The MENTOR Network

DSPs of the Week

July 26, 2021

Gloria Brown

Direct Suport Professional
Ohio MENTOR

“I work as a DSP because I enjoy helping people in need. I’ve worked in similar roles throughout out my career,  but in this role I am able to support the individuals we serve with their daily living activities and help them live a more self-directed life. Being out in the community doing things they enjoy and seeing the excitement on their faces when they are having fun is such a great moment.”

July 19, 2021

Lindsay Taylor

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Pennsylvania

“I choose to work as a NeuroCognitive Specialist to help others identify and achieve their goals. Through a person-centered approach, I find that I easily build rapport with the folks I support, which allows for a common ground to start communicating and building trust. The greatest thing that I do on behalf of the people we serve is offer patience, positivity, and fully listen to them; from there I can gain an understanding of what steps are needed to start working toward their goals.”

July 12, 2021

Karisa Boyd

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I choose to work as a DSP because I believe the individuals we serve deserve the best caregivers to support them and they bring a lot of meaning to my life! Out in the community, we enjoy recreational activities in the park and dances, but bowling is my favorite because it brings me so much joy to see them support and encourage each other.”

July 5, 2021

Natasha Paulsen

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Michigan

“I choose to work in a direct support role because helping people achieve their goals is one of the most rewarding feelings a person can have in life. Brian Tracy said, ‘when you start doing what you love to do, you will never work another day in your life.’ I cannot agree more with that quote. Due to the pandemic, it was difficult to do many things out and about with the people we serve, but we recently went to an outdoor light display. It was a joy to watch that spark of magic in their eyes with each display and one of the individuals talked about it for weeks afterwards.”

June 28, 2021

Amber Derosier

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“Caring for others who can’t care for themselves is truly one of the most rewarding things in life. Having family with similarities to some of the people we serve, I personally know how important dedicated DSPs are for those in need of support and care. Out in the community, my favorite thing to do is to take the individuals we serve out for lunch and to the park, though they would say they love shopping!”

June 21, 2021

Ida Koestner

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I work as a DSP because I like to make a difference in people’s lives. I enjoy working with the ladies I serve and it’s an amazing feeling seeing them happy when they accomplish a goal or just light up with happiness. Out in the community, we love going to the Stingers baseball games. When the team scores they get so excited and they love to interact with others, especially the mascot!”

June 14, 2021

Gina Gasaway

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I love being able to help the individuals we serve. To see the smiles on their faces and know I am part of that is a great feeling. Out in the community, we enjoy bowling together, picnics in the park, social gatherings, and holiday parties and special events with other organizations.”

June 7, 2021

Renee Awad

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Pennsylvania

“I enjoy helping guide people we serve on their journey to living their most vibrant, healthy lives by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to reach their goals.”

May 31, 2021

Nikelas Wilson

Direct Suport Professional
Missouri MENTOR

“I choose to work as a DSP because I enjoy supporting the individuals we serve. As much as they learn from me, I feel as though I learn twice as much from them. One of our favorite things to do is to go bowling. It’s always a fun time and the excitement from anyone getting a strike always makes me smile.”

May 24, 2021

Hollie Malden

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I love to help others feel better! It’s always a good feeling to know we are caring and supporting individuals no matter how difficult or complicated the day has been. My favorite things to do out in the community include going on walks by the river with the individuals we serve or a restaurant to sip on coffee or whatever the favorite drink is.”

May 17, 2021

Ruth Altendorfer

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“When I first started as a DSP, I was just looking for a fun weekend job. It took me about two days before I realized this is what I am meant to do. I love being able to help the individuals we serve lead the most meaningful and fulfilling lives possible. We especially love doing things out in the community together. This year was challenging while we had to hunker down and stay home due to the pandemic, but we made sure to spend lots of time outside gardening, feeding the animals, and having plenty of water gun fights! When the weather was colder, we turned to crafts and redecorating the house.”

May 10, 2021

Logan Donahue

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Pennsylvania

“I choose to work in a direct support role because it allows me to use my skills to help the people we serve reach their goals and live fulfilling lives. The role also allows me to continuously learn more about myself and others. Due to the pandemic, outings have been limited but we still find ways to do fun activities while staying safe at home. For example, an individual that I serve said they wanted to make a taco pizza because they enjoyed the meal as a child. We worked together to make the pizza and I could tell that he really enjoyed the activity, as well as the pizza, as he wants to make something new next week!”

May 3, 2021

Aidan Kelley

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I work in a direct support role because I enjoy caring for people. I’m here to help my team members and the people we serve reach their goals and deal with everyday problems and struggles.”

April 26, 2021

Karen Brown

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“I work in a direct support role because I love helping people. The role is perfect for me―I’m able to care for the people we serve, help them, and provide the love they need. One of my favorite outings with them was a few years ago.  We organized a Halloween Trunk or Treat event where individuals would go Trunk to Trunk getting treats and eating all types of funny looking foods. It was a great event not only for the people we serve, but everyone involved.”

April 19, 2021

Becky Avila

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative California

“I have always loved helping people. It’s been a passion of mine ever since I was little. I support the people we serve by helping them schedule their appointments and outings, making sure they have what they need, and I lend a kind and considerate ear when they need to talk to someone. Some of my favorite outings with them include football games, concerts, WWE wrestling matches, and special events at NeuroRestorative. The best ones are those that they’ve been longlining to attend. Just to see the smiles on their faces is something―it’s the outcome after everything is done, and priceless.”

April 12, 2021

Tiffany Frazier

Direct Suport Professional
REM West Virginia

“I choose to work as a DSP because I love giving back and appreciate that the individuals we serve truly make a difference in my life. I love that I can teach them things and help make a difference in their lives, as well. I really enjoy taking them shopping. It is great to watch them make choices, especially when they are healthy ones. It shows what we impart really can help in the long run. My favorite outing, however, was when we attended the Special Olympics in Charleston. It was an experience I will never forget!”

April 5, 2021

Michael Armstrong

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I choose to work in the direct support role because I genuinely enjoy helping others! It is very fulfilling to come to work every day to support the people we serve and assist them with their daily tasks. We enjoy going out for dinner, shopping, and seeing the latest blockbuster at the movie theater together. But if I had to pick a favorite type of outing it would be one where the individuals we serve are able to learn something from the experience, like going to the zoo, aquarium or museum.”

March 29, 2021

Isha Roberts

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania NeuroRestorative

“I chose to work as a Direct Support Professional because I love helping people! The individuals I serve have the potential for personal greatness. As a cognitive therapist, I help them implement tools and rally their resources so they may create the lives they desire and deserve! One of my favorite things to do with them is to go on social outings. These outing allow them to come together and socialize among their peers, which makes them happy.”

March 22, 2021

Mark Kean

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working as a DSP is seeing the progress that the people we serve make over the years. Due to COVID-19 we haven’t had as many outings together lately, but my absolute favorite is Daytona Bike Week!”

March 15, 2021

Michelle Schrom

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“It gives me great pride to be able to help the individuals we serve live their lives to the fullest. With COVID-19 our options for outings are limited, but we try to do what we can within the guidelines laid out for us. We enjoy going on walks around the neighborhood and seeing the horses nearby. I also enjoy doing crafts and puzzles with the individuals we serve.”

March 8, 2021

Katelynn Davis

Direct Suport Professional
South Carolina MENTOR

“I chose to work in this field so that I could have a positive and direct impact on people who need it the most. I try my best to be a steady presence for the people we serve when there are bad days, and enjoy the many good days alongside them. Since we’re taking extra precautions because of COVID-19, community outings look a little different. The ones I enjoy include taking van rides and listening to music that the individuals we serve like to play and sing along to.  It’s a great way to get some sunlight and fresh air while being safe.”

March 1, 2021

Dana Wallace

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Pennsylvania

“I am a Neurocognitive Specialist and enjoy working with the people we serve by helping them develop their decision-making skills through activities and real-life applications at home and in the community. We especially like taking walks in the park. It’s a great way to get exercise and practice meditation, breathwork and conversational skills.”

February 22, 2021

Allison Pilgrim

Direct Suport Professional
Arizona MENTOR

“I work as a DSP because everyone needs someone to care about and to help them at times in their lives. I love to help people. When I’m helping someone learn something new and that light bulb comes on I know I’ve made a positive impact on that person’s life and there is nothing more rewarding. Once a week we take the individuals we serve shopping. During these outings, we help them with things like budgeting, self-help skills, and even coping skills. For some, being in the community was intimidating and to see them overcome these hurdles so they are comfortable out in the community is just amazing to me.”

February 15, 2021

Shane Brown

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I love being a DSP because I feel like I am actually making a difference in people’s lives. The relationships we build are unique to our field. The people we serve depend on us and it feels good to provide the support and acceptance they need and deserve. One of our favorite things to do together is fish. It’s fun to share my passion for fishing, like my father did for me. I love when they catch a fish, and enjoy getting out for some fresh air as much as possible.”

February 8, 2021

Patricia Kendzierski

Direct Suport Professional
REM West Virginia

“I have worked as a DSP for 15 years and I still look forward to caring for others and making them happy—it’s that simple. It’s been hard sometimes during the COVID chaos to find normalcy, but we’re creating ways to socialize safely and enjoy the holidays. On Halloween, for example, we organized a socially distanced Halloween runway party where our residents walked down the driveway with their costumes and were safely presented with candy and gifts before having their pictures taken.”

February 1, 2021

Anita Norwood

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“As a direct support professional, I enjoy helping the people we serve learn new things—especially things that people told them they would never be able to do. I also enjoy making sure they get to explore and enjoy what interests them. There are three individuals I support who love cars, so we’ll go for a drive and visit local car dealerships to see all the different cars.”

January 25, 2021

Emily Williams

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I am able to help the people we serve accomplish their own goals and enjoy activities. We haven’t gone on many outings lately due to the pandemic, but normally we enjoy going to places where the individuals can look and touch things, such as nature centers. We also enjoy going to the community centers and sketching our surroundings.”

January 18, 2021

Joanna Carreon

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I work with an amazing team that helps the individuals we serve prosper in their daily lives and achieve their long term goals. The direct support role can be challenging at times, but it is so rewarding to be a huge part of the individuals’ lives and help them grow. One of my favorite things to do is to go out into the community with one of the individuals we serve who needs additional support due to behavioral challenges. It’s wonderful to witness this individual enjoying the little things in life by going for walks in the park, swimming and shopping.”

January 11, 2021

Cristian Castellon

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I learn so much from the individuals we serve, and through training on various care practices I gain knowledge that helps me professionally and personally. I especially enjoy going to the parks or on van rides with the people we serve.  It gives me the chance to talk with them more and learn what they like.”

January 4, 2021

Adetimehin Olarewaju

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I believe that the individuals we care for are an important part of our society and have much to contribute. As a direct support professional, I enjoy being able to help them achieve their dreams and teach them life skills to become as independent as possible. A few of us recently went for a drive together around town after COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions were lifted in our area. Seeing the joy and serenity on their faces as a result of being back in their community really made my day.”

December 28, 2020

Rebecca Russell

Direct Suport Professional
REM Mississippi

“Helping the individuals I serve feel included in the community and welcomed by others is so rewarding. As a DSP, I have an opportunity to play a major role in their care and develop relationships that positively impact their lives. We enjoy many outings together, but some of my favorite activities include dance parties, sing offs, and walks. They are such wonderful people and I love making them cheerful. It makes my heart overjoyed at the end of the day.”

December 21, 2020

Laura Penick

Direct Suport Professional
REM Ohio

“I work in a direct support role because I have always had a passion to care for others. I love being able to be there for the people we serve and to make them smile. My favorite outings include shopping and just doing things they enjoy.”

December 14, 2020

Jessica Goakey

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“I choose to work as a DSP because I have always loved to help and care for others. I have a positive attitude and enjoy working hands on with the individuals we serve to make sure they are happy—helping with their personal needs or just being there to keep them company. One of our favorite things to do together is to go on van rides and listen to their favorite radio station. There is one hill that causes one individual to burst into giggles every time.”

December 7, 2020

Sonia Johnson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I care for the individuals we serve like they are my family or how I would want my loved ones to be cared for. It’s the best feeling to see them learn new things and grow – helping them be as independent as possible. Teaching them outdoor activities and going camping is the best. Seeing their faces when they catch a fish is priceless!”

November 30, 2020

Jenean Sargent

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“I enjoy working with the individuals we serve and value the lifelong relationships we’ve built that benefit their lives and mine. I always encourage our individuals to do their best. I believe that keeping it fun, while accomplishing the goals is paramount to their success. One of my favorite things to do is celebrate birthdays. Taking special day trips to places they enjoy is always fun too and gives everyone something to look forward to doing again.”

