Jean PerkarekJean Pekarek
Developmental Disabilities Program Manager

Little did Jean know when working with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities during her high school and early college days that she would return to the field two careers later, but that she did. Jean has worked in developmental disability services in Wallowa County since 1999 and currently serves as the Developmental Disabilities Program Manager at Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness.

She is passionate about getting to know those enrolled in the program, learning about their life goals whether large or small, and looking for ways to support them in getting there. It’s not uncommon for people with developmental disabilities to be told by society what they can or can’t do and what’s “best” for them. Jean knows it’s possible to support personal choice and independence while also maintaining health and safety and she finds it incredibly rewarding to watch people grow into their own. She has an especially soft spot for parents of children with intellectual or developmental disabilities who often provide lifelong care for their son or daughter and refers to these parents as true unsung heroes.

Wallowa County is so much about neighbors helping neighbors and Jeans feels fortunate to be doing work in keeping with that Wallowa County tradition.