Outstanding Direct Support Professional

The Outstanding Direct Support Professional award is presented to a Venture employee who: Consistently demonstrates commitment and dedication to the agency’s core values of honesty, integrity, respect, innovation, and compassion and advocates for individuals we support & takes initiative to make things better

Being honored this year is Sheila Swift from the Venture Individual Supports Department.  Sheila was presented the award at the Venture Wine & Beer Tasting on November 8th.

Following is an excerpt from her nomination:

Sheila has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities throughout her whole career.  For Sheila, working in this field is not a job but a passion.  There are a number of examples that could be given that exemplifies Sheila’s commitment to the individuals she serves, however this one moment in particular stands out and needs to be noted and celebrated:

Earlier this year, an individual on Sheila’s caseload was having emotional difficulty stemming from never being able to attend services for his parents who had passed away years ago.  The individual remembered the cemetery was in Worcester where his parents were laid to rest, but that was all. Sheila did her research and found the individual’s mom and dad’s burial site.  Sheila called the Pastor from the local church and assisted the individual in preparing and scheduling a ceremony at his parent’s grave.  The individual picked up balloons and had his parent’s name placed on them, which was released from the gravesite along with lighted religious candles.  On a Sunday morning, Sheila accompanied the individual to his parent’s gravesite where a private religious ceremony was held.  The individual shared with Sheila that he was at peace now with his parent’s passing after being part of such a meaningful ceremony.

Congratulations to all of the nominees:

* Bridget Essuman, Mechanic St A

* Debra Lovewell, Hope Street

* Evelyn Odonkor-Boudrea, Route 31

* Hayford Htim, Pike Avenue

* Jean Albihome, Residential Relief

* Karen Mwangi, Residential Relief

* Matt Tillotson, Sturbridge Day

* Scott Bagley, Uxbridge Day

* Tammy Perron, Leominster Day

* Marguerite Maboupda-Tamgno, Crawford A