November 23, 2020

Cassandra Stowe

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Iowa

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I like helping people. When you see someone work so hard at a goal and fail over and over again and then finally succeed it is a wonderful feeling. Knowing you helped them get there is very rewarding, as well!”

November 16, 2020

Sabrina Fox

Direct Suport Professional
REM Mississippi

“I choose to work as a DSP because I enjoy sharing the love that my parents gave me. The role allows me the opportunity to care for the individuals we serve and gives families peace of mind knowing their loved ones are receiving quality care and being active in the community.  A first experience for me was a scavenger hunt we participated in earlier this year. I don´t know who enjoyed it most, the ladies or me. Just seeing them laugh and find all the different items made my day!”

November 9, 2020

Stacey Jackson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Mississippi

“I enjoy so many things about being a DSP, but to name just a few: I love seeing the individuals I serve happy; I love the fact that I am able to be a part of their lives and help make sure their needs are met; and I love that I get to support them in living life to the fullest. I also love taking them out in the community. We always talk, listen to music, dance together, and most importantly we laugh together.”

November 2, 2020

Haley Rockneberg

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I choose to be in a direct support role because I am a genuine and caring person. I love our VIPs [people we serve] and enjoy helping them achieve their goals, make healthy food choices, and practice self-care. We do a lot in the community together. The holidays are especially fun—we’ll dress up on Halloween and look forward to driving around to view Christmas decorations in December. One outing I really enjoyed was when the whole house and all the staff went out to eat together.”

October 26, 2020

Nicole Eldridge

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I love caring for the individuals we serve and being able to teach them new skills like cooking. The excitement they feel and show when they learn these skills is so rewarding. Some of my favorite outings with them include going to church, the zoo, movies, the fair, and visiting their families. The laughter and fun they have is why I love doing what I do for each and every one of them.”

October 19, 2020

Stephen Palino

Direct Suport Professional
Massachusetts Adult Day Health

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I truly enjoy helping others. My goal every day is to help the people we serve achieve their highest level of independence in their daily activities. I especially enjoy facilitating life enrichment activities, such as exercise classes, baking groups, and therapeutic recreation.”

October 12, 2020

Glamour Jean

Direct Suport Professional
New Jersey MENTOR

“I like spending time with the individuals we serve and using my experience as a care giver to help them do the things they enjoy.  Some of our favorite things to do together include playing games, cooking, and going to the park and mall.”

October 5, 2020

Amanda Paige Stewart

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Virginia

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I truly love being a caregiver. I am able to assist the people we support with daily living activities, help them with their medications, and make sure everyone is engaged and happy. Due to the pandemic we haven’t been able to go on community outings so we had to get creative and recently went to a drive-thru zoo where we had an amazing time feeding the animals and laughing together!”

August 31, 2020

Lesta Niccum

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I like having a positive impact on the lives of the people we support, but I also believe they make a positive impact on my life. Being able to support them and build these meaningful relationships, it is like having another family here. One of our favorite things to do together is Special Olympics. Seeing them participate and enjoying the events makes everyone’s day!”

August 24, 2020

Cristina Moreno

Direct Suport Professional
Creative Home Programs, California

“I enjoy being part of the development and personal growth of the individuals we support. It is fulfilling to see how proud they are when they achieve their goals. Some of my favorite things to do with them out in the community include going to the library for story time, shopping at the supermarket, and just walking through our community together.”

August 17, 2020

Rhonda Brown

Direct Suport Professional
Georgia MENTOR

“I have a passion for serving the people we support and enjoy making sure the woman I currently assist feels safe and secure in her environment by helping her with whatever she needs. Since I’m overnight staff I don’t get to accompany her on outings, but we always talk about what she enjoyed during the day and we love to sing and watch television together.”

August 10, 2020

Crystal Haislep

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Adult Day Health, Kentucky

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I love to help people. I love getting to know the people we serve, caring for them, and being a helping hand with whatever they need. Before COVID-19, one of my favorite things to do out in the community with the people I serve was to take them out to their favorite restaurants to see the joy on their faces, and listening to them laugh with me when we would sing songs together. I look forward to more of those outings.”

August 3, 2020

Liliana Martinez

Direct Suport Professional
Creative Home Programs, California

“I enjoy making a difference in the lives of the children and families we work with. It is so rewarding to watch the children achieve every little milestone and accomplishment as they work towards a bright future. I recently went on a community outing with one of the children we serve and it was great to see how her social skills have developed. Seeing her happily interacting with another child and being vocal while playing was amazing!”

July 27, 2020

Connie Whiteman

Direct Suport Professional
REM West Virginia

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I feel that the people we support are as important as anyone else to the health of our communities. I enjoy being part of their lives and being able to help them enjoy life to the fullest. One of our favorite things to do together is to go out for a car ride and count the different colored trucks.”

July 20, 2020

Amanda Gonzalez

Direct Suport Professional
Creative Home Programs, California

“I love to see the children we serve develop and grow.  I especially love the moment when a child finally understands what you are trying to teach them and how proud they become when showing off their new skill.”

July 13, 2020

Melisa Rider

Direct Suport Professional
REM Mississippi

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I truly care about the people we serve. I enjoy helping them grow, learn and ultimately have a better quality of life. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, it has been challenging to do some of our usual activities, but with social distancing regulations in mind we use our creativity, play games and get outside to refresh ourselves and experience different sceneries.”

July 6, 2020

Heartlinne Warnell

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping the individuals we support achieve their goals. The feeling of making a difference by improving the quality of their lives is so rewarding. Out in the community, we especially enjoy going to the park to play basketball or just talk. ”

June 29, 2020

Melissa Carver

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy being able to help people become more independent. I use the degree I have in special education and my experience as a DSP to help those we serve with the challenges they face in their everyday lives. The diversity of the job and activities we do challenges all of us to keep learning and growing.”

June 22, 2020

Cynthia Esquivias-Ruan

Direct Suport Professional
Creative Home Programs California

“I am fascinated by the uniqueness of each child we serve. It is empowering to see their potential and help them reach it. I especially  enjoy when sessions take place outdoors. During a session with one family, we spent it outside playing hide and seek. Many family members were involved and it was heartwarming to see how the mom and her son connected. I really enjoyed that moment and seeing the children joyfully playing a carefree game.”

June 15, 2020

Ken Harris

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Illinois

“I enjoy having the chance to care about a population of people who can get lost in our society. To help them overcome their challenges is truly a blessing. There is one young lady we support who jokingly introduces me as her grandpa; we look nothing alike so we have a huge laugh, then I say, ‘I just love being her grandpa!’”

June 8, 2020

Sophia Dorfman

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“As a DSP, I enjoy having the opportunity to improve the quality of life of the individuals I serve. I am committed to providing a safe and healthy environment, and supporting them with self-help skills that work toward independent living. Taking them out in the community is especially rewarding, because it gives me a chance to teach them independence and money management, along with personal safety.”

June 1, 2020

Latifah Cherry

Direct Suport Professional
New Jersey MENTOR

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I believe that I can make an impact in the lives of the people we serve by encouraging and helping them every day to reach their goals. I love assisting them with daily activities like cooking, supporting their choices and lifestyles, taking them to medical appointments, teaching them money management, and most of all increasing their independence so that they know anything is possible! My absolute favorite outing is going to Special Olympics competitions. I love to see the smiles on their faces when they do their best and compete. I’ll never forget when they placed 1st and 2nd! We celebrated for a week and talked about it for weeks on end.”

May 25, 2020

Alice Cross

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I work as a DSP for the fulfilment I receive knowing I am helping a fellow person in need. My family needs help every once and a while and I feel this is my way of giving back. I love taking the people we serve out into the community. My favorite thing to do with them is to go to the movies. I also love it when we go shopping and out to eat. I feel they get a lot out of being out in the community—they smile more and get excited when they know they are going somewhere. It makes their day and mine.”

May 18, 2020

Amanda Kokesch

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I love helping others and assisting the individuals we serve with day-to-day skills and tasks so that they can live independently. I especially enjoy going on walks in the community with them, visiting the humane society, cooking together, and helping them learn and expand their skills.”

DSP of the Week

May 11, 2020

Anna Tapia

Direct Suport Professional
Creative Home Programs, California

“I enjoy having a direct impact on the children and parents who we work with and being able to provide support, tips, advice and suggestions to parents about their child’s specific needs. It’s so rewarding to watch the children we work with reach milestones that their parents and I have been helping them work towards. One of my favorite things to do out in the community is to bring the children and their families to the park for social opportunities with other children.”

May 4, 2020

Halee Tharp

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping the individuals we serve set and reach goals. There is nothing like watching them take pride in their accomplishments. Out in the community, one of my favorite things to do is go with them to dances. It’s always fun to see them let loose and enjoy each other.”

April 27, 2020

Crystal Himes

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I enjoy working day in and day out with the people we support because I enjoy seeing them happy. I especially love see their excitement when it comes to getting or doing something new.”

April 20, 2020

Emily Nelson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“The things I enjoy most about my job include getting to know the people I support, spending time with them, and doing what I can to brighten their day. I love taking the people I support shopping and out to eat at restaurants, and spending time with them outdoors when the weather is nice. I love to see them smiling and enjoying their lives.”

April 13, 2020

Jasmin Villa

Direct Suport Professional
Creative Home Programs, California

“I enjoy knowing I am a part of the students’ learning process. The process to become a self-sufficient student can be long and tough for our kids, and knowing I get to be there along the way is so rewarding. I have always had a passion for the kids we get to work with and I believe it shows in my work with them. It takes lots of patience and the end result is awesome. Seeing their progress―any progress, small or major―is great and shows our hard work is there. Not a lot of people are able to work with our kids and I feel like it is a privilege to be there with them!”

April 6, 2020

Alisha Miller

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I enjoy working with the individuals we serve and watching them become more independent. Some of our favorite things to do together include going for car rides in the community and visiting Riverside Park, their favorite park.”

March 30, 2020

Christine Rice

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is spending time with the individuals I work with. I have been with them for many years.”

March 23, 2020

Melony White

Direct Suport Professional
Creative Homes Program, California MENTOR

“I most enjoy the growth that happens with my families. Being able to help them see themselves and one another in a better light encourages the families to do the work with or without me. It’s rewarding to be able to help children improve and beat challenges and help parents see that with time, creativity and of course loving play they can teach their little ones anything. I have taken to creating small groups for my children that are within a few months of graduating to give children a space to practice their newly developing skills, give parents a chance to see what skills their child has truly mastered or what they still need to work on, and provide parents the opportunity to connect with other parents to build support after their child has graduated from the program. We have library outings and do other fun things, like go to the store to work on ‘accepting no’ so children and their families can have a better experience while out in the community. One of my most recent outings was with a mom and her toddler. Mom had never taken her son on a walk due to her own personal challenges. Mom was finally able to work up the nerve to go on a walk and work on safe skills with her little one. To the person on the outside of the picture this may seem like a simple outing, but for the mother and her child, they reached an unforgettable milestone together.”

During this challenging time, our Creative Home Program team is continuing to communicate with families to ease fears, reassuring them of the precautions we are taking as an organization, and preparing them to receive remote services. They are also putting together lesson plans that are fun and engaging so that teachers can guide the parents we support through activities. They are finding ways to be social without being distant.

March 16, 2020

Kaylee Garner

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is putting smiles on the faces of the individuals we serve by going places they like, getting something new, or just eating their favorite meal! It is very rewarding to be a part of their little family! We especially like to go out to eat, to the movies, park and water bowl. We also go to fairs, stores, the zoo and aquarium.”

March 9, 2020

Sherrie Trumblee

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping people succeed by not giving up.”

March 2, 2020

Dona Centner

Direct Suport Professional
Creative Homes Program, California

“I work in the infant program. The individuals I serve are families and their babies who are at risk.  We occasionally meet in the park or at a community event, but typically our visits are in home.  What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the kids!  Their smiles when I arrive.  Their excitement to see me. I especially enjoy working with young moms.  Sharing with them little tricks of the trade that may help them teach or comfort their child.”

February 24, 2020

Haley Morrison

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“It’s a great feeling to be loved by the people we serve! I love working with people and helping them get out and enjoy themselves. We recently went to the aquarium and regularly participate in basketball, baseball and bowling.”

February 17, 2020

Kelly Winders

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I like to help the individuals we serve and I love seeing them become more independent in the things that they do! I really enjoy listening to all of their different stories.  Out in the community, I like to volunteer with them and help clean up our community. Recently, I enjoyed going on a scavenger hunt at a local business with a few individuals we serve and watching their faces light up when they found the different items.”

February 10, 2020

Sharon Mayer

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I chose this as my job because I enjoy helping the individuals we serve conquer difficult obstacles that may arise and to prove wrong the people who told them ‘you can’t do this’ or ‘you will never be able to do that.’  Out in the community, one of my favorite things to do is to spend one-on-one time with the individuals we serve doing things they love to do. I also love taking groups to the Mall of America, the zoo, group lunches and movies, and getting everyone together to celebrate the holidays.”

