The MENTOR Network

DSP of the Day

At The MENTOR Network, we value our Direct Support Professionals, Life Skills Trainers, Personal Service Attendants, Certified Nurses Assistants and others in direct support for their dedication to those we serve and their critical role in carrying out our mission every day.

Once again in 2018—in honor of Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, beginning September 9—The MENTOR Network will be celebrating our DSPs and other employees in a direct support role throughout the month of September. Please take a moment to meet these talented individuals and remember to thank them for their commitment to the individuals we serve. You can also find this, along with our DSP of the Week campaign throughout the rest of the year, on The MENTOR Network’s Facebook page. 

September 30

Joanna Carreon, REM Minnesota

“The individuals we serve are the reason why I love what I do. The bond you create with them is unlike any other. We gain a different aspect of life through the individuals and, while getting to know them, we get to know a part of ourselves that we didn’t know existed. This field isn’t for everyone. Just like we have our good days, we have our bad days. But the feeling you get by seeing the smiles on their faces when they’ve reached the goal they’ve been working so hard to achieve is worth every struggle through those shifts.”

September 29

Francisco Miranda, Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy the most about working in a direct support role is seeing the clients smile when we go on outings or do special activities.   Every time a client is happy it melts my heart.”

September 28

Deeq Sabriye, REM Wisconsin

“I have been working at Rem Wisconsin for about 7 years as a full-time employee.  I’m also a full-time student.  When I come to work in the afternoons, I take the two individuals I work with to different places in the community, such as the mall and a movie. I feel energized during my shift because I enjoy every minute I spend with them. I always remind them about their value in the community. I tell them that they are not only in the community, but they are part of the community. They always smile when they hear that. I often receive messages from their guardians regarding their appreciation. The happiness of the individual we serve is my happiness.”

September 27

Lori Pergiovanni, NeuroRestorative, Rhode Island

“I truly enjoy all aspects of working with the residents, especially assisting our clients with recreational and artistic activities. Seeing the clients utilize their abilities to create something beautiful that they made with their own hands and are proud of is rewarding beyond words.”

September 26

Jessica Pinard, NeuroRestorative, New Hampshire

“What I enjoy about working in a direct support role is the one-on-one contact, being able to guide the participants in the right direction, and helping them achieve any goal that they may have to accomplish in order to overcome their brain injury.”

September 25

Chasdity Lee, Pennsylvania MENTOR

“I have worked for Pennsylvania MENTOR for the past 18 years and watched the ladies in the home succeed to their best abilities possible. Out in the community, I really enjoy taking the ladies out to a sit down family restaurant at least once a week. I also enjoy taking them to the mall to walk around and do some shopping.”

September 24

Arcelia Pena, Cole Vocational Services, California

“I love what I do because the people we serve are loving, kind and sweet. I especially love when we volunteer in the community, because the people we serve are excited to help out and are using their life skills we are teaching them in our program.”

September 23

Sherika Brownlee, NeuroRestorative, Illinois

“What I enjoy most about being in a direct support role are the relationships I have formed with the participants and seeing that my job actually make a difference in their lives. One of my favorite things to do with them in the community is to go play laser tag, because they enjoy it, it keeps them active, and helps them work together as a team.”

September 22

Genie Morelus, Adult Day Health Services, Massachusetts

“I do volunteer work at the Last Call Foundation in memory of fallen firefighter Michael Kennedy. He was my son from the Big Brother program and passed away from a fire in Boston.  That is why I enjoy helping people—it is how I give back.  Each person we serve inspires me so much with their life.  I enjoy working with them and learning so much about them. They give me the opportunity to walk in their shoes, learning about how life is for them.”

September 21

Kendra Johnson, Indiana MENTOR

“I love helping people. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of the people we serve and I love taking them shopping, out to eat and to see new things. It is a pleasure to work with this company.”

September 20

Morgan Sharp, NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I love working with the individuals we serve.  I love to see the changes and progress they make every day.”

September 19

Mei Chen, Adult Day Health Services, Massachusetts

“I like working with our program participants because with age comes wisdom. And they are always willing to share the wisdom with us. Throughout the day I feel that my help with their needs enriches their lives and that comes through in their smiling faces and their praise of the lives they are living. In return, I feel like I get life experiences and the invaluable knowledge that the “Golden Years” are truly that – the Golden Years. I thank all of our participants for their love that they show, and the will to live despite all obstacles. It’s truly inspiring being part of this. It brings joy to me that they are not isolated by their age, medical issues or language barrier, but are part of our community.”

September 18

Carmen Rivera, Adult Day Health Services, New Jersey

“I enjoy making our program participants smile with new and creative ideas. I enjoy engaging them in daily activities and going to the lakes, museums and parties with them. I just love to make them happy— that’s my daily goal.”

September 17

Kim Pickard, REM Ohio

“I love working one-on-one with the individuals I serve. It is a great day for me when I can be a part of making someone else’s day special! My favorite thing is working at volunteer sites with the individuals I serve. It gives them and me an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and purpose. Together we are making a difference in our community!”

