WCI nominated Dawn Gardner, Support Coordinator, as Direct Support Professional of the Year.
Dawn is an exemplary Direct Support Professional (DSP). She assesses each Individual’s interests. She then supports each person to meet their goals and dreams. Dawn facilitated Sheryll’s dream to see “The Beatles” in concert. She did the best she could do and arranged for Sheryll in 2016 to see Paul McCartney in concert at Fenway Park in Boston and also got them a back stage pass to have lunch with the band and others. She also facilitated a vacation with Sheryll to go to Alaska, which was also something on her bucket list. In addition, Dawn has changed another woman’s life around, Stephanie, by having her enjoy new and interesting community experiences that she had never previously agreed to participate in, such as getting her hair done at an African Hair Salon and visiting and taking clothes to a women’s shelter in Waltham. Stephanie is much happier and is also going to flea markets and out to local restaurants as a result. She would never do these activities before. These are just a few of the outcomes that Dawn has actualized for some of the women that she supports. Dawn has special qualities that shows she cares and wants people to meet their dreams & goals. She is a change-agent which demonstrates she is most deserving of ANCOR’s DSP Recognition Award for Massachusetts. Congratulations Dawn!
WCI – Work, Community, Independence, is a non-profit organization that provides residential, in home, shared living and employment/day supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Autism and Acquired Brain Injury. WCI is a 30 year member of the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), a national, non-profit trade association representing more than 1000 private, community based providers of services to people with disabilities in Alexandria, Virginia. ANCOR works to shape policy, share solutions and strengthen community for providers and the people that they support.
Each year ANCOR has a Direct Support Professional Recognition Award for each state and one DSP of the Year Award for the country. Direct Support Professionals build a close, trusted relationship with an individual with disabilities and assist them not only with their personal needs on a daily basis, but connect them to friends, family and their community. DSPs assist people to live meaningful and productive lives, at home, at work, to set goals, have hobbies, participate in their community and to live a life as we all do!
Nancy Silver Hargreaves
President & CEO