February 4, 2020

Melissa James

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Massachusetts

“I love to make a difference and do what I can to ensure the highest quality of life for the people we serve; to help advocate for those who cannot or don’t quite know how to advocate for themselves; and to make others smile and see the good in every day. And, when they can’t see the good, I want to be there to help them cope with everything that they face. I also love to get out in the community with the people we serve. I love to explore, see the sights, visit museums and aquariums, picnic by ponds and enjoy fun outdoor games.”

January 21, 2020

Lacey Elliott

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I choose to work in a direct support role to be able to connect to the people I provide support to and see them strive as individuals. I love being able to watch them meet their goals and being a part of why they were able to get there. Out in the community, I absolutely love going to their sport meets. I had the opportunity of seeing the individuals I work with earn medals and even go to the state competition all while having fun and doing their very best. Seeing the smiles on their faces when they realize what they accomplished all on their own is one of the best parts of my job.”

January 13, 2020

Melissa Ferguson

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I’m currently a program supervisor and have worked for Indiana MENTOR going on 12 years. I love helping the people we serve and seeing them succeed and become more independent. One of my favorite things to do with them is support their participation in Special Olympics. I absolutely love taking them to Terre Haute and watching them do their events and receive their medals and ribbons. I also enjoy Miracle League with them.”

January 6, 2020

Maria Nympha Reyes

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative California

“I love helping people, especially patients who want to help themselves and get better and patients who don’t have anybody else.”

December 30, 2019

Amanda Klus

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I want to make a difference! Out in the community, my favorite thing to do with the people we serve is to bring them to the parties we have with other groups. I always get to meet and see so many new and exciting people.”

December 23, 2019

Tina Zaszczurynski

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is working with the individuals we serve and helping them reach their goals and be successful. Out in the community, I especially enjoy going with them to social events organized by PALS, one of our community partners, and being able to see them have fun and their faces light up.”

December 16, 2019

Ana Delgado

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative California

“I enjoy seeing patients improve and supporting them as they reach their goals and work towards a better life.  I always welcome the opportunity to assist patients in getting out in the community, whether it be to the movies or accompanying them to a doctor’s appointment.”

December 9, 2019

Jerry Irwin

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I love most about working in a direct support role is being able to make a difference, big or small, and build relationships and memories that will last a lifetime.”

December 2, 2019

Nicola Scarpelli

Direct Suport Professional
South Carolina MENTOR

“I enjoy working as a direct support professional because it gives me an opportunity to work with individuals in a way that positively impacts their lives. They have so much to offer the community. I like to facilitate opportunities for them and help them look at all options before making decisions. One evening we went to a barbeque cook off at the Mauldin Cultural Center. They enjoyed meeting and talking to people. It was amazing how outgoing they were and a great reminder that all of us have the capacity to engage others in a positive way.”

November 25, 2019

Leticia Najera

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative California

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping patients and making them happy.”

November 18, 2019

Brianna Zelinko

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I choose to work in this field because it gives me the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment. I care about the individuals we serve and want to see their growth and health improve every day.  I love to do all sorts of art projects with them, bring them to the local dances, and do anything that makes their day brighter and brings smiles to their faces.”

November 11, 2019

Tiawanna Chaney

Direct Suport Professional
REM Mississippi

“I choose to work in a direct support role simply because it is so rewarding. I am grateful to be able to make a small difference in the world. To be able to watch the individuals we serve grow and blossom is one of the best feelings. The individuals we serve bring out the best within you. They show tons of love, courage, respect, knowledge, and are such a joy to be around. I love being able to assist them, being able to teach them, creating new activities for them to enjoy, and getting them out in the community to explore their surroundings. It is always a blast when we’re out and about. So many personalities come alive. Recently, we went to the Memphis Zoo. The wonders, the oooh’s and aaah’s, excitement, smiles, laughter, and bonding with nature truly was a wonderful experience to have witnessed. Everyone enjoyed themselves to the fullest.”

November 4, 2019

Maria Roma

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative California

“I love helping patients and entertaining them. It’s always a joy seeing them smile.”

October 28, 2019

Callum Doucette

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I choose to work in a direct support role because it is the most hands-on position available. In this role, I am able to work closely with individuals every day, and build rapport, relationships and trust. Having those established, I am able to provide individualized care to each person. I am able to help them in ways best suited for them, as well as be patient with them and be able to understand their struggles and needs. One of my favorite things to do with them is to go to the park. I am grateful to be able to watch them be unapologetically themselves—energetic, active and playful, as well as to be in a position where I support and encourage them by also crawling up on the equipment, swinging on swings, playing tag, etc. The park allows them to engage in the activity of their choice, while simultaneously being together.”

October 21, 2019

Emily Hicks

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“Being a DSP is one of the best things that I have ever done in my life. The individuals I support have become my family just as much as I have become theirs. There is nothing that I am more proud of than my job. I love taking the people we serve out in the community to do things that genuinely make them happy. I have taken some out to eat, to the movies, the zoo, and even just grocery shopping. Watching them have a good time is enough for me.”

October 14, 2019

Miriam Salinas

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative California

“I love the patients and working with my team.  I especially enjoy spending time with the patients talking and singing.”

October 7, 2019

Beena Mathew

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Illinois

“What I enjoy most about working with the people we serve is the opportunity to interact with different personalities. Interesting conversations about stories from when they were younger or what happened the day before will enlighten your life and make you a more empathetic person. Your empathy meter will grow with each person you work with.”

August 26, 2019

Eric Benson

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I enjoy coming to work and spending time with the people we serve. We often go on outings to play ball or see a movie.  I especially enjoy going to Pacers and Colts games, car shows, or the museum with them.  Recently, I took some of the individuals we serve to World on Wheels and one of them got to meet the WWE wrestler Big Show―it made his day!

August 19, 2019

Gerthene Baxter

Direct Suport Professional
South Carolina MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is talking to the people we serve and making them feel important by doing things they like. Out in the community, they especially enjoy visiting the park and walking the trails, shopping, and going out for lunch or a movie.”

 

August 12, 2019

Jennifer Joya

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Iowa

“I enjoy helping people and watching them learn new things. It is always rewarding when they have tried so hard to learn a new task and end up completing it with little to no assistance. I also enjoy our time out in the community. Just recently, we took individuals we serve to our local little petting zoo and grilled out. It was fun watching them pet the animals and enjoy the day outside.”

August 5, 2019

Jessica Delgado

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“I enjoy knowing I’m helping people achieve their full potential, helping them be more confident in their independence and of course being their number one fan through everything. One of my favorite things to do out in the community is volunteer―it’s great watching them do their duties independently and confidently.”

July 29, 2019

Shattika Skinner

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy getting to see the participants learn new things—learning skills to get back out on their own or just something they didn’t know about. Being able to help them in any way means a lot to me. Out in the community, we always enjoy bowling together and recently we went to watch our NeuroRestorative staff participant in the local adult kickball league. They loved cheering for our staff and being a part of the games.”

July 22, 2019

Latasha Volk

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I enjoy working with the individuals we serve and being a part of their lives—bringing them happiness and joy and helping them achieve their goals. Out in the community, I like to take them shopping, to craft fairs, bring them to dances and on picnics. Recently we went to a bike show and got to see a lot of people in the community.”

July 15, 2019

La’Tia Young

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Iowa

“I enjoy spending my time helping the people we serve become more independent. Each day my goal is to teach the individuals I serve daily life skills. Some of our favorite things to do together include playing cards, going on walks and game nights. The individuals I serve greet me every day with smiles on their faces. I’m happy that I bring them happiness every day I work!”

July 8, 2019

Jeanne Hanson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy working with the people we serve and sharing in the challenges and successes they experience while living on their own in their apartments. It’s fun to take them out into the community and meet all the people they know. I have made many friendships through those outings.”

July 1, 2019

Nicole Hall

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Illinois

“What I enjoy the most about working in a direct support role is being able to have that special rapport with participants, especially when you know something is bothering them and they come to you just to talk. I know right then and there I’m doing my job right!”

June 24, 2019

Alishia Jackson

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy my job because I like to help people. It makes me happy to know I can make a difference in others’ lives, especially when I know that I am helping them improve. I love to see the participants happy. I like leading groups and doing activities that they enjoy and that put smiles on their faces. My favorite community activity is our trips to the library. We normally go every week and they really enjoy picking out books, movies and games to help them pass the time at home and socialize with others.”

June 17, 2019

Tristan Johnson

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I enjoy taking the individuals we serve out to movies, concerts, fishing, and other activities; assisting them to reach their full potential and gain independence; and ensuring they keep in touch with the people who matter to them most.”

June 10, 2019

Marie Sergile Octela

Direct Suport Professional
Massachusetts Adult Day Health

“What I love most about working in a direct support role is being able to have conversations with the people we serve and begin to understand how life was for them. We share stories and laugh together.  I also enjoy the community events when I am able to sing to people. When I sing a song the reactions on their faces brings me joy and happiness—it’s my way of giving back to my community and getting to know everybody.”

June 3, 2019

Shayenne Cash

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“My favorite thing about working in a direct support role is seeing the people we serve meet goals they never thought they’d meet and seeing them surpass the goals they set for themselves. I also enjoy going to community events and doing fun activities with all the different houses. I love interacting with the individuals we serve and seeing everyone get together as a big family and enjoy each other’s company.”

May 27, 2019

Linda Sanchez

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy working closely with the program participants. It is a blessing knowing that I am able to make a positive difference in someone’s life. I love watching as they improve and knowing that I had something to do with their successes.  I especially love doing activities with them. I love taking them to the park, bowling and to bible study. They enjoy being out in the community so much.”

May 20, 2019

Kelly Relos

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“The things I enjoy the most about working in a direct support roll are getting to know everyone’s personalities and interests, and being able to help them fulfill their daily goals. It is very rewarding to be able to see each individual progress over time and learn new things along the way. One of my favorite things to do with the individuals I serve out in the community is to take them to new places, like the historic Knights Ferry recreation area, for example. I like to see them explore the outdoors and do something out of the box every once in a while.”

May 13, 2019

DeAndre Smith

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Illinois

“I like building a rapport with program participants and gaining their trust and friendship. It is very fulfilling to know that I can be that support system to help a participant through both hard and fun times.  One of our favorite outings together was to the DuQuoin State Fair. It was tons of fun for everyone. We got to sing together on a road trip and hop on a bunch carnival rides, all while indulging in lemon shake-ups.”

May 6, 2019

Jessica Buntjer

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I love making a difference in the lives of the individuals we serve. I enjoy spending time with them, having fun, and coming up with new strategies to help make them more successful.  Out in the community, we especially enjoy going to look at Christmas lights together, seeing a movie or play, and shopping.”

April 29, 2019

Karla Wilson

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“Seeing change and growth with the program participants gives me joy and purpose. Watching the struggle and then the success they experience is very humbling. Out in the community, I love walking to the park with them. There is a dog park nearby and it gives us a chance to exercise and socialize and they love to watch the dogs play.”

April 22, 2019

Brandi O’Connor

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Illinois

“The thing I love most about working in a direct support role is knowing that I make a difference to the individuals I serve. It’s a very unique and rewarding feeling to be able to help someone work towards gaining back their independence.”

April 15, 2019

Nimo Jama

Direct Suport Professional
Arizona MENTOR

“I enjoy working as a direct support professional because I have a big heart and like helping others, especially those in need.  I love supporting the people we serve and enjoy being with them. We always go out in the community for movies or just to have fun and maybe eat outside.”

April 8, 2019

Amecia Roberts

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I love what I do on a daily basis. I love to make a difference in someone’s life. I love to see progress and witness how participants overcome obstacles related to their injuries.”

April 1, 2019

Robert Westcott

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is providing a safe home for the people we serve; making sure they receive nutritious meals and proper medication; helping them become productive members of the community; and watching them grow in their personal lives.  I recently went on an outing with someone who communicates with his eyes.  We went to a specialty store and seeing his face light up (I call it smiling eyes) made my week.  It was a tough one.”

March 25, 2019

Carrie Pettit

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“It is very rewarding to work in a direct support role and I really enjoy the people I work with. It is nice to make a difference in someone else’s life.  I especially enjoy doing things outside the home.  I was able to bring one of the individuals we serve to a Twins game and we went to several county fairs last summer.”

March 18, 2019

Jeremy Bondurant

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy getting to know each person we serve and coming up with different activities for them to participate in.  When I take them out into the community—whether it be shopping or to a local park—and they are able to get what they need and do what they want it makes me feel like I have helped them.  I especially like doing special activities with them that they might not have been able to do otherwise. I really enjoy any activity that they enjoy. It makes me happy to see them happy.”

