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DSP of the Day

At Sevita, 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.

Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, which began on September 12, 2021, is a time to celebrate the contributions of employees in direct support roles. Once again in 2021, Sevita celebrated our DSPs and other employees in a direct support role throughout the month of September. Each day, we featured a different DSP of the Day from Sevita programs across the country.

Please take a moment to meet these talented individuals and remember to thank them for their commitment to the individuals we serve.


September 30

Robyn Rolf, REM North Dakota

“I choose to work in a direct support role because it is fulfilling to talk with the individuals we serve and see them happy. I advocate for the individuals I serve when they need a voice and help them reach their goals in life. Out in the community, I love going for walks, movies, and playing games with them.”

 


September 29

 

Brittany Flowers, REM Mississippi

“I work as a direct support professional because I enjoy taking care of the individuals we serve by making sure they are comfortable and assisting them with their daily needs. Out in the community, I especially enjoy going to the park with them.”

 

 


September 28

Margareta Erdei, NeuroRestorative Arizona

“I have always enjoyed enhancing the lives of those we serve. I work with the individuals on money management, daily living exercises, and reintegration into the community. I love knowing that what I do makes a difference in not only their lives, but also the lives of their family members.”

 


September 27

Sacorria Hunter, Florida MENTOR

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I love caring for others. Working as a DSP helped me realize how blessed I am to care for the individuals I serve. It is not just a job to me, they are like family.”

 

 


September 26

Kehinde Ogedengbe, California MENTOR

“I choose to work in a direct support role because of my passion to support the individuals we serve with compassion. It’s an honor to see them fulfill their dreams. Their accomplishments always makes me smile. I especially enjoy doing sports with them and going for walks on the beach.”

 


September 25

Cassie Castagneri, REM Minnesota

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I love to help others and make sure the individuals we serve find success in their daily endeavors. One of my favorite things to do is to take the individuals we serve out for a drive and ice cream.

 

 


September 24

Mary Fletcher, REM Ohio

“I choose to work in a direct support role to serve individuals with compassion. I want the people we serve to know they are important and worth every minute of my time. I show patience, kindness, humor, and goodwill when helping them in their daily routines – hopefully making them feel at home, happy, safe, and most of all respected. One of my favorite moments with one of the individuals I serve was when I took him to find a new TV during the wintertime. He doesn’t enjoy the cold and snow, but I helped lighten the mood by pointing out all the holiday lights, playing seasonal music, and singing together while out. He had an exciting experience, never once worried about the snow, and enjoyed his new TV! I’ll cherish that memory, as I’m sure he will.”


September 23

Gloria Pickering, NeuroRestorative California

“I have always had a deep desire to see people recover from their brain injuries in a practical way. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to serve both in direct care and as a bridge of communication for Spanish-speaking individuals we serve and their families as they navigate the medical system. I chose to work in this field to work alongside the people we serve, attend to the details of their lives that matter the most to them, and to listen and support them when they struggle. It is very meaningful and rewarding to see the individuals we serve improve emotionally, physically, and cognitively as they return to their roles in life. My favorite thing to do out in the community with the people I serve is to take them out to the grocery stores, malls, parks or recreational areas, and expose them again to real life environments after a brain injury. Such places are therapeutic environments where they can work on processing their surroundings and experience, problem solving skills, safety awareness, memory, and more while having fun.”


September 22

Mamoun Osman, REM Iowa

“I love helping others and making a difference. As a DSP I have the opportunity to assist the individuals we serve with their daily goals and life skills, and help them try new things. Out in the community, I enjoy taking them to the mall, park, festivals, movies, and out to eat.”

 


September 21

Marie Owens, Missouri MENTOR

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I enjoy being a companion and helping hand to the individuals we serve. To do this job you have to have the drive, desire, and ability to care for another person. I treat the individuals we serve as if they were my own family and think of my job as less of a job and more of an opportunity to form trusting relationships. ”


September 20

Jasmine Infante, REM Minnesota

“I work in a direct support role because I enjoy caring for people who need assistance. It fills me with joy to be able to assist the individuals we serve with their everyday cares, activities, and simple daily tasks. Some of my favorite outings with them include taking them out for a spa day, shopping, and going to baseball events.”

 


September 19

Deborah Christerson, MENTOR Adult Day Health Kentucky

“I choose to work in a direct support role to help the individuals we serve live a better life. I love my job. The individuals I serve brighten my day and hopefully I brighten their day too.”

 

 


September 18

Coffi Fadonougbo, REM Wisconsin

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I am happy to always help and serve others. Within this role, I am able to make the individuals we serve happy and help them live their lives to the fullest.”

 


September 17

Deborah Simmons, Florida MENTOR

“I enjoy helping others and it makes me feel good that I can make a difference in the lives of the individuals we serve, whether it be giving them a helping hand or encouraging them. One of my favorite community outings was when we volunteered at the local thrift store. Our individuals were so proud to help.”

 


September 16

Stephanie Conn, Kentucky MENTOR
“I choose to work in a direct support role because this is the most rewarding job I could ever have. The people I serve are like family – every day I watch them grow and help the individuals we serve attempt new tasks and daily activities, overcome challenges they thought they weren’t able to, and help them become more independent in their lives. One of my favorite things to do with the people I serve is to take them to new places and see the excitement on their faces. It shows that the little things you do can impact their lives tremendously.”

