At The MENTOR Network, we believe that our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), Life Skills Trainers, Personal Service Attendants, Certified Nurses Assistants and others who work in direct care should be valued, supported and recognized for a job well done. Thanks to Senate Resolution 208, September 8, 2013 marks the start of National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, providing an opportunity to honor and thank DSPs who play a crucial role in enhancing and supporting the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injury and other challenges. For the second consecutive year, to mark DSP Week and thank our direct support workforce, The Network is launching a month-long campaign to celebrate the achievements of our DSPs and show appreciation for their dedication to the individuals we serve.
“On behalf of everyone at The MENTOR Network I would like to thank all of our DSPs for their hard work and dedication to the individuals we serve,” says Ned Murphy, The MENTOR Network’s Chief Executive Officer. “DSPs are the backbone of our organization and make it possible for The Network to deliver quality of life-enhancing services to thousands of individuals throughout the country.”
Each week, The Network will highlight one employee in a direct support role on our Facebook page and on our DSP of the Week page. The campaign gives the public and fellow employees alike, the chance to learn what people love about working in a direct support role.
This year The MENTOR Network has had DSPs recognized on both the state and national levels.
- In April, Margaret Cavaness of California MENTOR—a partner of The MENTOR Network—was named 2013 Direct Support Professional of the Year by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR). Margaret was chosen among numerous candidates nationwide for her effectiveness in building social networks and her ability to advocate on behalf of people with disabilities.
- In May, Holly Hannesson and James LaForte of REM North Dakota—also a partner of The MENTOR Network—were recognized by the North Dakota Association of Community Providers (NDACP) with Direct Service Professional of the Year honors in their respective regions. An employee of REM North Dakota for nearly two years, Holly was recognized for her outstanding commitment to the women she serves and for helping them organize fundraisers, take part in entrepreneurial business ventures and plan holiday celebrations. James is a six-year veteran of REM North Dakota and works as an advocate for the individuals he supports. He recently assisted one gentleman in transitioning from the institution where he had lived for many years into a REM community-based home.
“We are lucky to have a group of extraordinary staff members who are dedicated to the needs of the individuals we support,” said Brenda Niess, REM North Dakota State Director. “On behalf of everyone at REM North Dakota, I want to congratulate Holly and James and thank them and all of our wonderful DSPs for their ongoing service.”
Visit our Facebook page or to learn more about our direct support workforce and the tremendous difference they make in the lives of those we serve.