The MENTOR Network

DSP of the Day

At The MENTOR Network, 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. Once again—in honor of DSP Recognition Week, beginning September 13—The MENTOR Network is proud to celebrate our DSPs and other employees in a direct support role throughout the month of September. Each day we’re recognizing one of our remarkable DSPs. Please take a moment to meet these talented individuals and remember to thank them for their commitment to the individuals we serve. You can also find this, along with our DSP of the Week campaign throughout the rest of the year, on The MENTOR Network’s Facebook page.

September 30: Christine Bishop

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Direct Support Professional
Cole Vocational Services

“I enjoy helping individuals reach their potential and supporting them every day. We sit down and plan activities together and I love seeing the smiles on their faces as we participate in each one. I take pride in developing our volunteer sites and giving back to our community. This past week we were able to participate in a barbecue and a program outing at Scandia Amusement Theme Park and yesterday we started a new volunteer site with the City of Victorville. My group really enjoyed all of these activities.”

Christine is celebrating 30 years with The MENTOR Network. Congratulations Christine!

September 29: Stacy Moody

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Life Skills Trainer
NeuroRestorative Rhode Island

“I love that when I go to work every day I’m going to do something that really matters. Helping our clients accomplish their goals and seeing the pride in their faces is incredibly rewarding. I recently took a group of clients to see the Harlem Globe Trotters. We all had a wonderful time. It was amazing to see them all laughing and clapping at the team’s antics.”

September 28: Virgil Ruchti

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Direct Support Professional REM Minnesota

“I enjoy seeing the individuals I serve grow in their independence from day to day. We especially like going to the YMCA, where they have a great time just being out in the community and enjoying some exercise.”

September 27: Becky Dennis

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Direct Support Professional MENTOR Oregon

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is learning ways to better support the individuals we serve by working directly with them and sharing what is working best for them. My favorite moments include doing a “first” with someone we support. Once I went to a carnival with an individual we support and I got to see the happiness in the face of someone experiencing the joy of a carnival ride for the first time.”

September 26: Emily Kieft

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Direct Support Professional REM Minnesota

“My role as a DSP doesn’t feel like a job. I love helping people and enjoy the people I work with. We do lots of activities together, but the people I support especially like going to the park for picnics or fishing, shopping, and out to eat.”

September 25: Kristina Minor

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Direct Support Professional REM Iowa

“I enjoy the satisfaction I get every day of helping people who need me. This job has changed me as a person. I am more patient, loving, caring and helpful.”

September 24: George Dalton

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Life Skills Trainer NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is seeing the individuals we support grow beyond their thoughts of “I can’t” to those of “I can.” I especially like helping them in their workplace—there you see them shine as they interact with their coworkers.”

September 23: Sarah Hirt

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Direct Support Professional Cole Vocational Services, California

“Involving the individuals I support in meeting and greeting during our outings is the best way to put a smile on someone else’s face. I encourage them to use upbeat greetings to people we pass on our walks in hopes of enhancing their social skills and spreading positivity throughout the community one hello, thank you and excuse me at a time.”

September 22: Morgan Nelson

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Direct Support Professional REM Iowa

“I enjoy working with the individuals I support every day to help them achieve their goals and learn new things. I enjoy seeing them laugh and have fun and seeing the smiles on their faces after they have achieved a new task or goal. I recently took a group of individuals we support miniature golfing and for some of them it was their first time. Each time one of them would make it in the hole all their faces lit up—it made the whole experience wonderful.”

September 21: Ron Fultz

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Life Skills Trainer NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“I enjoy developing good relationships with the individuals we support and discovering each one’s unique personality. I thought I could make a difference in their lives, but I’ve been positively impacted too.”

September 20: Harriet Kent

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Direct Support Professional REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is that I am able to help the individuals we support on a personal level. One of my favorite things is the breakfast time I share with four ladies we serve, four days a week. They tell various stories, talk about what they are excited about, what they like and don’t like. One of the ladies gets so excited when she talks about camp—you know she had a great time.”

September 19: Kirstie Polzin

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Direct Support Professional REM Wisconsin

“This position is the first I’ve had that aligns with my studies and I’ve been able to use a lot of what I’ve learned while working with the guys at our house. I’ve discovered how much I love supporting the individuals we serve and it’s given me valuable experience towards my future work in this field.”

September 18: Richard Ross

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Life Skills Trainer NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about working as a life skills trainer is assisting the three individuals I support. My mother taught me to help those who can’t help themselves.”

September 17: Jon Hanson

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Direct Support Professional REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is making meals for the individuals I support and spending time with them—that’s what makes them happy.”

