Name: Brandi Vogler-Bates
Current Title: Retention Specialist
Experience: 1+ year
Why did you become a Direct Support Professional (DSP)?
I started working for GESMV because I wanted to get involved with helping individuals with disabilities, and I really didn't know what a DSP was when I started at one of the stores.
As a manager, I was fortunate enough to work with two of Goodwill's DSPs on a regular basis and learned more of what they did, and I loved the idea of being able to work more one-on-one with these individuals. When the opportunity came about, I made the switch and became a DSP.
How would you describe your job? What do you do in a "typical" day?
My job is to provide coaching and long-term employment support for individuals. I assist the individuals in any way needed when it comes to their employment, whether it be putting in for a promotion, asking for time off, training for a new task, creating professional relationships with co-workers and supervisors or just encouraging the person if they are struggling.
A typical day for me consists of going out to see three or four different individuals at their place of employment. I typically spend about 90 minutes with them at each visit.
Some days I will check in with the person to make sure there aren't any issues that need addressed and just observe to ensure they are working safely and efficiently. On other days, I will work alongside the individual to help and encourage them while working.
During each visit, I will speak to managers and supervisors to get an update on the individual's performance and relay any feedback from management to the individual and possibly their support team. I will also take notes and document milestones or issues, if any, so they are available, if needed, to refer to in the future.
There are also occasions that I will call individuals I serve to simply check in to see how things are going. I also encourage some individuals to call me and talk to me any time they might have questions or concerns on the job.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Everything! There is no better feeling than seeing the people I support succeed!
If someone is considering becoming a DSP, what would you tell him/her?
I would tell the person that even though sometimes it can get stressful, it is one of the best choices that I've ever made.