March 11, 2019

Marie Dorval

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Adult Day Health, Massachusetts

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is seeing all the different faces at the center and putting a smile on them. I like reaching out to people, doing activities with them, and giving back to the community.”

March 4, 2019

Jennifer Mitchell

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative, Ohio

“I enjoy making a difference in a person’s life.  I enjoy seeing a person come into NeuroRestorative and leave with a positive attitude knowing that we cared and rehab worked.  My favorite community outing recently was to Hartville Marketplace.  I liked having the opportunity to help individuals think and make decisions while doing a scavenger hunt through the store.”

February 25, 2019

Susan Ballenger

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is taking care of the people we serve and teaching them daily living skills. I love interacting with them.  Some of our favorite things to do together include going to baseball games and taking rides to look at all the pretty lights during Christmas time.”

February 18, 2019

Dennis Brewster

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative, New Hampshire

“I enjoy working with the program participants to improve their cognitive issues. It is rewarding to see how well they respond from day to day.  We have a participant who used to be in many bowling leagues throughout his life prior to needing our services. Watching him bowl now puts such a smile on his face.”

February 11, 2019

Jakeia Davis

Direct Suport Professional
The MENTOR Network Adult Day Health Services, Maryland

“I really enjoy being able to help improve the quality of life for so many wonderful people. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the individuals we serve really warms my heart! For me this is not work, but a way of life.  I especially enjoy the celebrations we have that bring all of our cultures together as one. Being able to learn from all different cultures is a very fulfilling experience I would not trade for anything!”

February 4, 2019

Lovedy Langlois

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Maine

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is providing hands-on care and the ability to focus solely on the clients and their needs.”

January 28, 2019

Josefina Little

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“I enjoy working with the individuals we serve and seeing them smile.  Some of our favorite things to do together include going on walks in the community, shopping and visiting the park and lake.”

January 21, 2019

Terresa Rolland

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“I love being a DSP and having an important role in the lives of the people we serve for so many reasons. We build bonds with the people we serve that are unbreakable and build a trust that money can’t buy. It’s an awesome feeling when you’ve been working on a goal with someone and then a few weeks or months later that person is doing it without you.  In those moments, the expressions on their faces always leave me with a feeling that is indescribable and amazing.”

January 14, 2019

Natasha LaCour

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative, Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the fact that it makes me happy knowing I made a difference in someone’s life just by doing the little things. Assisting with meals, housekeeping duties, and helping the people we serve run errands makes it so worth it for me. I enjoy seeing the looks on their faces knowing I helped them accomplish their daily goals. Out in the community, I love to go on walks in the park with them or take them out for ice cream.”

January 7, 2019

Sara Bloodworth

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative, Illinois

“I love the way challenges are rewarding. I love how I feel knowing that I make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.  We do many activities out in the community, but most of all I love the talent shows and enjoy cheering the people we serve on.”

December 31, 2018

Ashley Velasquez

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“I enjoy everything about my role at MENTOR Oregon! I love being a part of the journey to independence for the individuals we serve. Every day that I am teaching, I am also learning so much from the people I work with. I really enjoy being out in the community with the individuals we serve and I frequently encourage them to do things out in town. I really like the times that we go to the animal shelter, the park, or just go window shopping around town. It’s a lot of fun to watch the individuals we serve interact with community members!”

December 24, 2018

Makayla Peterson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy building relationships with the people we serve and seeing them succeed in their goals. I especially enjoy going bowling with two of the individuals we serve—we have a fun and friendly competition each time.”

December 17, 2018

Kelsie Bride

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative, Iowa

“I enjoy the relationships I have formed with the individuals I serve. It is so rewarding to walk into work and see them smile and say hello. The Individuals brighten my day just as much as I brighten theirs. My favorite activities to do with them include playing cards, cooking, watching movies and going on walks. Besides group outings, I enjoy taking the individuals I serve on personal outings. I think personal outings give you a chance to strengthen your relationship with the individual.”

December 10, 2018

Jessica Klatt

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy knowing that I am making a positive impact on someone’s life.”

December 3, 2018

Téa McConkey

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I love working with the kids we serve—they are so much fun and always full of joy!  I take one of the individuals we serve to church activities once a week.  It’s great to see her interact with others and partake in the activities with her.”

November 26, 2018

Camina Vance

Direct Suport Professional
REM West Virginia

“I enjoy helping others with their everyday lives and seeing them succeed and meet their goals.  Getting the individuals we serve out of the house and interacting in the community is always a wonderful thing to witness.  Recently, I took one of the individuals to a park and we met up and played mini golf with another individual we serve.”

November 19, 2018

Jeremy Donica

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the delight in the eyes of the individuals we serve when they see me and knowing that I help make their days better.  I enjoy everything I do in the community with them due to their delight in being able to go out and have fun.”

November 13, 2018

Katrina Shutes

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy about working in a direct support role is coming to work every day and making a difference in someone else’s life. There is such happiness just knowing the love when you walk through the doors of their homes.”

November 5, 2018

Allison Owens

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“Being able to see the specific improvements and achievements in each person we serve makes my life better day by day.  My favorite thing to do in the community is to go to Miracle League to support the people we serve as they play baseball. Almost every one of the individuals I support is there, so I can spend time helping them and enjoy the day with them and staff outside of my normal work environment.”

 

October 29, 2018

Jalisa Lee

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative, Illinois

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is interacting and building relationships with the children we serve. I also like to see the progress in the children’s behavior and academic skills. On a recent outing we visited Cedar Lake. It was fun to see the participants in a different environment enjoying their free time from school work and being in the homes.”

October 22, 2018

Christina Schnabel

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I love taking care of the individuals we serve and getting to know them. I especially like taking them on outings in the community. It makes them so happy and it seems we always find out new things the individuals like when we’re out with them.”

October 15, 2018

Tasha Miller

Direct Suport Professional
REM West Virginia

“I enjoy helping the people we serve and learning from them. I also enjoy helping other staff. Out in the community, we like to go to parks, the mall and out for drives.”

October 8, 2018

Brittni Ekholm

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative, New Hampshire

“I enjoy being able to work one on one with such amazing people every day. They have helped me to grow as a human being, and have helped me in so many more ways than I think I have helped them! I love seeing each of them grow and the pride they have in themselves with each accomplishment. I love taking them on their personal outings, and being able to spend some true one-on-one time with each of them. It is so fun to bring them out and to do things they love doing.”

October 1, 2018

Krystal Cole

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, CA

“Working as a direct support professional has been the most rewarding experience. I’m able to make a positive impact every day and give myself to others. When we’re out in the community we especially enjoy going to the library. There are books with anything they are interested in, magazines and movies to check out or to enjoy while there.”

August 27, 2018

Ruthie Cross

Direct Suport Professional
REM West Virginia

“I enjoy working with the people we serve. They always bring a smile to my face. It’s especially fun when we go to the park, because they love being outside.”

August 20, 2018

Emily Blacknik

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I enjoy the relationships I have formed with each individual I support. The individuals always bring a smile to my face and I love being able to be a helping hand or friend when needed. Whenever we go out, they never fail to start a conversation with someone by asking how they are or how their day is going.”

August 13, 2018

Liliana Graciano

Direct Suport Professional
First Step Independent Living, California

“I like working at First Step, because I enjoy putting smiles on the faces of the individuals we serve. I like to make them feel loved and appreciated—not just because they have disabilities, but because we all need to feel loved and appreciated. Out in the community, we enjoy volunteering, going to parks, bowling, movies, and out to lunch.”

August 6, 2018

Gairy Denton

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I enjoy helping the individuals I work with accomplish their dreams and goals. They brighten my day and make me feel that I have accomplished something important. I also enjoy supporting the individuals I work with to be a part of their community—to be members of their community—by helping them take part in events and social gatherings where they meet new people and make new friends.”

July 30, 2018

Samantha Jolley

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working with the individuals we serve is being part of their daily lives, helping them learn new things, and seeing how excited they get when they master a new task. Out in the community, I especially enjoy taking them to Special Olympics practices and seeing how much fun they have. I’m excited to watch them compete in the summer games.”

July 23, 2018

Brandie Williams

Direct Suport Professional
First Step Independent Living, California

“I love going out with the individual I serve to meet with other members of our community. We go to the library, City Hall and senior centers, but one of my favorite things to do is to volunteer with her.  It’s great showing the community what we do for the people we serve.”

July 16, 2018

Alyssa Lawson

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I love the fact that I am aiding in someone’s recovery process.  It motivates me to work hard every day and keep pushing others to better themselves.”

July 9, 2018

Steven Surface-Wiehebrink

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about being a Life Skills Trainer is interacting with the participants and seeing that my job actually makes a difference in people’s lives. One of my favorite things to do with the people we serve is go to the park.  I recently went on an outing with one participant and all we did was sit on a swinging bench and talk about his life before his traumatic brain injury, music trends and life in general.  It was very therapeutic and relaxing for both of us.”

July 2, 2018

Kay Muccatira

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“What I enjoy about working in a direct support role are the relationships we develop over the years with the individuals we serve to promote individual achievements in every aspect of their lives. I have witnessed individuals build self-confidence in their abilities and finally feel like they are a part of their community.  I enjoy supporting individuals in finding and participating in community outings and activities that brings them joy. Our top 10 favorite activities include the circus, zoo, concerts, shopping, fishing, dances, Special Olympics, amusement parks, fitness centers and REM parties!”

June 25, 2018

George Dalton

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about working as a life skills trainer is seeing the people we serve learn and regain independence.  Recently, on a shopping trip one individual we serve who has been very shy asked for help from a store clerk to find an item he needed.  It was great to see that.”

June 18, 2018

Amanda Latraille

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I enjoy everything about being a DSP. I enjoy seeing the people I work with accomplish their dreams and I love being able to help make a difference in their lives any way I can. One of my favorite activities is supporting the people I work with to help others in our community. We take part in the Meals on Wheels program monthly and it is very rewarding for all of us. We also love to be outside in the parks and picnic.”

June 12, 2018

Bradley Reffitt

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy helping the people we serve meet their goals and if they have had a bad day turning it around to make it a better one. Out in the community, I like to get coffee and run errands with them. We recently went to Walmart to shop for groceries and one of the individuals I serve was singing throughout the store. We snuck up on his roommate and he scared him. We all laughed and enjoyed ourselves.”

June 5, 2018

Sara Kowalke

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I love making a difference in the lives of the individuals we serve. Helping them accomplish their goals and achieve new things is such a rewarding feeling! I especially love going to all of the Special Olympics events with them—from weekly practices to the out of town state tournaments. They have so much fun competing and it is awesome to see them have fun no matter if they win or lose!

May 29, 2018

Cherissa Anderson

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania MENTOR

“I absolutely love the individuals we serve, and I’m excited for who else may come into my life as a DSP. I love how rewarding my work is. I couldn’t have asked for a better job, because it’s something I take so much pride in. I love going out to eat with them, and to the movies or YMCA. The smiles they have on their faces as they’re swimming or playing basketball makes you realize you did a good job!”

May 21, 2018

Precious Saie

Direct Suport Professional
REM Ohio

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is caring for the individuals we serve. They are all wonderful to work with.”

May 14, 2018

Ashley Mullins

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy helping the individuals we serve set goals for their unique needs and supporting them to meet those goals. I also enjoy getting out into the community with them to go fishing, socialize and enjoy fine dining and shop, so they may enjoy life to the fullest.”

May 7, 2018

Michelle Sackman

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I enjoy making sure the people we serve get to do what they enjoy and what makes them happy. Summers are always enjoyable at REM. At the day program we attend there are so many activities and events such as picnics and trips to the fair, zoo, and circus.”

May 1, 2018

Barbara Ray

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping an individual overcome a deficit and conquer a goal they set for themselves. There is no better feeling.”

April 23, 2018

Amanda Julian

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“By being with the individuals I serve every day, I feel as if I am a big part of their lives and that is very rewarding. They have all become like family to me.  It is so awesome to see them interact in the community and the smiles on their faces are big enough thanks for what I do daily.

 

April 16, 2018

Shane Merritt

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I love my job and what I do. Working in a direct support role allows me to assist the individuals we serve so they may reach their potential, gain independence and achieve their goals. I enjoy getting to know the people we serve, so that I may learn how best to support them. I recently had the opportunity to assist two individuals on an outing to watch the Minnesota Twins game. It was great to see all the fun they had and how much they appreciated being there.”

April 9, 2018

Katie Pretzer

Direct Suport Professional
Loyd's Liberty Homes, California

“Coming into work every day and getting ‘hellos’ and all the smiles from the individuals I serve makes my job worthwhile. I love being able to take them anywhere and to advocate for them. It means so much to me when they tell me they had a great day and they are thankful I got to help them.”