September 16: Emily Oldham

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Direct Support Professional REM Iowa

“I enjoy seeing individuals achieve a goal that they have been working on—it is the most rewarding aspect of this job.”

September 15: Tiffany Virgin

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Life Skills Trainer NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most as a life skills trainer is helping people live more independently and reach their goals.”

September 14: Clara Groenhoff

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Direct Support Professional REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role are the smiles that light up the faces of the individuals I support when they are being helped with their needs. I also enjoy the family atmosphere of working with our clients and staff.”

September 13: Yesenia Victoria

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Direct Support Professional Cole Vocational Services, California

“I enjoy making a positive difference every day in our clients’ lives and being able to assist them in their daily goals by providing my full attention and support. Seeing them smile gives me absolute happiness. It is a privilege to work with our clients—they truly do show us a different side in life, which has positively impacted my life.”

September 12: Leslie Hollinquest

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Direct Support Professional MENTOR Oregon

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is seeing the individuals’ accomplishments and growth. Some of our favorite things to do in the community include watching ice skating at Lloyd center and feeding ducks at Cathedral Park.”

September 11: Stanley Kemp

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Direct Support Professional Florida MENTOR

“Working with the individuals we support has been a great experience. I look forward to coming to work and interacting with them daily. Each individual who I work with is unique in their own way and I’m truly grateful that I have the opportunity to get to know each one of them.”

September 10: Barbara Ray

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Life Skills Trainer NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about being a life skills trainer is the experience of working with my clients as they reach their goals and overcome obstacles.”

September 9: Aly Hamre

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Direct Support Professional REM Minnesota

“Being a DSP is both challenging and rewarding; it allows me to learn and grow while having a positive impact on people’s lives. I really enjoy spending time in the community with the individuals I serve. It makes me smile to see them enjoying themselves in the community and having a fun time. Some of our favorite places to go include Avant Garden’s open mic night, shopping, and volunteer locations such as Free Geek Twin Cities.”

September 8: Tanesha Evans

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Direct Support Professional REM Wisconsin

“What I like most about being a DSP are the people we support. Seeing them so happy makes me appreciate life more and their smiles make any place better. I am the activity master, so we get out in the community often to enjoy community festivals or anything that involves laughing and joking around!”

September 7: Lisa Walters

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Life Skills Trainer NeuroRestorative Kentucky

“What I enjoy most about working as a life skills trainer is helping the individuals I work with receive the best quality of life—from the smallest aspect to participating in the community. This year, we were able to enjoy and participate in the July 4th celebration. The excitement and awe in their faces while we watched the fireworks display was priceless.”

September 6: Steve Selzer

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Direct Support Professional REM Iowa

“Working in a direct support role is always very rewarding. It gives me a chance to hang out with my extended family—the guys I support are like the brothers I never had. One of my favorite things to do with them is to go by the dog park. I support three guys: one loves to pet dogs; the other likes to watch the other guy pet dogs; and the third loves to talk to the owners, so we go as often as we can.”

September 5: Brianna Romero

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Direct Support Professional CareMeridian, Arizona

“I enjoy working with everyone and making our amazing residents happy. While on outings, my favorite things to do are the simple things, like getting ice cream, or visiting some place new. We recently went to a pet store. They adored the puppies and were laughing and smiling—it was something really great to see.”

September 4: Randy Ouellette

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Direct Support Professional NeuroRestorative Maine

“People that have suffered a traumatic brain injury face many challenges in accomplishing their day-to-day activities and I am honored to be there helping them live the best life that they can live! Creating opportunities for community inclusion is one of the most important things that we can do for the individuals we serve. Some of the things that we enjoy doing most at our residence are going to baseball games, fireworks at the beach, shopping and concerts. Recently we were lucky enough to be able to take a resident to see Roseanne Cash live!”

September 3: Jacqueline Olson

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Direct Support Professional REM Minnesota

“What I enjoy most about working in a direct support role is making the residents smile or laugh and seeing the looks on their faces when they achieve their goals. I also enjoy gardening with the residents—we go to greenhouses and look at all the plants and together take care of the gardens.”

 

September 2: Tina Blocker

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Direct Support Professional NeuroRestorative New Jersey

“I love working with participants to help them reach their goals. One individual in particular loves to go food shopping. He is always delighted to be out buying his own food and picking out the things he likes.”

September 1: Miranda Trost

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Direct Support Professional REM Iowa

“I really enjoy spending time with the individuals I support and being able to put smiles on their faces every day I’m with them. I also really like learning about their lives and their likes and dislikes. I recently went to the reservoir to play frisbee with one individual and he smiled the entire time!”