YAI Direct Service Professionals Receive Prestigious Honor

Thu, January 07, 2010

It’s a new year and what better way to begin it than by recognizing the achievements of several outstanding direct service professionals from across the YAI Network?

Our direct service professionals are the people who provide the caring, compassionate, supportive services that people with disabilities count on to lead more independent, productive lives. They work in every area of our network--in residences, preschools, day programs, employment training programs, recreation groups and many more. They are the reason our organization continues to be recognized as a leader in the field.

Recently, four YAI direct service professionals were honored with prestigious Excellence Awards from the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA), a professional organization dedicated to advocating for policies, practices and agencies that benefit people with developmental disabilities. The Excellence Award is presented annually to DSPs who have demonstrated a commitment to providing the highest quality services to help people with disabilities lead independent, productive and fulfilling lives.

“This is a heartwarming and gratifying honor,” said Cameo Todd, a DSP at our Glenwood Residence. “I really love what I do, especially spending time with the residents and helping them however I can. The strong support of my fellow staff has truly helped me succeed.”

Elsa Dickson, a Health Care Specialist at our Riverdale Residence,was equally proud. “I really appreciate this award and feel valued,” she said. “Part of my job is to advocate for our residents and I’m really grateful to be able to do that. I encourage all other DSPs to continue to do what is best for the people we serve and to do it from their hearts.”

Rick Moldan, a Family Service Specialist at Project ASSIST on Long Island, describes his recognition as an “exhilarating shock. When they started presenting awards and I heard my name being called, I was absolutely speechless!” he said. “I’ve been in the field for over 40 years and this honor just means the world to me.”

“The award celebrates how we affect change and it is very nice to be recognized in such a formal way,” said Jessica Rudman, Applied Behavior Science Specialist at our Glen Cove Residence.

Congratulations to all of our award recipients!

Help our fantastic DSPs continue to provide the highest level of services by supporting our programs! Now, more than ever, every donation counts.