Benevilla, the West Valley’s premier family services nonprofit, announced the retirement of Darlene Turner, the Director of the West Valley Life Enrichment Program after 22 years.
Darlene has lived in Arizona for over 30 years. She originally hails from Pittsburgh, PA. where she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Dance Therapy. As a member of the Church at Cactus, where the Benevilla West Valley Life Enrichment Program (WVLEP) is housed, she was able to observe the Benevilla program and she fell in love with the concept and mission of the organization. With a history of work in the field of in-home health and a love of seniors, Darlene was a natural to be part of the Benevilla family.
“Darlene has touched countless lives through her service with Benevilla,” says Joanne Thomson, Benevilla President and CEO. “She has truly been an inspiration to everyone and has made such a huge impact on the West Valley Life Enrichment Program when she started over 22 years ago. We will miss her smile, her passion and her always helpful nature.”
Darlene began her journey with Benevilla in early 1995 as a part-time health aide in the West Valley Life Enrichment Program. The program had been in operation for less than a year and only nine families were enrolled. Today, with Darlene’s dedication and hard work, the West Valley Life Enrichment Program serves 39 families.
Most recently the WVLEP has been able to expand services to care for those who have intellectual and developmental disabilities (DDD) and accepts ALTHC insurances as well as benefits coverage through the Veterans Administration.
“I just love the people!” says Darlene. “For all the people I have helped throughout the years, each one of them has made me who I am today. People say I have changed lives but my life has been changed too. I wouldn’t trade my years at Benevilla for anything.”
Darlene leads an active lifestyle. She has three grandchildren, is an involved member of her church and loves doing her own yard work. When describing Darlene, Courtney Allen, Vice President of Program Operations says “She always shares a genuine smile with everyone she meets and perfectly exemplifies the core values and mission of Benevilla.”
Started by the community and for the community in 1981, Benevilla is a not-for-profit human services agency dedicated to enhancing the lives of West Valley residents by providing care services for older adults, intellectually disabled adults, children, and families. For more information on services, volunteer opportunities, to take a tour or make a donation to Benevilla, call 623-584-4999 or visit www.benevilla.org.