September 16

Jonathan Peterson, REM Minnesota

“My favorite part of being a DSP is watching growth and improvement among the individuals I work with. I love being able to make a difference in the lives of the individuals I serve. They truly make work a fun place to be!”

September 15

Tamara Vierra, Cole Vocational Services, California

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is working with the individuals we serve to achieve their goals and help them succeed when trying new things. Knowing that you are a part of making a difference in their lives is the most rewarding feeling. My favorite thing to do out in the community is to volunteer with them and show the community the different skills that they have learned. They love helping and building their skill level.”

September 14

Kay Colvin Dunn, REM Mississippi

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is working with the individuals we serve to meet their daily living skills, helping them to push further in their potential, and then seeing the expressions on their faces after their accomplishments.  Out in the community, I enjoy going with the individuals I serve to the mall and farmers market. It warms my heart to see that when one of the individuals speaks to someone in the community that person stops and takes time to talk with them.”

September 13

Melissa Edwards, REM Iowa

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is seeing the individuals grow and being able to accomplish new goals. Out in the community, I enjoy visiting the parks with them to eat lunch and walking around on the paths afterwards, conversing with them about what we are seeing.”

September 12

Tracey Archer, REM Ohio

“I love to see goals set and reached. I love the pure excitement and laughter we get to share when out and about enjoying community outings or during one-on-one time together. I love to get out in our local community to support local businesses and schools. We have got to share and enjoy outings—such as school band performances in the park or a cool jazz artist performing at the mall during lunch—with the individuals we provide care and support. Of course, there is nothing better than getting to go along for a fun field day at Scene 75, playing in the arcade, bumper cars, putt putt, and of course… winning prizes. I love being a part of the lives of the individuals we serve!!!”

September 11

Barbara Brinkhous, REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is doing things with the people we serve.  I like shopping with the individuals and making it fun, and being able to take our time and not be in a hurry.  We especially enjoy going to the state fair and visiting the sandpits to watch the geese.”

September 10

Natalie White, Indiana MENTOR

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is being able to help those who are in need.  I enjoy teaching them life skills and going to the parks, movies and shopping with them.”

September 9

Monica Wilson, REM West Virginia

“I enjoy positively impacting the lives of the individuals I serve every day. They enjoy singing, dancing, and goofing off with me. We love to go to various parks around town and jam out to rock music. I feel both fulfilled and humbled when I go home at night.”

September 8

Amanda Roberts, REM Minnesota

“My favorite thing about being a DSP is looking into the past and realizing how much the kids we serve have grown. Some of my favorite memories are taking the kids to the Fall Festival and playing in the big corn pit and having dance parties at the house. Both the kids and the staff who I work with make coming to work every day something to look forward to.”

September 7

Brittany Eshelman, REM Iowa

“One of my favorite things to do with the individuals we serve is to take walks with them.  We always try to find something new and beautiful in nature we haven’t seen before. We also like to sit and watch the birds and try to identify as many types as possible.”

September 6

Felicia Shobe, Indiana MENTOR

“I love my job! I come to work every day just to see the smiles on the individuals’ faces.  We recently took a group trip to Kings Island and they had the best time. To finish the summer we will be going to the State Fair.”

September 5

Jenae Carey, REM Minnesota

“My favorite thing about being a DSP is having a positive impact on the individuals I serve by letting them know I am always there for them and will help them reach their goals. Helping them reach their goals and being the best they can be is my top priority!  Seeing them happy and enjoying life makes work extremely enjoyable.”

September 4

Roy Mills, Alabama MENTOR

“Direct support work provides the opportunity for me to have a direct influence in a child’s life. This allows me to see the impact that our services provide the children and experience the growth of an individual directly.  Out in the community, the ice cream parlor is one of our favorite places.  Ice cream seems to always smooth situations over with many of our children on “bad” days. There have been many crisis diverted through trips to the ice cream parlor when their world seems to be crashing.”

September 3

Desirae Robles, NeuroRestorative Nevada

“I enjoy assisting individuals in their rehabilitation and seeing their journey from coming in and being devastated with their injuries and then walking out happy and proud. I love encouraging others and hearing their stories; learning about the different backgrounds. It is a very rewarding field.”

September 2

Tiffany Akers, REM West Virginia

“I enjoy helping to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve and I enjoy the happiness they bring to me daily.  Everyone I have had the pleasure of working with has shown me a new perspective of life.  One of the individuals we serve loves to go to sporting events, so I took him to a softball game recently.  To make his day even better, the coaches invited him to be part of the coaching staff – he had an amazing time!”

September 1

Holly Sprinkle, REM Wisconsin

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is knowing that I am doing good in this world, in a very real way that makes a difference in someone’s life.  I recently took an individual I serve out for ice cream. He seemed so happy clapping his hands, jumping and laughing. It was so easy to see the joy that this simple act brought to his day.”