with Trudeau’s Sasha Morelli, Rachael loves getting her nails done, and adores the beach, pigs, music, and using her tablet.

Brenda F.

ln 2020, Brenda moved into Trudeau’s group home after a lifetime of living with her caring family. Pictured here with her father, Brenda’s family lives close to her new home and they enjoy spending time together when it is safe to do so.

Brenda is a friendly woman who enjoys arts and crafts, puzzles, going to the movies, and learning about submarines. Her art submission was a blue card with many stars artistically placed on the card’s cover.

Thank you to all the artists who submitted artwork, your creativity is boundless.

Shaw’s Employee Dave Huntoon

By Kathleen Layton

Shaw’s in Cranston, Rhode Island bustled with energy on a recent Tuesday morning. The store was gleaming, and the produce department was filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, arranged neatly and even artistically. This is where customers can find Dave Huntoon, a proud Shaw’s employee for over 12 years.

On October 22 I talked to Dave while he calmly replenished an onion display. A multitasker, Dave answered questions and stocked vegetables — all while pausing to personally direct customers to their desired fruit or vegetable. Asked how he feels about his job, Dave replied, “I like the people I work with because they are friendly and always help each other. Organizing the produce is important because you want to make it look nice and keep it well stocked.” The produce certainly looked nice and was superbly stocked during my visit.

A 2004 Pilgrim High School graduate, Dave works approximately 15 hours every week.  On weekdays he takes a RIPTA bus to and from work and on the weekends, his father plays chauffer. Dave lives in Warwick with his parents and is one of three boys. When asked what he enjoys doing when he is not working, Dave beams, “I help my mom babysit my nephews. My nephews absolutely love me, and I get a kick out of spending time with them. The boys are my biggest fans!” Considering Dave’s enthusiasm and kindness, I am not surprised.

“With this job, you gotta put your heart into it.”

As an essential employee, Dave has been working throughout the pandemic. When asked if that was scary, Dave shared, “With this job, you gotta put your heart into it. Sure, it was nerve-wracking at first, but I feel safe and like coming to work.”

In 2006 Dave formed a relationship with the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center as a part of its Transition Academy. This program helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities become contributing members of their community through meaningful employment. The Trudeau Center is especially proud of pairing Dave with Shaw’s and enjoys watching Dave’s career grow. As the agency celebrates the national Disability Employment Awareness Month, we salute companies like Shaw’s and employees like Dave for working hard to make work work — for people with disabilities.

Please consider giving to the Trudeau Center.


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Jessie Perrin ’17, behavior analyst for children with autism and disabilities

Jesse Perrin ’17 (M) grew up volunteering at many organizations, and he always seemed to gravitate towards the kids who were picked on or who were disadvantaged in some way, helping to mentor and teach them despite their challenges.

When he graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth) with a degree in psychology in 2013, he decided that he wanted to pursue a lifelong career of working alongside disadvantaged kids—particularly with autism and disabilities through applied behavioral analysis (ABA).

“I think life is difficult enough as it is, and if you really are at a disadvantage, it’s an obligation to help people who have less advantages than you,” Perrin described. “And ABA provides the best tools to do that in my field.”

While Perrin started on his master’s in ABA at UMass Dartmouth, he kept hearing about the ABA program at Salve Regina. He felt like he wasn’t being challenged enough in his current master’s program, so he made the leap to transfer and finish out his degree at Salve Regina, which he finished in 2017.

Read more at Salve.edu…


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