My name is Alina and I did my placement at Cherish Integrated Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities in the year of 2011-2012. I really enjoyed this experience because I have gained the knowledge and skills to become a better Social Worker. Most importantly I got the opportunity to meet amazing staff that really care about their clients, and wonderful clients that taught me about Autism and their differences and personalities. Cherish offers variable services to persons with developmental disabilities to provide them with different activities that teach them the skills needed for them to attain a better quality of life. Clients will learn life skills needed for their life to be easier and better. Clients will engage in different activities that will focus on their motor, sensory, problem solving, person growth enhancement, and other great services to promote healthy living and communication. Clients will also meet other clients and share their experiences, similarities and differences which will make them gain long-lasting friendships. I really loved doing my placement at Cherish and I will recommend this agency to my potential clients and anybody that can benefit from it.

– Alina Safronii, Placement Student 2011-2012

 My experience at Cherish is one I will never forget, I remember first stepping into this environment which is fairly new to me. I have never interacted this closely with so many people with developmental disabilities, I was scared and thought to myself, “wow I am going to be here for a while”. Annie had always kept a smiling face telling me on my first day, it is okay that I feel overwhelmed and that I could stay back and observe and when I am ready I can join in. And with that, I was reassured. The trainees all seem to enjoy what they do at Cherish, and there are many dedicated students, like Anny, who comes in very early and enjoys everything that happens in Cherish. There are many challenging encounters I have been faced with at Cherish, and Annie has always been very welcoming when I needed help.

– Diane Li, Placement Student 2012-2013

Cherish I.S. is in its 4th year of successful operation, a testament to Annie Leung’s vision and commitment of serving individuals of all ages with a developmental disability.

As parents of a young man with multiple diagnosis and challenging behavior, we are glad to be able to access Cherish’s Daily Living Enrichment Program for Adults.  We feel our son is making good strides in areas of social, communication, and life skills when he attends Cherish day program.  He and we are welcomed and well supported by all the staff and volunteers at the Centre, often in very challenging transition situations.  They have shown responsiveness to his many needs on a daily basis.  Through their patience and intuitive observations, they are able to connect with our son, providing the guidance and help unique to him during the program.

Among the various programs Cherish offers, our son also enjoys the yearly Group Living Adaptation week long overnight “camp”, which is an intensive guided training of independent living, with varying levels of support according to the individual’s needs, while they live away from home for the full week.

In the 9 years we have known Annie, her work ethics, moral standards, her steadfast commitment to the welfare of the served individuals, have never wavered.  Annie has worked hard to provide training of staff, who in turn provide effective training through structured teaching to their developmentally disabled students and support for their family.  Always with a mindful focus of raising awareness for inclusion in the community, she tirelessly and creatively engages in partnering with community businesses and entrepreneurs.  Her many efforts of applying for funding from the City of Markham, and other sources, have resulted in bringing Cherish into the consciousness of the community at large and in encouraging all stakeholders to reach into their hearts to help better the lives and opportunities for this special population.

We are very pleased to be associated with Cherish I.S.

– Peter and Christina Fong, Parents