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The Resource Center recently honored several employees who have done an outstanding job of supporting people with developmental disabilities.
During Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, The Resource Center held its annual “Everyday Hero Celebration.” The event recognizes the efforts of direct support professionals who have been nominated by co-workers or supervisors for the jobs they have done supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in TRC’s homes, day programs and the community. This year, seven people were honored as Everyday Heroes: Ashley Brown, Desaray Brown, Dennis Gligora, Cheryl Rosenow, Jessica Sayers, Jeanne Slade, and Autumn Walters.
Here are profiles of the 2022 Everyday Heroes:
Ashley Brown is the manager for two TRC homes who has worked for TRC since 2012. “She makes sure that her homes are not just surviving but thriving. She is not just a team player but the glue that keeps the team together,” said the co-worker who nominated Brown.
Desaray Brown is the assistant manager at a TRC home. “Desaray is a dynamic individual who works hard and sacrifices for those she supports,” a co-worker said. “Pays attention to documentation, follows programs and enhances the lives of the people she works with, all while performing the duties of the DSP. We look for people who are super stars – Desaray is one of them.” Brown has worked at TRC for five years.
Dennis Gligora is a community coach who helps people lead the lives they want. “He works well with everyone he has ever supported, and they only have positive comments about him. Putting people’s goals and interests first is a priority of Denny,” said Gligora’s supervisor. “Denny is an all-around superstar staff who does everything with a smile.” For people on his caseload who live independently, Gligora supports them with budgeting, shopping, attending medical appointments, and getting together with friends. He has worked for TRC since 2017.
Cheryl Rosenow is a direct support professional at the home TRC operates in Westfield. “She goes above and beyond to help out the residents and make sure they are happy. She is always taking them out on outings and playing games with them,” said the co-worker who nominated Rosenow. “She is always in a good mood when she is at work.” Rosenow has worked for TRC since 2004.
Jessica Sayers is a job coach who supports people with disabilities who are employed at area businesses. Sayers “is not only a great advocate and support for those in our programs but also has great communication skills and ensures that not only the business is happy with the person and our supports she offers them, but that communication with the rest of the team is present and also a priority,” said the employment program’s administrator. “Jessica’s notes are always timely and detailed for those she supports. She is willing to work a flexible schedule, even if it means making last-minute changes to support someone who needs her help on their job.” Sayers has worked at TRC for four years.
Jeanne Slade is a DSP in one of the activity rooms at TRC’s day program on Jones & Gifford Avenue in Jamestown. Slade supports people in the program with gardening activities across the street at the Riverwalk Community Labyrinth, and she is one of the primary staff involved in supporting people with disabilities to participate in TRC’s Voices of Hope vocal choir and Joyfull Noise handbell choir. “She is a good person and cares deeply for the people she supports,” said the co-worker who nominated Slade. “She is a very loving, caring person.” Slade has worked at TRC for 12 years.
Autumn Walters is a direct support professional at TRC’s day programs and homes. “She is a hard worker and cares about the people we serve,” said the person who nominated Walters. “She will do anything to make our people we serve feel good about themselves.” Walters has worked at TRC for 20 years.
Click here to watch a video from the Everyday Hero Celebration and interviews with this year’s honorees.
Seventeen other TRC employees who were nominated for an Everyday Hero award received honorable mention: Rhonda Boardman, Melissa Cardone, Kaylee Frederick, Christina Gaworecki-Dorrell, Cheyenne Green, Carol Hanson, Cheyenne Houghwot, Robin Kestler, Roxanne Lanphere, Cloe Lister, Michelle Lutgen, Lisa Rios, Elizabeth Rosario, Dan Schroder, Brianna Skinner, Robert Thompson, and Cathy Wilson.
Other activities that took place at various TRC locations during Direct Support Professional Recognition Week included free meals for staff and prize drawings.