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Direct Support Professional Spotlight: Rick Smith

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September 10-17 is National Direct Support Professional Week

Kudos to all our Direct Service Professionals (DSPs) who are on the front lines of Goodwill NYNJ programs every day. They help fulfill our mission of empowering individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work. This week, we’ll highlight their stories to celebrate their accomplishments.

DSP Profile: Rick Smith

Direct Support Professional Rick Smith

Rick Smith is the Senior Rehab Tech in Goodwill NYNJ’s Project Discovery program. Rick was recently promoted to full-time position having started as a part-time Rehab Technician. 

What do you do in your job at Goodwill?

As a Senior Tech, I am in charge of submitting/handling program petty cash, placing supply orders, handing individuals metro cards and other office duties. I also update individuals/program weekly schedule. I am assigned to assist individuals traveling in the community, at their volunteer sites and to attend other activities in the community. I assist individuals develop work skills and become more independent while they are volunteering or during work explorations when visiting commercial places in the community.

What impact do you think your work has on the greater good that Goodwill does?

Seeing individuals accomplishing their dream of becoming employed doing the type of job they like to do. I am grateful that I am able to teach individuals how to feel more comfortable expressing themselves. 

What impact has being a DSP had on you?

Being a DSP helped me become more patient and not judge someone how they initially present.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment in your current job at Goodwill?

Seeing individuals being more integrated in the community and getting suitable employment.

What’s something about your department that you’d like to share?

My coworkers and myself love what we do. We all work hard to see individuals happy and accomplishing their goals and dreams.