Above: Dewayne, Jane, Robyn and Jeremiah
Dewayne K. joined The Foundling’s Developmental Disabilities Division as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) in December of 2014. Watching over 8 young men who live together in an apartment building in the east Bronx (two apartments with 4 housemates), Dewayne has created a strong sense of community and friendship. He helps each of the individuals in his home set goals they want to achieve (long-term and short-term) and then creates plans that will help these men reach their goals!
Dewayne is eager to help the residence manager with requests big and small, and making sure The Foundling’s apartments meet standards set by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Dewayne is always checking in with his colleagues, supervisors and the men who live the apartments where he works. When it was crunch-time to open a new apartment down the block, Dewayne rescheduled a vacation so he could help with the unveiling.
The below was submitted by Jane’s colleagues
Jane is a Direct Support Professional with The Foundling’s Developmental Disabilities Division.
While working at The Foundling’s supervised housing location in Staten Island, Jane O. has worked in a special and unique way with all of the individuals who live there.
I can remember on several occasions how Jane assisted the individuals in having a productive and independent life, and making sure they were always safe. One particular day stands out most for me and it involved one of our individuals being admitted into one hospital, discharged only to then be readmitted into another hospital. Jane was there with him all the way. Her shift began at 7 a.m. and lasted well above the regular 8 hours.
While at the hospital, Jane made sure to advocate for the very best medical care for the individual. After being in the hospital for 14-plus hours, Jane returned to the residence and completed all documentation and went home. I expected her to call off the next day, however, Jane came in at 7 a.m. as she always does, with a smile on her face and ready to work. She immediately began following up with the hospital regarding the individual’s care and well-being.
Jane shows a great deal of dedication to what she does and to the care for all of the individuals she continues to work with. After 35 years with NYF, Jane will be retiring from her full-time position this October, but will continue to spread her hard work and passion for working with the individuals by continuing her work as part of our per-diem staff. Thank you, Jane!
The below was submitted by Robyn’s colleagues
Robyn T. has been with The Foundling’s FOCUS Community Habilitation program for over two years. In that time, she has been working with one individual for over a year now on how to use his iPad to communicate and express himself, and show his wants and needs.
While he has made amazing progress, there was a period of time when the family was not utilizing the communication device because they could not understand it due to a language barrier. But even with a language barrier, Robyn has been able to express to the family why it is so important to continue to use the communication device and how helpful it is for the child.
After over a year of working with the family, at a recent session, the mom sat down at the kitchen table and asked which buttons to press to prompt her child to complete different tasks and communicate different things to him. Robyn is now creating a “cheat sheet” with Mandarin and Picture Exchange Communication Symbols (PECS) for the mom so she can easily identify how to increase communication with her son.
Amazing job, Robyn, making a sustainable change in this family’s life.
The below was submitted by Jeremiah’s residence manager
Jeremiah H. is a Direct Support Professional at a Staten Island community residence. He has been very influential in helping staff in foster a better life in a world where people are judgmental towards individuals with disabilities.
Jeremiah encourages and takes most of the individuals out in the community to look for jobs, as well as participate and do volunteer work in the community. He always says of his clients, “I love my guys, and will do my best to make them happy.” He will at times make an extra effort when needed to take individuals to see friends and family, work extra hours to do so.
Jeremiah is a role model to most of the guys at the Staten Island residence. The individuals go to him for advice because he is always willing and available to listen to them. He brings them together when there are conflicts and resolves problems when they are not getting along with each other. He encourages respect in all aspects, despite difference in opinions, preferences, values, and morale among the individuals.