April 2019 – Janneza Roane

For Janneza Roane, Esperanza’s Kensington Office Manager, the health center has been a part of her life for almost as long as she can remember. As a child growing up in the neighborhood near Esperanza’s current Kensington site, Janneza was a patient at Esperanza’s very first clinic location on N. 5th Street, as were her mother and her sister, Rosa, who now serves as Esperanza’s Behavioral Health Department Administrator.

Janneza, Rosa and her mother are still Esperanza patients, and her children and husband are also patients. Said Janneza: “From working at Esperanza and also being served as a patient, I really see how everyone cares for my family and our community. We try our best to make people feel like there’s hope!” 

As one example of this care, when Janneza’s daughter, Ciarra, was seeking a ROTC scholarship that would enable her to attend Drexel University, one of the requirements was to run two miles in 17 minutes. Esperanza’s Wellness Assistant, Kara Pilkinton, who was leading a community running group, took time out of her schedule to train with Ciarra individually. Ciarra passed the test and will finish her sophomore year this spring. Another example was when her son, Brandon, was having difficulties in school with reading. His Esperanza pediatrician, Dr. Christopher Leander and the behavioral health team helped Brandon to obtain needed assessments. As a result, Brandon was able to start an individualized educational plan, which has helped him to succeed in school.

Since joining Esperanza in 2010 as a Clerical Assistant, Janneza has grown personally as well as professionally. After earning her Associate in Science degree in Business Administration, in December 2018 Janneza earned her Bachelor’s degree from Peirce College in Philadelphia.

“When I started out atEsperanza and was working on my Associate in Science degree, I was given the opportunity to take on leadership responsibilities, and that encouraged me to continue my education,” explained Janneza. “It really helped me to know that yes, I can achieve. Growing up in this neighborhood, when you graduate from high school, typically that’s it as far as your education.”

With our new Kensington Health Center opening in 2019, Janneza looks forward to new opportunities to serve more patients and expand Esperanza‘s program offerings. Said Janneza: “I’m so excited that we’ll have new services that Kensington really needs: medication-assisted treatment, financial counseling and healthy eating at our new Café. There is so much potential in this community, but there aren’t enough people who are willing to invest. I was able to grow because people wanted to invest in me. When people see that there are others who want to invest here in Kensington, it gives them hope.”