Direct Support Professional Week - September 13-19, 2015

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Happy Direct Support Professional
Recognition Week!

September 13-19 is Direct Support Professional Week! In honor of the important work our DSPs do each and every day, here are some extraordinary DSPs we are fortunate enough to have at Opportunity Partners.


Kurt LarsonKurt Larson Photo

Kurt Larson has been in direct support for 30 years, and over 10 of them have been with Opportunity Partners. Each day, Kurt brings enthusiasm and excitement to help others advocate for themselves. He has developed unbreakable relationships with the people he helps. Kurt says, “They’re like family to me.”

His friendship with Andrew (pictured) is going on 20 years strong. Andrew is thankful to have Kurt in his life, “He has stuck with me through thick and thin. I do deeply care about him as I do for others. He is a great mentor. He is a great leader. I hope I turn out to be just like him.”

Dianna HamiltonDianna Hamilton Photo

Dianna has been with Opportunity Partners for nearly 20 years! She works at Asplin Center in Plymouth as a Volunteer Coordinator Instructor. She helps the people we serve volunteer within the community.

Dianna loves helping people learn, grow and progress. “One of my favorite parts of my job is when I hear “I did it” and “I got it”! This really does mean a lot. These moments are so exciting! The little things really do matter.

Nicki Hennessey (Nicko)

Nicki Hennessey PhotoNicki Hennessey (Nicko) is a Classroom Instructor at Golden Opportunity. She has been with Opportunity Partners for over 6 years. She creates fun and interesting classes for her students and tries to find non-traditional ways for people to be successful at Mixed Media art. She enjoys art and painting as a hobby so she finds ways to incorporate that into her work.

Nicko says, “My parents and grandparents both did what would probably now be considered adult foster care. We had as many as 6 to 10 people with disabilities living in our home. They were considered a part of our family and I have many wonderful childhood memories. I think that I was meant to be in this field.”

Her memories will continue to be made within her current role. She says, “I like the relationships that I am able to build with the people I serve. I like being able to share in their success and also to be there to encourage them.”

Mavis BumgarnerMavis Bumgarner Photo

Mavis works as a set supervisor at MN Dot Research Labs. She supervises the custodial work of nine individuals. She helps the people she serves learn job skills, how to care for cleaning equipment and how to be accountable for their jobs.

Mavis says the best part about her job is “truly all of the wonderful individuals I get to work with. They are so caring and great.” She loves seeing their successes and progressions during their journeys. She says it is truly a great thing when the people she serves continue to grow each year and their test scores keep going up.

Mary Davidph_MaryDavid

Mary has been with Opportunity Partners for over 15 years! She works as a Semi Independent Learning Services (SILS) Specialist. She helps people in all necessary areas of daily living so that persons served experience growth, self-management and independence to the greatest extent.

Mary always knew she wanted to help people as a DSP. She says “the favorite thing about my job is working with the people I support to help them become as independent as possible and continue to live and work in the community and achieve their dreams.”


Click here to learn more about DSP Week from the National Advocacy Campaign.

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