September 15

Mandelynn Bostrom, MENTOR Idaho

“I love helping the individuals we serve get to where they want to be in life, whether that is a more independent living or living their best life in the home they choose. I help teach them daily living skills and love to see them able to put those skills to use out in the community. I especially like seeing the people I serve enjoy themselves in nature. We love going to the neighborhood park and packing a picnic complete with games.”


September 14

Erika Diaz, California MENTOR

“I look forward to going to work every single day because helping the individuals to learn new things every day about life skills really brings joy to my heart. Out in the community, I enjoy taking the individuals we serve to the movies. They always smile when we tell them where we are going and they get to choose the movie they want to watch.”

 


September 13

Faith Hernandez, REM Minnesota

“I choose to work in a direct support role because it’s an amazing experience to positively affect someone’s life by supporting who they are and what they need. I always feel the excitement from the people we serve when I come in and the time we spend together just brightens up my day. One of my favorite outings was a drive-through concert, but it wasn’t the concert that made it a great time ― it was the individuals sharing the experience, singing made up verses to the songs on the way home, and the laughter that rang out around me.”


September 12

Katie Dunn, REM Wisconsin

“I choose to work in a direct support role because I have always gravitated towards serving others, starting from a young age. This position gives me a sense of purpose in my life that can’t be achieved elsewhere. My favorite things to do with the individuals we serve involve the outdoors, whether it’s fresh air on country drives or walking around parks and beaches. Recently, we took a trip to Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and the individuals loved looking at all the different animals.”


September 11

Debora Simorangkir, California MENTOR

“For me, working in a direct support role is part of my mission to support and help others. I am happy to be a part of their lives and hope they enjoy my company as much as I enjoy theirs.”

 

 


September 10

Casey Pinard, Pennsylvania MENTOR

“I choose to work as a DSP because I enjoy fostering growth and self-advocacy for the individuals we serve. I believe in bringing empowerment and hope to my colleagues and the people we serve, to remind people that they are valuable and need to value themselves to thrive. It is the most humbling experience within my work and I am deeply honored to hear their stories. Out in the community, I enjoy taking the individuals I serve to doctor appointments, food banks, and fun events. Recently, we enjoyed going to a carnival where they were able to win several stuffed animals as prizes and even saw some old friends they had lost contact with! We are still talking about the carnival and are now looking forward to attending the upcoming bingo night!”


September 9

Brooke Mcelhaney, Kentucky MENTOR

“I choose to work as a direct support professional because it’s very rewarding and every day I create a stronger bond with the individuals I serve. This role has taught me so much and has blessed me in so many ways. I am thankful to be a part of their lives and put smiles on their faces.”

 


September 8

Maureen Price, Florida MENTOR

“The individuals we serve are the most loving people I have ever met. They bring so much joy to my life. One of our favorite activities to do together is crafts and painting to decorate their home. It is currently a jungle theme!”

 


September 7

Bula Sims, MENTOR Adult Day Health Kentucky

“I work in a direct support role because I enjoy taking care of people. The individuals we serve are all wonderful and inspiring. Before the pandemic, one of my favorite outings with the individuals I serve was bowling ― we all had a great time.”

 


September 6

Brittany Fahrenholtz, REM Minnesota

“I love being able to help enrich and be a part of the lives of individuals we serve. One of my favorite things to do out in the community is to take one of the individuals I serve to the local comic book store. It is his favorite place in the world and his good mood is contagious.”

 


September 5

Angelita Fraijo, California MENTOR

“Working in a direct support role is the most rewarding and fulfilling job I’ve ever had. It is amazing to see the individuals we serve adapt and learn new skills. One of my favorite things to do is host a weekly televisit lunch where we can practice our cooking skills and chat about our day. It always melts my heart to see their excitement and smiles whenever we see each other.”


September 4

Jaqueline Smith, REM Mississippi

“I choose to work as a DSP because I enjoy helping the individuals we serve gain their independence and accomplish their goals. I encourage them to go after what they want and strive for greatness in life. In turn, they have taught me to appreciate life more. Out in the community, I enjoy going to restaurants with them and taking them shopping, and if the weather permits we like to go to the park and eat lunch. With every outing, my hope is that they feel valued in the community.”

 


September 3

Aubrey Fisher, REM Iowa

“I choose to work as a DSP because I love to help others! The smiles on the faces of the individuals we serve when they accomplish a task are contagious. One of my favorite outings was when I went on a walk around the neighborhood with one of the individuals we serve and he pointed out all the dogs he would like to pet. On our way back home, we spotted a loose dog and the person served helped catch the dog and return it to the owner. He was so happy to be able to help someone and pet a dog ― it made his whole day!”


September 2

Christine Holland, Indiana MENTOR

“I want to make a positive difference in the lives of others and make this world a better place. Working with the individuals we serve and seeing their smiling faces makes a positive difference in my life, as well. I am always excited to go to work because I look forward to seeing them― they make my life better. We do a lot together, but the guys especially love going out for ice cream. We have made it a weekly ritual to take them all out for ice cream on Sunday ― it’s something everyone looks forward to.”


September 1

Kevin Hartke, Minnesota

“I choose to work as a DSP because I grew up with twin siblings who had intellectual and physical disabilities. Growing up I knew I wanted to help out or give back as a caregiver. As a DSP today, I ensure that the needs of individuals we serve are met by helping with their medication, house chores, personal care, budgeting, schedules, and more. I have learned so much from the people we serve, especially about patience and understanding.”


Want to recognize an outstanding colleague?

Sevita recognizes our outstanding direct support staff every week of the year through our DSP of the Week program. Visit our nomination page to learn how to nominate an employee for going above and beyond for the people they serve.

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