Juli Cehula is a true example of someone who gives it their all and makes a tremendous impact every day in the human service field.
Juli Cehula oversees the Western Pennsylvania region of Community Options Positive Behavior Support program. This includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Indiana, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. Juli is the lead clinician overseeing cases for adults and adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Juli chose a career in the intellectual disabilities and autism (ID/A) field to give back to the community and grow her passion for serving others. Juli's interest in the field began early in her life because her uncle was a member of the ID community. When she was young, Juli did not notice a difference; to her, her uncle was the funny guy that brought her the coolest presents, gave her the biggest hugs, and had the same love for Disney cartoons as she did. He was always a role model and one of her biggest fans.
As Juli grew older, she noticed how her dad had to take care of her uncle to help with his basic needs. Whether it was going grocery shopping, helping clean his house, or making sure he took his medications, her dad was always there to help. Juli knew that one day, she too could be a helper.
As her knowledge of the ID/A field grew, Juli noticed a big difference in the understanding of those who served the ID/A field and those who did not. People outside of this field had unwarranted misconceptions about the lifestyle that a person with different needs should have. Juli now is in the unique position to be able to bridge that gap and educate our communities on the right that everyone, no matter their level of need, has to live with safety, health, and dignity in order to thrive.
The most profound learning moments of Juli's career are to celebrate every victory, no matter how small or how big. Those she serves have taught her to advocate for others to assure that human dignity is protected and honored each day. Juli's supervisor says that she makes a world of a difference and is forever grateful for her leadership and kindness every day.