April 2, 2018

Tony Moore

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy being able to make a difference in the lives of the individuals I work with. Out in the community, one of my favorite things to do with them is to go to the park. We had doughnuts and coffee by the pond and feed the fish.”

March 26, 2018

Paige Holcomb

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I enjoy helping the woman I support achieve new goals and get through new challenges. Taking her out to eat and to get her nails painted is one of our favorite things to do together. Just seeing her excitement and watching her enjoy herself makes each day worthwhile!”

March 19, 2018

Sammie Haider

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“The thing I most enjoy about my job is seeing the happiness in the individuals I serve and knowing I am an important part of their lives. Seeing them succeed is very fulfilling. I work in the Day Program so the individuals I serve are in the community every day. I love assisting them with what they need at their job and volunteer sites. We also do a lot of fun things like go to the state fair and potluck picnics! There is no job I’d rather have and I am very grateful to have the job I do!”

March 12, 2018

Susan Conner

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy having conversations with the individuals we serve and helping them to accomplish the goals they have set for themselves.”

March 5, 2018

Aleia Dye

Direct Suport Professional
REM Mississippi

“I really enjoy taking the individuals I have the pleasure of assisting to the Oxford Humane Society to walk the dogs. I also enjoy getting them involved in the local bowling league. They absolutely love it, and they get to socialize with others in the community who they’ve been in different workshops with and haven’t seen in a while.”

February 26, 2018

Carman Lopez

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about being a direct support professional is working with the individuals one on one and seeing that they are well taken care of. One of my favorite things to do is be outside with the individuals we serve in the spring and summer, enjoying the sunshine and taking care of the flowers.”

February 19, 2018

Brittany Thomas

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I love spending time with the people I serve, helping to make their day better and learning new things about them. One of the individuals I serve recently challenged me to a bowl-off, so I’m looking forward to bowling with them soon. I also enjoy taking them shopping in the community and seeing them choose the things they want.”

February 12, 2018

Shari Goodman

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I love my job and really enjoy spending time with the individuals I serve. I love being able to do things for them and get out in the community with them to volunteer with Meals on Wheels and do whatever else they choose to do.”

February 5, 2018

Kathy Carper

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about working as a life skills trainer is being able to give positive feedback to participants and seeing their excitement as a result; being able to show them how much I care about their wellbeing; and knowing that I am able to put smiles on their faces each day.”

January 29, 2018

Laura Robinson

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I love coming to work every morning and getting the ladies up and ready for their day. There is a lot of singing and joy, which gives my day the positive start it needs. I would not want to be working anywhere else.”

January 22, 2018

Jazmen Fox

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is being able to provide my services to the individuals we serve in their home and helping them learn everyday life skills. Being a part of their lives makes it even better. I especially enjoy taking them to church so they may practice their faith with friends and loved ones.”

January 15, 2018

Tom Johnson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy that what we do actually matters in a person’s life and that every day is different from the last. This past June, I went on a trip to Ely, MN with an individual we serve. He really likes bears, so we went to the bear center and it was fun to see how excited he was to see live bears up close. We were a couple feet from a 500 pound black bear and he had giant smile on his face!”

January 8, 2018

Kathy Miller

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“It gives me joy to assist the individuals we serve and see the smiles on their faces when they meet their goals by walking, talking, or even washing their dishes for the first time. One of my favorite things to do with them is to go to the park and feed the ducks.”

January 1, 2018

Rachel Jacobson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I love about working with the individuals we serve is being able to make their lives fulfilled with everything they love to do and being able to see them accomplish their dreams. Last year, I was able to take the individuals up to my family cabin for a night for a small camping trip in Danbury, Wisconsin and then to Duluth, Minnesota for a day. Two of the individuals had never been up to Duluth and to see their faces when the big ship came in was amazing. It made my heart feel full to be able to give them that enjoyment.”

December 25, 2017

Danial Gabbard

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role are the people we serve. The love and enjoyment of seeing their faces light up from simple acceptance and conversation, and every day knowing we make a difference, is a feeling that’s hard to put into words. I’m a very goofy person, which is great because when we are in public or just grocery shopping we laugh and it’s amazing to see that self-confidence build up in the individuals we serve. We sing and dance until the shy moments leave; you can see it in their faces and their smiles can light up any moment of darkness.”

December 18, 2017

Tassy Watkins

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy about working as a Life Skills Trainer is helping others—preparing good meals that they enjoy and making sure they are happy and healthy.”

December 11, 2017

Bryce Hanson

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the feeling of accomplishment that comes from helping people improve their lives.  Out in the community, the men I work with really enjoy bowling and so do I. We have a great time together—there are smiles and laughter the entire time.”

November 27, 2017

Tina James

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I have worked in the same building and served the same individuals since 2011 and I have loved watching them grow through the years. I love seeing them thrive and learn new things, and it is immensely satisfying to know that I am part of the reason why. Out in the community, we enjoy plays, concerts, movies, shopping, coffee, meals and more. I share a birthday with one of the individuals I serve and nearly every year we’ve gone out for a meal together on our birthday. It’s something we always look forward to.”

November 20, 2017

Willis Kidwell

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the daily interaction with the individuals we serve and the subsequent growth. Out in the community, we all really enjoy going to sporting events.”

November 13, 2017

Erin Hislop

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy the relationships that get built with the individuals we serve and helping them reach their goals. Experiencing something new with them is one of my favorite things to do. Recently, I took one individual we serve to a local fair, where I taught him how to play miniature golf. After a fun game, we walked around the fair and he experienced another first—dippin’ dot ice cream, which he responded with a ‘yum’ after the first bite.”

November 6, 2017

Nicole Vaughn

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is being part of the recovery process with the individuals we serve and getting to see how their hard work pays off.”

October 31, 2017

Angela Chase

Direct Suport Professional
Missouri MENTOR

“My favorite part of a career in this field is being greeted with a smile every day I walk through the door. The individuals I support make me a better person, while at the same time I am allowed the chance to assist them in improving their quality of life. I go home knowing that I love my job and I made a difference. Out in the community, I enjoy any time my individuals get to experience something new. Over the summer we went and hiked a trail at Weston State Park. The looks of awe as they stood on the lookout and gazed over the river brought tears to my eyes.”

October 23, 2017

Noelia Cortes

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative, Michigan

“I enjoy doing direct support because I love helping people who need help and seeing the smiles on their faces, which put a smile on my heart and day. Out in the community I enjoy coffee time and the movies with the individuals I serve, but most of all I enjoy taking them to see their families.”

October 16, 2017

Samantha Johnson

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“Being a DSP is great because of all the time you get to spend with the individuals we serve! It is wonderful to be given the opportunity to not only help people through their day, but to make a real impact on their lives for the better. I enjoy bringing smiles and laughter to a good productive work day, along with an eclectic array of fun activities. We really enjoyed the state fair this year. It was fun eating out and going on rides, even if some of the rides were a little bit scary. Recently, I’ve really enjoyed playing tennis with the individuals I serve. We also enjoy bowling, walking, yard Yahtzee and loom knitting.”

October 9, 2017

Jenny Schmidt

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is seeing the individuals we serve smiling and joking around with one another.  We like to take walks together in the neighborhood, go grocery shopping, and visit the mall. No matter where we go, they always seem to see someone they know!”

October 2, 2017

Victoria Townsend

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy working with the participants, getting to know them and their story, and making sure their needs and wants are met. We love going to the park to feed the ducks and going to the store to pick out movies. I also love making air plants with them and seeing their designs.”

August 21, 2017

Brittany McReynolds

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I love the fact that I am able to work with a group of diverse and very different individuals—both direct support professionals and individuals we serve—who have made a positive impact in my life. I have the best coworkers anyone could ask for!  We depend on each other to help uplift and bring new ideas and events to our cluster of homes, empower each other, and are always willing to lend a helping hand when needed.  Working for The MENTOR Network has been one of the best opportunities that I have been blessed with.”

August 14, 2017

Jennifer DiTaranto

Direct Suport Professional
REM New Jersey

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping the individuals we serve learn new things and knowing when they say ‘thank you’ that they really appreciate everything you do for them.  Out in the community, I like taking the individuals to the movies, park, mall—basically any place that makes them smile and laugh. They should enjoy life to the fullest!”

 

August 7, 2017

Kayla Eide

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role are the relationships you build with individuals supported. There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone become a valued community member. Individuals we support become like family members, they change the way you see things for the better. One of my favorite things was to help a young lady with her high school graduation and senior pictures. We helped get her ready for her pictures by styling her hair, and applying makeup. I will never forget how excited she was, it made my day being part of her big day.”

July 31, 2017

Angela Browning

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I enjoy seeing how proud the individuals we support are when they achieve their goals! I enjoy teaching them new things and learning new things from them. I am especially looking forward to seeing them play in The Miracle League in a few weeks!!!”

July 17, 2017

Manette Alzume

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“I enjoy helping the individuals we serve feel great and be proud of themselves because they are a part of the community.”

July 10, 2017

Shawn Ford

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I like knowing that I make an impact directly in the lives of the individuals we serve on a daily basis. I enjoy seeing them reach their chosen goals. I also enjoy spending time with them in the community— especially at the local park where we can take walks and get exercise.”

July 3, 2017

Sydney Gandy

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“I love doing the ladies nails on ‘spa day.’ We also love doing Karaoke and going on outings.”

June 26, 2017

Tim Webb

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“Our program has a team of employees who truly care about the people we serve and being part of it. They help everyone stay active, safe and happy. I especially enjoy seeing people do something new—learn a new skill or just do something that is fun for them. When the weather cooperates, we try to go outside every day and find an enjoyable activity. It might be playing softball, basketball or going to the YMCA. We currently have a construction site nearby so I’ve enjoyed being able to take the individuals on long walks so they can see the heavy equipment and concrete being poured, and engage and converse with the construction crew.”

June 19, 2017

Misty Anderson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“I love interacting with the individuals we serve. Their laughter & happiness is so contagious!! No matter what we do, we have fun!! Going to the zoo, dances, or just out to dinner, we have a ball!!”

June 12, 2017

Charamy Saez

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is caring for the individuals we serve. We really enjoy each other’s company.”

June 5, 2017

Karen Killebrew

Direct Suport Professional
Missouri MENTOR

“I really enjoy seeing the individual I support get out into the community and enjoy some of the simple things in life like the sunshine or a pretty flower.”

May 29, 2017

Amanda Julian

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I enjoy interacting with the individuals we serve and watching them thrive in their daily living activities. It is very rewarding. The relationships formed and memories made will never be forgotten! Helping with Special Olympics, taking the individuals to practice, and seeing them interacting in the community is one of my favorite activities. We also enjoy going to fairs, Miracle League, parades, cookouts and many other events.”

May 22, 2017

Kristy Schwittay

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“A DSP is a great job that allows you to learn how to work with individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities. It’s such a great and rewarding experience! Each and every “client” in my eyes is nothing less than family! We love to go sightseeing together and go to parks. Any place with fishing attire makes one of my clients ecstatic and just to see him smile is a reward in itself. I am very blessed to have the position I do. My heart and passion is dedicated 100% to the care, safety and love for each individual! This isn’t a job, it’s a passion.”

May 15, 2017

Hans Coleus

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“I enjoy helping all my clients. I enjoy playing games, communicating and watching movies with them and taking them places in the community.”

May 8, 2017

Shaundreka Howard

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is caring for the individuals we serve—we have a lot of fun enjoying each other’s company.”

May 1, 2017

Jemmieblle Tenney

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“The individuals we serve have taught me appreciation for the lifestyle that I live—for that I am incredibly grateful and appreciative for the role they play in my life. I enjoy taking the individuals we serve into the community, integrating them into the community and making them feel like the valued citizens they are in society. That makes me very happy!”

April 24, 2017

Kelly Houska

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“One of my favorite things to do out in the community is to volunteer with Meals on Wheels. Monthly, an individual supported by REM North Dakota and I deliver meals to people who are not able to leave their home. The smile on the face of the individual we support when they receive a thank you after delivering a meal is priceless.”

April 17, 2017

Laura Roeter

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“I absolutely love coming to work every day and knowing that I am making a positive difference in the lives of others! I love seeing the joy, pride and smiles while my clients work on activities that have meaning to them. I love taking clients into the community and integrating them into circumstances and activities that they may otherwise not have a chance to do. We have so much fun on outings! We go shopping, take drives, go to the duck pond and so much more. I could not imagine working in a field more rewarding than this!”

April 10, 2017

Anna Sobota

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“Working as a DSP has so many rewarding benefits. I like helping others help themselves. It can be the smallest thing—a high five, a smile or clapping for their achievements that makes me smile and is good for my heart every day. Out in the community, the county fair is a highlight of mine. It’s wonderful to see the individuals being compassionate in their own unique way towards all the animals and to see their faces light up with excitement while talking to the animals and their owners.”

