Name: Natalie Waller
Current Title: Community & Engagement Specialist
Agency: RT Industries (RTI)
Years of Experience: 25 years
Why did you become a Direct Support Professional (DSP)?
My brother Nathan Via and cousin Jay Via worked at Riverside. They often spoke about it being such a great job and a great place to work. Nathan often tried to get me to work at Riverside, but the time was not right. About a year or so later, after many conversations and a few visits, I was hooked!
I got a job starting out as a substitute in the workshop, the units, preschool and school. I was so excited!
How would you describe your job? What do you do in a "typical" day?
First of all, there is never a dull moment. Very trying at times. It can be calm, amusing and fun. I provide services to and from RT for four individuals. I help individuals decide what activities they want to do for the month and make a calendar to take home. I also assist with bathrooming and eating.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Before COVID-19, a couple things I really enjoyed the most were seeing the smiles on their happy faces as they entered the building; also being welcomed with open arms, waiting for that big hug always brightened my day.
It has been and still is a pleasure to help our individuals as they have the opportunity to make their own choices in their own lives. I help provide services to help the individuals achieve their daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Laughing and having fun is a must!
If someone is considering becoming a DSP, what would you tell him/her?
The individuals have my heart, and they will have yours too!