Resource Center Honors Outstanding Direct Support Professionals | News, Sports, Jobs

Some of the Resource Center’s 2021 daily heroes pose together: from left, front row, Sabrina Avery, Robert Thompson and Katy Lauffenburger; and, in the back row, Sheila St. John, Mary Jane Mizner and Althea Maxwell. (The other everyday hero, Britnie Barmore, was unable to attend the event.) Photo submitted

The Resource Center recently honored some of its employees who have done outstanding work helping people with disabilities lead fulfilling lives.

During Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, the Resource Center held its “Celebration of everyday heroes.” The event recognizes the efforts of several direct support professionals. These are the workers who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in TRC’s homes, day programs and community. This year, seven people were honored as Heroes of Everyday Life: Sabrina Avery, Britnie Barmore, Katy Lauffenburger, Althea Maxwell, Mary Jane Mizner, Sheila St. John and Robert Thompson.

Here are the profiles of the heroes of the daily 2021:

Sabrina Avery is DSP in the Resource Center’s Day Empowerment Program on Jones & Gifford Avenue in Jamestown, and she also helps out in some of TRC’s homes. “She is ready to help in any activity or task and adds pleasure to the lives of the people she serves”, said the colleague who named Avery.

Britnie Barmore is a Self-Determination Assistant who works with a couple who live in one of TRC’s homes in Jamestown. “She is a very strong advocate for these people and makes sure they get the support they want and need,” said a colleague. Barmore also supports the husband in his work. “She consistently treats him with respect, helps him improve the product of his work, demonstrates an understanding of the importance that work plays in his life,” said the man’s supervisor.

Katy Lauffenburger is the manager of one of the TRC houses in Jamestown. She started working at TRC seven years ago as a DSP and has progressed through a series of different positions to further her career. “Katy has put a lot of herself into taking care of the many people we support” said the person who named her. “She has worked with so many different people and employees who all hold her in high regard for her love, kindness and talents.”

Althea Maxwell is normally a pre-professional instructor who helps people with disabilities participate in unpaid work experiences and develop skills while pursuing their dream of employment in northern Chautauqua County. During the pandemic, Maxwell began working as a job coach, supporting people with disabilities who were working in the community. “She met them in many different workplaces, helping them in their tasks so that they could maintain or progress in their tasks”, said his supervisor.

Mary Jane Mizner is a medic at one of TRC’s homes in Celoron. Besides doing a great job in her role as a medic, Mizner helps wherever needed around the home and is ready to stay late and come to work on the weekends. “MJ always ensures that all individuals are well taken care of, happy and healthy” said the coordinator of the home’s residence. “She is one of the most caring, happy, joyful and knowledgeable staff I have ever known.”

Sheila St. John is DSP in one of the homes at TRC’s Intermediate Care Facility on Foote Avenue in Jamestown, and helps in other homes when needed. “Sheila goes the extra mile to make sure the people we support are involved in what they want to do,” said the St. John’s supervisor. St. John also comes to the house on his day off to take one of the residents to church every Sunday.

Robert Thompson has been a DSP at one of TRC’s residences in Jamestown for over 20 years. “It represents a level of staff continuity that we don’t see much of anymore. said the supervisor who appointed Thompson. “He has developed a high level of trust with individuals, which makes him a very valuable employee. He knows the little details about individuals, and he helps other staff learn about individuals. Another supervisor also noted Thompson’s support for his colleagues: “If a teammate is having a hard time, he takes the time to show him how to do the task and follows up to make sure he has learned how to do it. “

The video profiles of the seven everyday heroes can be viewed on TRC’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Nineteen other Everyday Hero nominees received honorable mention: Tania Alfonso, Ashley Brown, Desaray Brown, Angela Dalrymple, Kristen Farmer, Beth Hayner, Cheyenne Houghwot, Jodie Johnson, Julia Johnson, Eric Marx, Briana Matteson, Christine Monroe, Tracy Murphy, Satori Powell, John Rutsky, Jamar Smith, Cheryl Stow, Melissa Weilert and Sandra Young.

Other activities that took place at various TRC locations during Direct Support Professional Recognition Week included free staff meals and daily prize draws.

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