Direct Support Professional Recognition Week (September 14-18) is a great opportunity to highlight the dedicated, innovative direct support workforce that is the heart and soul of supports for people with disabilities. Days, weekends, holidays, 24 hours per day, these professionals are committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to lead productive lives in the community. They truly are making dreams come true!
The Barber National Institute employs 900 Direct Support Professionals in Erie, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Bedford/Somerset. Here’s what some of these heroes have to say:
“I’ve been employed at BNI for 18 years and I can honestly say I love everything about my job. Having the privilege to take care of and spend time with those that are unable to take care of themselves and bring smiles to their faces everyday makes my job very rewarding.” – Nichole Spanggard, RSP Hampshire, Erie
“Working at the Barber National Institute has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience for me. Seeing the excitement on the faces of the adults when they grasped a concept that was presented made it all worthwhile. Serving and sharing my gifts with the adults and helping them learn a new skill brings a lot of joy to me and hopefully is making their dreams come true.” – Sister Kevin, Assoc. Instructor, Small Group Employment, Erie
“I enjoy being a direct service professional because learning and growing with the people I work with brings joy to me and lights up my day. I enjoy spreading that joy and making it possible to be happy. I love to do as much as possible to get as much out of life as we can. With much love to all of you!” –Jasmine Kyes-Lucero, RSP Millcrest, Erie
“I love working with the different individuals. I love spending time with them, introducing new things, trying to find ways in which to get them to interact with me. Helping them gain more independence by showing/teaching them how to do different tasks. Each client has special qualities about them. Each client has something to offer and to teach others (their peers/staff that they are around). I love being in the residential setting because I get to interact and do more things with them. The clients have become part of my family. It is not just a job. I enjoy coming to work. I enjoy the work that I do. It is an important position. I take my job very seriously, it is not just about getting a paycheck.” – Amy Hartley, RSP, Rolling Green, Pittsburgh
“What I like about being a DSP is that I’m able to help my individual to remember the fun things they used to do and allow them to teach me something I never knew. As I said when I first got hired “I LOVE WHAT I DO AND WHO I DO IT FOR. IF I CAN PUT A SMILE ON ONE OF MY CLIENT’S FACES THEN MY JOB HAS BEEN DONE. But I have to say I love working for this company and it’s a blessing being a part of such a wonderful community and thank you for all that y’all do for us at the Barber National Institute.” – Shanti Singleton, RSP West Girard, Philadelphia
“I have worked for BNI for six years and I love my job more and more every day! The individuals are the reason I love my job. Their smiles and happiness mean the world to me.” – Frances Pavach, Res. Manager Hampshire, Erie