Throughout September, The MENTOR Network continues our annual tradition of honoring Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), Life Skills Trainers and others who work in crucial direct support roles across The Network. Beginning September 12, we also mark National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week. Our DSPs are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injuries and other challenges, and we take this opportunity to recognize their tremendous commitment to our mission and the people we serve.
“Every day, our direct support staff go above and beyond to enhance lives, offering the individuals we serve the opportunity to live rich lives in their communities, build meaningful relationships and follow their dreams,” says Bruce Nardella, President and Chief Executive Officer of The MENTOR Network. “I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to each of our employees in direct support roles for their tireless dedication to our mission.”
An Outstanding Commitment to the People We Serve
In 2016, Network employee Peter Mullaney, a Program Coordinator from REM Iowa, was chosen as the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) 2016 Iowa DSP of the Year. In addition, 15 other DSPs from across The Network were nominated for the award in their respective states, reflecting the commitment to caring shared by The Network’s partners.
Honoring Those Who Make a Difference
In order to recognize all that our DSPs do to help people live life to the fullest, we are highlighting one direct support professional on The MENTOR Network’s Facebook page and our DSP of the Day page of our website every day throughout September.
The MENTOR Network’s partners will also be honoring our staff in direct support roles and their ongoing dedication to the individuals we serve with local events and celebrations across the organization. A few of the events happening throughout the month include:
- REM Iowa will be hosting events throughout the state, including picnics, receptions, potluck lunches, ice cream open houses, and a taco bar. Employees will also receive special DSP appreciation t-shirts, personalized notes acknowledging them for their dedication and hard work, and a variety of sweet treats.
- REM Ohio is showing its appreciation for direct support staff with a carnival featuring boat rides and games in Akron, a picnic for employees and their families in Reynoldsburg, and an afternoon of fun and entertainment for employees at an amusement park in Cleveland.
- Florida MENTOR is hosting cookouts and gatherings across the state with food, games and giveaways, including shirts and other tokens of appreciation.
- REM Minnesota is delivering treat baskets and thank-you cards to DSPs in its Ramsey programs, while the River Bluffs program staff are hosting their annual REMMY Award celebration to recognize employees with a luncheon and award ceremony.
- Missouri MENTOR is hosting celebrations in programs around the state, including a week of festivities in Kansas City that includes a picnic, an ice cream social, and fun daily activities for staff.
To learn about our DSP of the Week campaign throughout the rest of the year, visit The MENTOR Network’s website and Facebook page. If you’re interested in joining us in a direct support role, visit our careers page to learn more.