April 3, 2017

Alice Olivarez

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I enjoy the direct contact with the people we support—helping with meals, medical appointments, being a part of the community and seeing them smile, but also being there in times of illness and providing comfort at the end of life.”

March 27, 2017

Eric Stoner

Direct Suport Professional
Loyd's Liberty Homes, California

“The home where I work and the staff who work there create an awesome atmosphere.  I enjoy walking into the home every day with the opportunity to positively impact the lives of the individuals we serve.”

March 20, 2017

Chasity Denny

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“I really enjoy any day that I may be able to help turn a bad day into a good one for an individual we serve.”

March 13, 2017

Lucy Garadwey

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“What I enjoy the most about working as a DSP is spending time with my clients. The relationship I have established with each of them and just being a part in putting a smile upon their face daily has been a blessing to me personally. I love what I do and I could not imagine being anywhere else. One of my favorite outings so far was when we visited a pumpkin patch for Halloween. Seeing the excitement on their faces when we arrived and just being able to be outside enjoying the experience together made a huge difference for each of us that day.”

March 6, 2017

Jeannette Heard

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“Working with the kids is always fun. We get to help shape them into young men and women. Watching them grow is awesome and knowing that I helped that process of their lives is why I enjoy being a DSP. We also have a wonderful team—everyone is awesome. We love to go to parks and splash parks in the summer and play in the snow and make snowmen in the winter. The kids love going to the movies, bowling, shopping and skating. Most recently we went to Adventureland and the Omaha Zoo and everyone had a great time.”

February 27, 2017

Lonnie Prim

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the rewarding feeling you get after being able to make an individual smile.”

February 20, 2017

CJ Taylor

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the wonderful relationships I have built with people supported and my colleagues. I really enjoy spending time with individuals we support and their families over the holidays. I have also joined an advocacy group with one of the men I work with, which has been an enlightening and enriching experience for both of us.”
February 13, 2017

Barbara Van Alst

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is caring for our individuals. I love it when we take the guys on outings, such as to restaurants and dances, and I enjoy watching them have fun.”

February 6, 2017

Renee Rathjen

Direct Suport Professional
REM New Jersey

“I love working with staff and being with clients, going with them on outings, and helping them learn new things. I love taking them to the park or bowling and watching their faces light up with joy. I love taking them anywhere.”

January 30, 2017

Deborah Figueroa

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about being a direct support professional is doing fun new things with the individuals we support. We especially like to paint, draw, listen to music and play games.”

January 23, 2017

Kayley Clark

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I enjoy working as a direct support professional because I get to work hands on with the individuals we serve and get the chance to build quality relationships with them. I love going on outings and spending quality time with each of them outside of the home. One time in particular, another staff and I took an individual we serve out to eat and costume shopping for Halloween. We joked around, visited the pet store (and found out the individual we serve really likes watching lizards). I felt like I was out with my best friends enjoying a night out! I am always so happy watching the individuals smiling and having a good time!”

January 16, 2017

Brittany Bayles

Direct Suport Professional
REM New Jersey

“Seeing the individuals we serve progress is such a rewarding feeling. In the past few months I’ve seen some of them accomplish goals they once needed assistance with. The teamwork for this role is also great to be a part of.”

January 9, 2017

Carman Ehret

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I enjoy gaining experience in the field of human services by working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I enjoy spending time with them and seeing the bright smiles on their faces. I enjoy the confidence that I am creating by helping others and making a difference in their lives. I enjoy taking them sightseeing to various places in the community that they don’t get to see all that often. I also enjoy taking them out to their favorite restaurants in the community and being an advocate for them while in the community.”

January 2, 2017

Jeffery Alexander Jr

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping others in need and being around such special individuals. I love taking clients to places they haven’t been before or rarely get to go, such as the Science Museum or other places in the twin cities.”

December 26, 2016

Linda Oppelaar

Direct Suport Professional
REM New Jersey

“I enjoy working with people who need me. I want to make a difference in the world and I think I’m a good fit for direct care. One of my favorite outings with the individuals we support was our trip to Mackles Farm. We went pumpkin picking and on a hay ride. It made me so happy to see the clients so excited and having such a good time.”

December 19, 2016

Natasha Wilson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I enjoy helping the individuals who I work with accomplish their goals and build the courage and confidence to do things that they once feared doing. ”

December 12, 2016

Kayla Wheeler

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role are the smiles on the faces of the individuals I support. The simple things we take for granted are huge to them—like feeding the ducks at the levy or sitting and watching a mama duck with her little ones. They appreciate everything we do for them instant payday loans. I recently had the opportunity to attend a Special Olympics bowling event in our area. I had a client win a blue ribbon and as she was accepting the ribbon she kept repeating ‘Thank you, thank you for bringing me!’ As I watched her smile and wipe the tears from her face all the trials and tribulations that go with this job were worth every minute.”

December 5, 2016

Kathleen Dougherty

Direct Suport Professional
REM New Jersey

“I love helping our individuals learn new things, including how to help others. Over the summer, I volunteered with an individual I serve at Sunset Vista Butterfly Garden in Newton, NJ. She had the opportunity to feed the chickens, pick fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as pick weeds and help out around the farm.”

November 28, 2016

Dana Grant

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I absolutely love to see the determination and joy on the faces of the individuals I support when they have accomplished a goal or done something new! Building relationships with all of my individuals and their families is extremely rewarding. At the end of the day, I feel very fulfilled and accomplished.  My individuals love to participate in The MENTOR Network’s Volunteer Day and the brain injury awareness walks. This past volunteer day they helped to rake up leaves at a local park. When the evening was over, they wanted to go home and do the same thing with their own yard. I love to see them take the initiative and accomplish things on their own!”

November 21, 2016

Tanisha Valliant

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy spending time with the ladies I serve—helping to care for them, while enjoying their different personalities.  Our favorite things to do in the community together include going to the local Jewish Community Center, out to eat and to the movies.”

November 14, 2016

Mya Place

Direct Suport Professional
REM New Jersey

“I enjoy every moment of this job from the clients and staff to my fantastic manager. I love being able to teach someone something in a patient and caring way. I also love walking in and seeing the smiles on my clients’ faces when I come in the door. It’s an amazing feeling to know you really do make a difference in their lives. Some of my favorite outings include outdoor activities, such as visits to the state parks and local farms. Recently, we went pumpkin picking at an orchard. They enjoyed a hayride to the apple trees, got a pumpkin and gourd, and enjoyed a tour through the bakery. They all had a really fantastic time and I can’t wait to do it again next year!”

October 31, 2016

Lonnie Prim

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the rewarding feeling you get after being able to make an individual smile.”

October 24, 2016

Brandon Scott

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“There is nothing more important to me than positively impacting a participant’s life by helping them achieve their goals and set new ones. One of my favorite things to do with the individuals we serve is to have cookouts and game nights with all the participants’ houses.”

October 17, 2016

Passion Jackson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is getting to build a relationship with each individual I serve.  My favorite community outing was when we took all eight of the individuals in our program, including an individual who usually doesn’t do well in community places with noise and traffic, out into the community shopping.  I loved that outing because everyone was together—staff and individuals we serve—as a team.”

October 10, 2016

Denise Gonzalez

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“I enjoy getting to know the different personalities of these special individuals we serve.  One of my favorite things to do in the community is to go hiking with an individual I support at one of his favorite hiking trails. I enjoy being able to sightsee, motivate and support one another with exercise.”

October 3, 2016

Erica Francis

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“My favorite things to do as a direct support professional are to take the clients on community outings and help them celebrate their birthdays. I really love my clients.”

August 22, 2016

Emily Flathers

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“Nothing makes me feel better than being able to see the individuals I support happy and proud of the things they are accomplishing. The individuals I support are so caring and enjoy helping out in so many ways. They love to help in the community by volunteering at the Salvation Army and Animal Rescue League. It puts a smile on my face when people notice the good things they do and let them know how well they are doing it.”

August 15, 2016

Yanique Piton

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping the individuals we support and seeing them smile!”

August 8, 2016

Kyle Skari

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is having the chance to positively change someone’s life.  Recently, one of the individuals I support has been trying to lose weight. He has been eating correct portions of food and is out walking 4-5 days per week. One of his previous staff members saw him and noticed his weight loss.  She commented on how well he looked and he smiled proudly and talked about how hard he has been working. It was a great moment.”

August 1, 2016

Devin Blankenship

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping people, connecting with them, and seeing how happy they are being able to do things that sometimes we take for granted.  I often go with one of the individuals we support to the stores he likes.  Just seeing how happy he is to go to those places is awesome.”

July 25, 2016

Lakisha Rogers

Direct Suport Professional
REM Mississippi

“I enjoy working with the individuals we serve. Being able to help, assist and teach them different things is what I love to do. Recently, I took a group to the African American Military Museum.  As we walked through the exhibit, they heard stories and saw pictures of the many men and women who served our country.  We all really enjoyed touring the museum.”

July 18, 2016

Cahla LaFontaine

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I enjoy making the people I support happy and helping them live a fulfilled life.  A great community outing we enjoyed recently involved helping someone we support attend the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics.”

July 11, 2016

Renee Musheno

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Florida

“I love my work with the residents. Their daily progress and unbelievable courage and tenacity to overcome their everyday challenges is what makes my heart filled with gratitude every day. It is a privilege to interact with these incredible individuals. I feel very blessed. I have a participant I have taken to our local health club for seven years and six months, five days a week, and he is waiting for me every morning at 6:45am ready to go. How many people have that much dedication to their physical health? I am so proud of him.”

July 4, 2016

Gwen Gilbert-Holden

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I enjoy putting a smile on the faces of the people I work with. One of the individuals I support loves to drive along the river and talk about fishing. Seeing him smile as he talks about fishing makes me smile.”

June 27, 2016

Elizabeth Corbitt

Direct Suport Professional
REM Ohio

“I love working with the individuals we serve and helping them accomplish their goals. It is such rewarding work and I have made many friendships. I especially love going to the library and sporting events with them. Walks and general exercise at the park are always a blast too.”

June 20, 2016

Amanda VanHecke

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“Being part of my clients’ everyday lives is so rewarding and I enjoy watching them achieve their goals.”

June 13, 2016

Lisa Nelson

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I love coming to work—I enjoy helping people with their daily activities and, if I have a bad day, I know seeing the people I care for will cheer me up. Recently, we supported the individuals we serve to the Spring Gala. It was great to see everyone dressed so nicely and having a wonderful time.”

June 6, 2016

Frieda Tobing

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the opportunity to provide direct care to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the compassion that it builds.”

May 30, 2016

Samantha Lopez

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I think of the people I work with as family.  We go through the good, bad and fun things together. I do my very best to help them make the right decisions and live the best life possible.  One of my favorite things to do with them in our small community is to make cookies for the local daycare centers.  We also recently started a weekly cooking class, where we make food from different cultures.”

May 23, 2016

Abigail Runkle

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is learning and experiencing new things every day!”

May 9, 2016

Bernadine Sharp

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I really enjoy my day-to-day interactions with the clients I help to support. Most of them are elderly and I love to hear their stories and remembrances from their younger days.”

 

May 2, 2016

Travis Logsdon

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I enjoy seeing the personal growth and success of the individuals we serve. The smile on their faces after they achieve something makes my day and I enjoy seeing them maintain their independence—it is very rewarding. One of my favorite things to do with them is to go out with Fishing Has No Boundaries. The guys love it.  They boat and they fish and we spend the night in a cabin. It’s a great adventure that they talk about for days afterwards.”

April 18, 2016

Daisy Valentin

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“The thing I like about working with the individuals we serve is that I feel good knowing that I am really helping people.”

April 11, 2016

Dorrie Deich

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I enjoy assisting the individuals we serve in accomplishing their goals.  They teach me as much, if not more, than I teach them.  One thing I have learned is that one person’s bump is another’s mountain.”

April 4, 2016

Brittany Macomber

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Massachusetts

“I enjoy working with the individuals we serve—encouraging them to pursue the things that they enjoy and trying to make every day a positive one.  Accompanying them on their weekly errands and outings is always a good outing because they are able to do the activities they like to do.”                                       

March 28, 2016

Emily Grossbauer

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“As much as I change the lives of the individuals I support, it is nothing compared to how they have changed mine. I love that I am able to connect and relate to people with disabilities in a way that I never would have if I hadn’t gotten this job. Helping someone I support achieve a goal they have been working toward is arguably more rewarding than achieving a goal myself. The individual I support most regularly and I share a love of animals. We love taking my dog to the dog park or on walks. Another thing we enjoy doing together is going to rummage sales during the summer and going fishing. Really anytime we get out in the community is a great time.”

