Who is KenCrest: Roseann Adamo


Roseann Adamo Celebrates 45 Years at KenCrest This May

From bus aid to Executive Director of the Birth to Five Home and Community-Based Program, Roseann Adamo celebrates 45 years with KenCrest.

By Sydney Kerelo


45-years-ago, Roseann Adamo joined the KenCrest team as a South Philadelphia bus aide, but from the moment she stepped on that platform, she knew she wanted to do more. From bus aide to classroom substitute teacher to executive director, Adamo has grown with KenCrest.

“I started [at KenCrest] as a Temple student for my practicum,” says Adamo. “Then it grew into a summer job, an assistant, a teacher, etc.”

Adamo stayed at KenCrest for so long because of the incredible people here. “When I first started, Early Intervention was all in a classroom setting, and when it moved to home and community-base for birth to three-year-old, I was nervous about what opportunities I would have here,” she says. “I’ve never been so fortunate. People would always come up to me and say, ‘oh Roseann, this would be great for you, try this, try that.’”

“When you’re young and just starting in your career and life, things happen,” she adds. “You get married, have children, go to school, etc. KenCrest has always been a partner with me through that. I was able to work full-time, then part-time, then from home, they were always supportive and adapting to what I needed, and you don’t find that everywhere.”

Now, as Executive Director, Adamo works collaboratively with supervisors and coordinators. Her program is in Pennsylvania and New Castle, Sussex, and Kent Counties in Delaware. Adamo works closely with the state of Pennsylvania and the Office of Child Development in Early Learning to understand all regulations, qualifications, and practices to best care for the children KenCrest serves.

Plus, due to KenCrest’s various programs, Adamo attended different meetings and learned about adult services. According to Adamo, there have been instances where children from Birth to Five became 21 and needed support and would reach out to her for help. With the knowledge KenCrest provides, Adamo was able to guide those families to the adult services KenCrest offers.

Adamo’s ability to help every child and adult within her reach landed her the Sister Grace award—KenCrest’s highest-level award employees can receive.

In 1947, Sister Grace Jones began leading KenCrest away from helping those with Tuberculosis to assisting children with disabilities and their families. Since she took the helm, Philadelphia opened the first programs specifically designed to educate children with intellectual disabilities in 1955. Since then, KenCrest has continuously evolved. Each year during the staff recognition banquet, one employee who embodies the mission and values of KenCrest gets the Sister Grace award. The nominee needs to have longevity at KenCrest and has significantly impacted the work KenCrest does.

“You need to be nominated by many people to get this award,” says Adamo. “For me, it was parents that wrote letters nominating me; it was co-workers and families that I work with every day. I remember it being an out-of-body experience, and it was life-changing and so meaningful to be recognized.”

Adamo continues to embody KenCrest’s mission and values, especially during the peak of COVID-19 when all the counties closed their Early Intervention services. But she persevered, and all KenCrest’s programs were up and running with virtual visits within a week, and now families in the Early Intervention programs can do virtual, in person, or a hybrid.

“Working in Early Intervention is not about what you think the child needs; it’s about what the family, parents, and caregivers are concerned about,” says Adamo. “It’s important to build relationships with the families because that’s the foundation of your work. If the family is with you and you are working together.”

KenCrest’s 117th anniversary is coming up this June; learn more about our history by clicking here. Plus, interested in learning more about our Early Intervention programs in Pennsylvania here! 

Looking for a career with a company who wants to grow with you? Join KenCrest! Visit our recruitment page for more information and to learn more!