Mark Twain once said, “Find a job you enjoy doing and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Debbie West, a DSP at Belco Works, Inc., found that job four years ago and has poured passion and commitment into it ever since.
Debbie is the supervisor of a team that provides janitorial services for contracted businesses. She understands that each person on her team is unique and adjusts her support based on their needs, always looking for better ways to serve. One team member, who was shy and uncomfortable meeting new people, now talks to others, thanks to her encouragement and patience. Debbie is also a role model and her attention to detail is the example people need as they learn new job skills.
“Everyone she works with knows they can count on her,” said Janitorial Services Program Manager Chris Mansfield.
Customers know they can count on Debbie, too, and the satisfaction among them has risen since she has been on the job.
“Debbie deserves five stars for the customer experience she provides to the us,” said Gloria Llewellyn, Assistant Superintendent for the Belmont County Board of DD. “The people on her team are usually smiling and they make sure our building looks great.”
Debbie’s efforts to encourage and support her team may not feel like work, but they are definitely working!
It’s safe to say that being the host of a live fishing segment is not usually what DSPs do, yet Jennifer Borton did just that earlier this year.
When Governor DeWine issued health orders in March designed to reduce COVID-19, PALS in Harrison County remained open with one small group. It also launched PALS TV so people at home could remain connected to their provider. Jennifer, who had been employed by PALS for one year, welcomed the opportunity to create real and virtual activities. The fishing segment at Sally Buffalo Park just happened to be one. She also got people involved in virtual bingo, arts and crafts, trivia, cooking and tie-dyeing.
“Jennifer is a very loving, dedicated staff person,” said Program Director Maria Jones.
As the parent of a son with an intellectual disability, Jennifer understands the importance of having something meaningful to do every day. And that is where her imagination, fueled by dedication and compassion, shows itself.
Word is she’s pretty good at fishing, too!
Everyone knows that DSPs can do all kinds of things for the people they support, like cooking, cleaning, taking them to appointments and other personal needs. What isn’t in the job description is what Bri Scarbo is known for: helping people have a good day.
Bri is Zackary’s DSP. She was introduced to him early on in her five-year career and they bonded immediately. When Zack’s mom saw her kind, caring ways, she asked Bri to be his only provider. The rest, as they say, is history.
Zack loves gaming and a smile crossed Bri’s face when she said, “We do a lot of that.”
Kyla Myers, an SSA who works in Noble County, said she is inspired by Bri and her kindness. “She goes above and beyond to make sure people have a good day,” Kyla said.
Bri said there is no secret to being a successful DSP. In fact, her advice is for everyone: “Get to know the person and treat them as equal.”
So, while Zack is winning at Harvest Moon on GameCube, Bri is accomplishing something even more important – making sure that Zack has a good day every day.
If someone describes you as a Godsend, then you are a person who is there when needed. And that is how DSP Pat Anderson is described by the people who work with her.
“I don’t know what I would have done without her,” said Community SSA Tracy Johnston. Another SSA remarked that Pat is respectful and makes sure everyone comes together around the people she serves.
Pat is employed by Paramount Support Services where she is known to go above and beyond in her work. That means being there at all hours of the day and night when people need her.
Managing the health care system is a daunting task for many, and for people with disabilities, it can also be upsetting. Not when Pat is around. She accompanies the people she serves to their appointments and makes sure they understand what the doctor or nurse is telling them. She also works countless hours at other times to make sure each one receives the best health care possible.
Pat makes a difference in the everyday challenges, too. Lost keys? Pat will get new ones made. Broken down car? Pat will call a tow truck for you. Need help getting your house in order? Pat is there with a team, if need be. Pat is also there on the special days, making sure birthdays are celebrated in a memorable way.
Pat Anderson is one among hundreds of local DSPs, but to those who know her, she is one-in-a-million.
Denise Bunting has been a Direct Support Professional for 36 years, but she is so much more than that to the people she serves. She is a friend, ally, coach and encourager who has their best interests at heart.
According to SSA Stephanie Jendrusik, Denise treats the people she cares for like family and their families often express how thankful they are to have her.
Denise recently became an independent provider and began serving two additional people. She immediately connected with both. One, who does not communicate with words, signed that she loved Denise after their first day together. Progress for another has been remarkable since she became her provider. Patient and encouraging, Denise always compliments her abilities and focuses on her strengths.
“Denise has gone above and beyond in a few short months to inspire her,” Stephanie said. “She definitely works for and with her folks and cares for them unconditionally.”
Described as an amazing person and an even more amazing caregiver, Denise Bunting shines like a diamond, and brings out brilliance in the people she supports.