March 21, 2016

Gladys Joseph

Direct Suport Professional
REM New Jersey

“I love everything about my job. It is very fulfilling seeing the individuals we serve smile and enjoy life. Taking them out to dinner and shopping are two of my favorite things to do with them—I love seeing them ‘light up’ in the moment.”

March 7, 2016

Alisha Poitra

Direct Suport Professional
REM North Dakota

“I love providing services that allow people to do things that they otherwise would not be able to do. The smiles on the faces of the individuals I serve are overwhelming and make me feel I have done my job right. We recently joined a spin class and it’s been amazing seeing the expressions on their faces. The coach knows everyone by name and she pushes each one of us. It’s helping the individuals I serve as well as myself stay active and heart healthy.”

February 29, 2016

Linda Johnson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“The rewards of working with the individuals I support seem never ending. The joy I feel far outweighs anything I can put into words. Making a positive difference in their lives each day is an honor.”

February 22, 2016

Kettly Lenton

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“I love working with the individuals we support and the team at Avon Park Cluster—we have a lot of fun. The individuals we support love to go to the park, which we do often, but one of my most memorable trips was to the local arcade with a gentleman we support. He had so much fun!!! It was great to watch him enjoy himself so much.”

February 15, 2016

Melissa Danis

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Maine

“Being a Life Skills Trainer comes naturally to me. I love to take people we support out into the world and have them experience the things they used to do before their injuries.”

February 8, 2016

Linda Anthony

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is helping the individuals we serve accomplish things they may not be able to do on their own, giving them hope, and making them feel that everything will be okay. We especially enjoy going outside, visiting the local stores and playing cards together.”

February 1, 2016

Caci Lingen

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is getting to know and working with awesome people. I especially like going camping and to the movies with the individuals I serve.”

January 4, 2016

Tammy Ingram

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is seeing the individuals we support accomplish things and be happy and comfortable in their community.”

December 21, 2015

Mike Weiland

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“Working with the people we support and knowing that my service makes their lives better makes my life complete. When they remember things that we have done together or can do something without being frustrated it is worth more than gold. Being a DSP is a big part of my life and it is a job that I look forward to each and every day. It takes a special person to work in this field; it is not a job for just anyone—it requires a big heart with lots of compassion.”

December 14, 2015

Stephen Allen

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“The role of a direct support professional provides an opportunity to work in a diverse and challenging environment that is beneficial to clients and personally rewarding. Compassion and empathy are immeasurably rewarded daily through the support we provide individuals that enhances their quality of life. On one recent community outing, five clients from two homes spent the afternoon on two rented pontoon boats. Clients had the opportunity to drive the boats, with the assistance of support staff, and while all of the individuals we support had a wonderful time, the staff enjoyed the event a great deal too.”

 

December 7, 2015

Thomas Mosser

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“Direct support work is fulfilling for both staff and the individuals we serve. It gives us extra family beyond our own, and all are enriched by the experience.”

November 23, 2015

Andrea Martinez

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Texas

“What I most enjoy about my role as a direct support professional is the one-on-one time with our clients and the opportunity I have to encourage and motivate them to be independent.  I’m happy to be part of a team that helps make a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. Getting to learn about our clients’ hobbies and actually participating in them is one of my favorite things to do, especially if it’s something I’ve never done before.”

November 16, 2015

Jennifer Holland

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is knowing that I get to help people every time I work.  It makes me feel good.  I especially enjoy bringing the individuals we support to dances – they are always so excited to go.”

November 9, 2015

Pam Fernholz

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role are the people we support—they are like family to me.  I mostly work the overnight shift, so mornings are our time together.  I enjoy having breakfast with them and hearing about all the things they have done throughout the week.”

November 2, 2015

Shannon Butler

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I love being an inspiration to others and putting smiles on the faces of the individuals we support. I recently took a client to the walking bridge. We were there for a while and talked about everything from past family life to what the future holds. This is a client who rarely speaks, so it was especially wonderful to be able to share such quality time together.”

October 26, 2015

Kristin Hiniker

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy helping the individuals we serve in their daily activities and out in the community.  We recently went to the humane society and had a great time.”

October 19, 2015

Katherine Renn

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy the challenge of my job. Most of all I enjoy the individuals we support. Every day is different, but I always leave knowing that I made a difference and made someone smile and laugh, or feel better. I especially appreciate the one-on-one time—it is a special time to learn more about the individuals and find out something new.”

 

October 12, 2015

Brenda Betts

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“Having worked with two special clients for the past year and a half, I know I have made a difference in their lives.  Every day is a teaching experience and they want to learn.”

October 5, 2015

Ashley Singer

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy seeing the smiles on the faces of the individuals I support.  They have taught me to slow down and enjoy the little things in life. It’s fun to help them pick out new things they like when we go shopping or go with them to get their hair cut—the women at the house love it!”

August 24, 2015

Jackie Sperr

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I like seeing the joy and pride in clients’ faces when they do things that they thought they couldn’t, such as picking out a new recipe, getting the groceries and cooking with little help or reconciling the checkbook independently. I went with a client to try salsa dancing recently. This client can be a little macho at times so I was unsure if he would like it, but he loved it and laughed so hard. He can hardly wait to do it again!”

August 17, 2015

Debbie Wildin

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is watching the individuals we support grow, helping them when they struggle, and seeing them smile!”

August 10, 2015

Rachel Posey

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I love working with our program participants and taking them on outings. I try to help them solve problems and gain independence. Recently, I took three of our participants to a local store that was sponsoring an emergency services day. The local fire department, EMS and police were there and our participants were able to pet the police horses, sit in a police jeep, enjoy the food and beverages, and dance to music. They had a wonderful time!”

August 3, 2015

Janelle Johnson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“Life gets really busy and frustrating sometimes for everyone. The individuals that I serve remind me to slow down and appreciate the little things all around me. When I teach them something, they teach me something too—especially when they smile.”

July 27, 2015

Emily Bryniarski

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role are the conversations I have with the individuals I support and making them smile and laugh!”

 

July 20, 2015

Antwelyon Mangrum

Direct Suport Professional
Illinois MENTOR

“I love making a difference in the lives of the individuals we support—may it be through a laugh, smile, hug, or encouragement. This is what I live for! What a joy to work every day doing something you love.”

July 13, 2015

Taylor Seehausen

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“The thing that I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is seeing the growth of my clients. I love being part of their transformation to become more independent individuals and challenging them to expand upon their abilities each and every day. Recently, a client and I went on a community outing to a mini golf course. We had a great time playing the game while also practicing our ability to be patient when the ball would just not go in the hole.”

July 6, 2015

Antonietta Pender

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“I’ve enjoyed so many different things with the individual I currently support, but I have to say I enjoyed our visit to the Humane Society the most. The excitement on her face was priceless as she enjoyed petting the animals and spending time with the friendly staff.”

 

June 29, 2015

Debra Elam

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“One of my favorite community outings is the Special Olympics. It’s beautiful to see the light in our participants’ eyes as they anticipate the big day, along with their love of the sport and honor that goes with the effort. It’s a humbling experience to be part of this awesome event.”

June 22, 2015

Rebecca Boucher

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“I enjoy being able to work with individuals on their goals and I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they accomplish something.”

June 15, 2015

Amber Drownes

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“Seeing the individuals we support smile while doing the activities they enjoy is priceless. It’s wonderful to be in a position to help others achieve the goals they thought were unachievable!”

June 8, 2015

John Black

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the opportunity to be a positive role model. I have also enjoyed bonding with the individuals we support and knowing that I’ve earned their trust.”

June 1, 2015

La’Kinya Wright

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“What I love most about working as a DSP is showing love and compassion for the individuals I work with. What I enjoy most about my job is taking the individuals I support out in the community to explore all their surroundings have to offer—from museums, theaters and shopping centers to laser light shows!”

 

May 25, 2015

Angie Wilder

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“I love my job! Being able to guide and support people in learning new things is very rewarding. I especially love working with the individuals I support to do the garden around their home. We’ve had so much fun and been able to enjoy the outdoors and take pride in our work.”

May 11, 2015

Clara Ethridge

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the care, love and support that I am able to show the individuals we support. Seeing them progress in different areas and feel supported to explore new things and participate in activities in the community is so rewarding.”

May 4, 2015

Victoria Correa

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“When I made the decision to serve as a direct support professional, I knew that it would be an exciting field. The individuals I support are talented and fun to be around, and watching my clients smile as they arrive to the program every day brings joy to my heart. My ultimate goal is to serve my clients and remind them that they are amazing!”

April 27, 2015

Jaynell Cooks

Direct Suport Professional
Florida MENTOR

“I enjoy going out in the community with the individuals we support and helping to engage them with the world around us.  Community outings are also great opportunities to practice the life skills they’ve learned.”

April 20, 2015

Aaron Gerlach

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Pennsylvania

“What I enjoy most about my role is interacting with the participants. I like to joke around with them, and I especially love hearing the stories they have to tell. Sometimes the job can be hard, but seeing the participants smile and laugh makes it all worth it!”

April 13, 2015

Sarah Bosworth

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“My goal every day is to bring smiles to the faces of those I serve. Working as a DSP brings me a sense of satisfaction and enhances the quality of my life. I enjoy making connections with everyone on my team. My favorite activity out in the community is driving to beautiful landscapes and seeing the happiness in the faces of the individuals I serve. We recently drove to the Willamette Falls lookout point and everyone was so elated by the beauty of the landscape.”

April 6, 2015

Kelsie Ganoung

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“I enjoy being a DSP because it’s rewarding to see the positive impact we can make in people’s lives. My favorite outings with the individuals I support include pretty places in nature, such as waterfalls and lakes, which allow them to enjoy the outdoors.”

March 30, 2015

Tracy Williams

Direct Suport Professional
REM New Jersey

“I love working as a direct support professional and giving back to others who have experienced neglect and mistreatment. Most of all, I love this role because it shows my abilities and my love for the people we are able to help.”

March 23, 2015

Julie Collins

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“What I enjoy most about being a DSP is working with the individuals we support. We recently went to an apple orchard, which was great fun, but I love going anywhere in the community with them. I just love all of our folks!”

March 16, 2015

Danielle Stanley

Direct Suport Professional
REM West Virginia

“I love helping individuals we support reach their full potential, enjoy life and have the best quality of life!”

 

March 9, 2015

Tammy Blinkman

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“I love helping people and making sure they have everything they need. Most of all, I love when the individuals I support are able to gain independence by getting their own jobs and are successful in accomplishing their goals and dreams.”

March 2, 2015

Shelby Huffman

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I enjoy bonding with the individuals I work with and seeing them become more independent. Some of our favorite things to do out in the community include swimming and going to theme parks and the zoo.”

February 23, 2015

Anthony Sheffer

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“I love working alongside the individuals we support to help them attain greater joy in life and then seeing that joy when I’m greeted with a great big beaming smile.”

February 16, 2015

Kathryn Koshenina

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy giving to others and making their day better—we have lots of fun talking, joking around and laughing together.  I have met so many wonderful people at REM over the past 7 years.”

February 9, 2015

JoAnn Hagemeyer

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy helping people live happier and healthier lives and watching them find joy in the things they like. I especially like taking the individuals we support to special concerts and sporting events—watching them enjoying Taylor Swift, for example, was great!”

February 2, 2015

Theresa Gonzalez

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“I love to support my group during their work at the local animal shelter and out in the community.  We enjoy visits to the museum, attending ceramics class, socializing with other groups, and going to program parties and advocacy meetings.”

 

January 26, 2015

Fadi Angalo

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I enjoy working with the individuals I serve, learning new things from them, making a positive difference in their lives, and supporting them out in the community.  During the winter months, we especially love to go to the YMCA and workout, swim, play basketball, and walk on the track.”

January 19, 2015

Jane Pickle

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“The people I work with are great! They are wonderful people who put the awesome individuals we support first in everything they do.”

January 12, 2015

Svetlana Fisher

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“What I enjoy the most about working in a direct support role is helping the guys I support live life to the fullest. They love to go out to eat and shop, and when the weather is nice we go fishing.”

January 5, 2015

Diego Ibarra

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“I enjoy interacting with all our clients and my coworkers.  When I see them smile and laugh, I am elated.  It’s as simple as that.  Along with working on daily goals, the individuals I serve like to explore new places.  From going to museums, to observing wildlife, or hiking a new trail, the experience is what it’s all about.”

December 29, 2014

Vince Manz

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“It’s a lot of fun working with the guys we support.  I like going on outings with them—especially when it involves activities we can do together.  Bowling and dancing are two of our favorites.”

December 22, 2014

Valerie Bravo

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“I enjoy everything I do out in the community with the individuals we support and try to bring smiles to their faces and make them laugh as much as I can.  I especially love going to museums—we get to learn, have fun, and exercise all at once.  Just last week, I took a client and her child to the zoo and spent the whole day there. We looked at all the animals, had a wonderful picnic, and went home the best kind of tired.”

