Goodwill NYNJ marked National Direct Support Professional(DSP) Week September 12-18, 2021 to recognize the dedicated, innovative professionals who every day provide supports to ensure that people with disabilities have every opportunity to live a fulfilling life. At Goodwill NYNJ, DSPs include Job Coaches, Job Developers, Case Managers, and others who drive our mission of empowering individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work.
Goodwill NYNJ wants to raise awareness of the role DSPs play in helping people with disabilities be part of the community. DSPs support our program participants from the moment they walk through our doors, explore employment options, receive training, go on interviews. Once they get a job, DSPs help them during the onboarding process, teach them their responsibilities, and work alongside until they are ready to work on their own. Often they provide moral support and motivate individuals to keep going. Our DSPs provide services to individuals for weeks, years and even decades!
This year, Goodwill NYNJ held events in all sites to recognize the dedication, courage, strength of our DSP colleagues on their tireless efforts to help those we serve. Then, the DSP nominated peer awards were announced!
Einstein Award: Ganesh Jagdeo
Hidden Figures Award: Jessica Roman
NASA Above & Beyond Award: Jeanne Matos
Eternal Optimist Award: Jason Ramirez
Lombardi Award: Camille Harris
Collaborator Award: Jane Mearon & Kimberly Smallwood
Goodwill NYNJ also nominated Shakira Nelson for the NY Alliance DSP of the Year Award. Shakira joined Goodwill NYNJ as Rehabilitation Technician at the Jamaica Day Habilitation program in October 2018. Then she was promoted to Habilitation Specialist for taking initiative, coming up with innovative solutions, and for always being willing to lend a helping hand to her peers. Congratulations to Shakira and all DSPs!