The MENTOR Network is proud to announce that the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) has chosen two Network employees for its 2019 Direct Support Professional of the Year awards for their respective states. Linda Renn, a Direct Support Professional from REM Iowa, was chosen as the Iowa Direct Support Professional of the Year. Aleia Dye, a Direct Support Professional from REM Mississippi, was chosen as the Mississippi Direct Support Professional of the Year.
Each year ANCOR, the national association representing providers of community-based services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, selects a Direct Support Professional (DSP) from each state to be recognized as DSP of the Year for their outstanding contributions to the people they serve. Nominees for the Direct Support Professional of the Year Award are judged on their success in helping people with disabilities build social networks and engage in substantive community participation and for advocating for the individuals they support.
“On behalf of all of us at The MENTOR Network, congratulations to Linda and Aleia for this outstanding accomplishment,” said Bruce Nardella, President and CEO of The MENTOR Network. “Their dedication, and the dedication of others in direct support roles across The Network, enables the individuals we serve to live lives of meaning and promise in their communities. Thank you, Linda and Aleia, for all you do each day to help those we support to thrive.”
Direct Support Professional, REM Iowa
When visiting any program where Linda is working, you will find her talking to all the individuals, singing songs, assisting with showering and working on daily living skills. She is available to other staff and supervisors when issues arise and tells everyone that they can call her for assistance or guidance at any time. Linda volunteers to take individuals to medical appointments, as she knows their behaviors well and is able to support them when behavioral challenges arise.
“During Linda’s 10 years of service, she has had a tremendously positive impact on the individuals she supports,” said Lisa Pakkebier, Executive Director of REM Iowa. “Her overall mission is one of person-centered support. Her caring and compassionate actions are always what she believes to be in the best interest of the individual.”
Direct Support Professional, REM Mississippi
Aleia loves making the individuals in the program happy, goes out of her way to teach them new things and is a strong advocate for their needs. She comes to work every day with a smile on her face and is the first to greet the individuals when they arrive at the program. She has a wonderful rapport with individuals as well as their family members. She has been gifted with boundless energy and never tires of working with the individuals. She always looks for innovative ways to help them grow and succeed.
“Aleia goes out of her way to teach the individuals she serves new things and is a strong advocate for their needs. To see the compassion and the ‘I won’t give up’ attitude she exhibits toward others is amazing,” said Jessica Mathews, State Director of REM Mississippi.
The 2019 Direct Support Professional of the Year awards will be presented in a ceremony in Portland, Oregon, on May 8, 2019, at ANCOR’s Annual Conference.