DSP Week Spotlight: Theresa R. in PA

Theresa has been a direct support professional with Growth Horizons, a Division of RHA Health Services in PA, for 18 years.

What do you love most about being a DSP?

“I’ve done it my whole life. I like the hands-on aspects of the job. I like watching the individuals be able to accomplish their goals and complete them, and to experience the joy with them when they do. It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed. There’s just a joy in working with people that you get to watch grow, and accomplish things, and do things—they become family to me. It’s not just a job.”

What do you think the most important part of your job is?

“Protecting my individuals, providing them with what they need, taking care of all their daily needs, and making a safe environment for them.”

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a DSP at RHA?

“Come in with an open mind and know that there’s just not a simple job description. Whatever’s handed to you, you have to do it. It’s not ‘you work so many hours, then you go home,’ you know? Be open to change. You know, I’ve been with my individuals for a long time, and they’ve changed—they’ve aged. You have to go along with the aging process.”

Theresa was nominated by Beth Davidson and Nicholas Whitfield. Nicholas said:

“[Theresa] has been with us for 18 years. During the pandemic, she has made the health and safety of the people she serves her highest priority. She wouldn’t think of calling out, and never has. Her three individuals that she serves have some extensive medical needs, she takes their care very seriously. Amidst all this you would think she would voice a complaint or two, but she has only said how lucky she was to be able to serve these individuals during this time.”