December 15, 2014

Eric Velazquez

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services, California

“I love the holidays—it’s great to see how happy the individuals we serve are to see the decorations and to dress up and visit with some of their favorite people (like Santa Claus).  The people I serve show a true appreciation for the little things in life and it makes others have a greater appreciation for those things as well.”

 

December 8, 2014

Shannon Bloom

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy life, so I like to see the individuals we support enjoy their daily lives.  It gives me great joy to go to my job and know that I am helping people. We enjoy going on walks around the community together and eating lunch in the parks—it makes them happy and I love to see them smile and laugh!”

December 1, 2014

Sheila Haggard

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is being able to help clients learn new skills and become more independent; going out in the community to meet new people; and doing new things together. I recently took a client to the pool who didn’t think he would like swimming and he had a great time.”

November 25, 2014

Amber Carlson

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy helping the individuals we support learn life skills and bringing smiles to their faces.  I like taking the guys to dances and, when it’s nice outside, we’ll go fishing, biking or rollerblading.  This summer, we all had a great time at the local pool!

November 17, 2014

Sarah Kuhr

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I enjoy helping the individuals I serve with everyday things and seeing how proud they are of their accomplishments.  I especially love seeing their smiles and knowing that every day I make a difference!”

November 10, 2014

Virgil Ruchti

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“It gives me joy to work with the individuals we serve each day as they learn to do new activities on their own and find new ways to express themselves.  Going to the YMCA is one of my favorite things to do with them out in the community. The many physical activities offered there allow the individuals we serve to have fun, while getting great exercise.”

November 3, 2014

Lana Wilson

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“My favorite things to do out in the community with the individuals we support include anything that makes us a team! Recently, I brought one of the individuals I support to a staff member’s wedding and we had a great time. Afterwards, we went to dinner and we laughed so hard from just being silly. It was a very special day.”

October 27, 2014

Catherine Christensen

Direct Suport Professional
REM Wisconsin

“I enjoy seeing the individuals we support advance their skills,” says Catherine, a Direct Support Professional. “I use the saying ‘little steps make big success!’ and have seen my clients succeed in many ways.”

October 20, 2014

Jennifer Henry

Direct Suport Professional
Massachusetts MENTOR

“I feel as though I’ve been living my entire life in preparation for this position,” says Jennifer, a Direct Support Professional.  “I enjoy introducing new things to the individuals we serve that they otherwise wouldn’t experience, as they are always introducing me to new things.”

October 13, 2014

Jeanie Wilhelm

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is the feeling that I’m doing something important,” says Jeanine, a Direct Support Professional.  “I also very much enjoy spending time with the individuals we serve and being able to support them out in the community. The ladies especially love to go out to eat and attend local functions.”

October 5, 2014

Delany Sowle

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Rhode Island

“I love working with our program participants and seeing them grow, work on goals and feel good about themselves,” says Delany, a Life Skills Trainer. “I always welcome the chance to take participants out in the community to help them rebuild a great memory from their past. Recently, I went with a participant to a local fair. He was excited to experience the games again and did so well that he left with not only a great feeling, but also with a wonderful new memory.”

August 25, 2014

Vanessa Pryce

Direct Suport Professional
MENTOR Oregon

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is watching the girls I work with grow and succeed in life, and seeing the excitement on their faces when they overcome obstacles. I enjoy being a part of their accomplishments, and all the steps it takes to get there.”

August 16, 2014

Angela McAtee

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is witnessing the individuals we support reach their goals and listening to their laughter every day as they enjoy themselves!”

August 6, 2014

Gerry Zempel

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“The individuals we serve can teach you more than you ever thought. If you are a loving, caring person who wants to make a difference and know you are helping someone, REM is the place to be.”

July 28, 2014

Freda Murrell

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is interacting with the wonderful individuals we serve and watching them grow and take pride in their accomplishments. Seeing their pleasure and excitement during simple outings, such as trips to the grocery store, always makes my day!”

July 21, 2014

Ebony Cobette

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“The individuals I serve all have a goal to achieve wellness, so one of my favorite things to do is participate in physical activities and promote healthy eating. Whether it’s going to the local park to play kickball or creating a variety of balanced meals, the staff and clients show a reciprocal attitude in providing skills and motivation to each other.”

July 14, 2014

Erik Wildoner

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania MENTOR

“I like being able to interact with the guys I support and do things they all enjoy, such as watch sports, go to the park, shop, walk in the neighborhood and just spend time together.”

July 7, 2014

Pamela Tenpenny

Direct Suport Professional
Indiana MENTOR

“I love my job. I really enjoy the clients’ company and helping them get out in the community to do the things they enjoy.”

June 30, 2014

John Wilkinson

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania MENTOR

“I enjoy helping others and being there for them to make their lives better. Some of my favorite things to do out in the community with the individuals I serve include walking the local trails and playing baseball, football and soccer.”

June 23, 2014

Grace Boutros

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“I enjoy teaching new living skills to the individuals I serve and I feel happy and proud of them every time they meet their goals. I also like to visit new places and attend different events with them. We go hiking, exercising, watch parades and much more.”

June 16, 2014

DeAngelo Davis

Direct Suport Professional
NeuroRestorative Florida

“I enjoy the mental and physical challenge of working in a direct support role, in which you’re helping clients get through a difficult time in their lives. It’s wonderful to see their progress; especially during community outings when you can really witness their growth and see the confidence they have in themselves to overcome obstacles.”

June 9, 2014

Aileen Stokes

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania MENTOR

“Although we are here to ensure the safety and productive lifestyles of our consumers, I find that they tend to teach us small lessons. A perfect example is how to enjoy a quiet day with beautiful weather. We also enjoy our weekly trips to the local library. The librarians look forward to our arrival and I get a chance to read to our consumers, opening their world to many new adventures.”

June 2, 2014

David “DJ” Hiller

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services

“I do so many different activities in the community with the individuals we support, but taking a tour of a local police station recently was eye opening for all of us. Speaking with the officers about their day and they being equally interested in ours was magnificent.”

May 27, 2014

Krista Malitsky

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania MENTOR

“I enjoy helping the individuals we serve live life to the fullest. I enjoy the way they appreciate the support. I enjoy working towards their independence. I enjoy doing the extra little things that make a big difference.”

May 19, 2014

Amanda Diederich

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I enjoy spending time with the individuals I support and developing working relationships with them. I also enjoy watching them do the things they love to do, such as go to dances or out for walks around the community, and seeing how happy it makes them.”

May 12, 2014

Christopher Rubrecht

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania MENTOR

“What I enjoy about working in a direct support role is being able to assist the individuals I support in their day to day lives and knowing I make a difference in their lives. It’s great to see them out in the community, in social situations where they can meet new people or just be around friends.”

May 5, 2014

Adelina Oliveros

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about being a direct support professional is working with the clients I support and all the staff in Regent!”

April 28, 2014

Jordan Collier

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“I have the best job in the world. Every day I come to work there is something different and I get to be surrounded by the most caring, fun and amazing people in the world!”

April 21, 2014

Jen Shonk

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania MENTOR

“I enjoy making a difference in the lives of the individuals I support and seeing their smiles. I love taking them to the movies and local parks, and enjoy the simple times at home too—playing cards, doing arts and crafts, and especially the countless conversations. I try to bring joy into their lives in whatever way I can, and sometimes that means that I need to be an advocate for them as well.”

April 14, 2014

Tirzah Haik

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“I love to see people learn and experience new things, so I try to get the individuals I support to try something new with me each day. We especially enjoy our trips to the library. We show each other things in the magazines and try not to laugh too loud. My consumers love music and I love to drive, so we take our time, take the back roads, and sing old songs on the way.”

April 7, 2014

Brenda Malitsky

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania MENTOR

“I don’t mind doing that little extra for the individuals I support, because it brings joy into their lives. When I get ready to go home at the end of the day, my individuals say thank you and tell me that they love me—complete with hugs and kisses on my cheek. I like knowing I make a difference in their lives.”

March 30, 2014

Dorothy White

Direct Suport Professional
REM West Virginia

“Once of my favorite things to do with the individuals I support is to go to the park and walk around. They love animals and it gives us an opportunity to see all types of wildlife.”

March 24, 2014

Celeste Headley

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services

“One of my favorite things to do in the community with the individuals we support is volunteer. We recently volunteered at Feed the Children, an organization that helps those in need in our local communities and across the country. This was a big deal, because each client was so excited to volunteer their time and use their skills to give back.”

March 17, 2014

Kelly Oellien

Direct Suport Professional
REM Minnesota

“What I like about working in a direct support role is hearing stories from individuals I support about how their day went—and from those who are nonverbal, I love to see their smiles! One thing we all enjoy is going to the park for a concert.”

March 11, 2014

Ashley Ramsey

Direct Suport Professional
Arizona MENTOR

“I love my job because it brings me so much joy! Last year, I had the privilege of going on vacation with the residents of the house where I work. It was so exciting for them. We went camping up in Payson, visited two lakes, had picnics, hiked and played games. We are all still talking about it!”

March 3, 2014

Noemi Gonzalez

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“I enjoy everything about working with our consumers! I love how they respond to the love and respect we show them and how they cherish new experiences. Recently we went out to the Heritage Museum and one consumer just loved the outdoor garden. The whole experience was beautiful and such a joy.”

February 24, 2014

Lynette Bulger

Direct Suport Professional
Pennsylvania MENTOR

“One of my favorite community outings was a trip to the mall this past Christmas with a 72-year-old gentleman I support. He saw Santa and immediately asked if he could visit him. As soon as Santa saw the gentleman coming, he moved over so they could sit next to one another. By the time I turned to Santa to ask if the gentleman could shake his hand, it was too late—Santa was already holding his hand so gently and looked up at me and said, ‘You know he is on the nice list.’ I replied, ‘I sure do.’ After he spoke with Santa and took a picture, the gentleman had the biggest smile on his face and tears of joy (and so did I!). This is one of the reasons I love my job!”

February 17, 2014

Sebrena Dossen

Direct Suport Professional
New Jersey MENTOR

“The most rewarding experience as a DSP is when my clients share with me their appreciation of my work and support that I offer them. Those words keep me motivated. I wake up each and every day expecting to accomplish something amazing with the individuals that I serve.”

February 10, 2014

LeeAnn Buchanan

Direct Suport Professional
Cole Vocational Services

“I love working in a direct support role, because not one day is the same and seeing consumers grow is an amazing reward. I especially love volunteering with my group. Everyone working together to make a wonderful team is great, and to see their smiles after they realize what they have accomplished is a great feeling.”

February 1, 2014

Ashley Frohnapfol

Direct Suport Professional
REM West Virginia

“I enjoy giving hope and confidence to my clients by celebrating their efforts and achievements so they feel empowered. I also like to help them participate as independently as possible in activities of their choice.”

January 27, 2014

Holly Miller

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I enjoy the fact that I get to come to work every day to put a smile on someone’s face. One of my favorite things to do with the individuals we support is to go to the river and feed the ducks. I get to see the happiness in their faces and take that time to learn more about them.”

January 20, 2014

Ferdinand Ramirez

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“Visiting the parks and the local sports center are some of my favorite things to do with the individuals we support. Every time we go out in the community you can feel the enjoyment and fun that everyone is having from interacting with others and the sense of love and security they feel from the relationships we have with them.”

January 13, 2014

Denise Worrall

Direct Suport Professional
First Step Independent Living

“Twice a week, we take clients to volunteer at a local Salvation Army and one client loves greeting customers and peers. He always says things to make people smile and loves giving hugs!. I enjoy being able to make a difference in the lives of others, seeing clients achieve their goals, and I love being able to see each person I support show their happiness.”

January 6, 2014

Amelia Roate

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“I enjoy building quality relationships with the individuals we serve and taking them out in the community, but what I enjoy the most about working in a direct support role is when the individuals I support learn a new skill and use it every day to better their lives.”

December 23, 2013

Sara Young

Direct Suport Professional
REM Iowa

“Being able to hang out with the individuals we support and teach them new things is part of what I enjoy most about working in a direct support role. A few of my favorite things to do with them is to go to the festivals, parades and zoos around Iowa. We recently went to the Johnson County Fair and Circus and got to experience elephants, camels, tigers and lots of other fun things!”

November 11, 2013

Michael Brooks

Direct Suport Professional
California MENTOR

“Having cerebral palsy myself, I can understand what the disabled community is about and can better explain to others that having a physical disability does not make you unable to perform at your highest level of intellect. Every one of my clients at MENTOR means the world to me, and I enjoy spending my time with them, seeing them improve and grow as individuals.”