Ashley Dickerson is a direct support professional (DSP) and has been at the Center of Hope for seven years. We asked Ashley to share some of her thoughts about the time he has been at the Center.
Please describe your role at the Center. When I first started working at COH, I was a Direct Support Professional (DSP) Aid in Memory Lane. In 2017, I became a DSP in CES. That’s where I began teaching healthy relationship skills, social skills, and life skills to the participants. My number one goal is that the participants have a quality of life. Now in 2023, my role is to teach my participants life skills, social skills, etc. And to help them achieve their goals, get out in the community twice a week and of course we have a lot of fun. I want the participants to know that when they are at COH it’s a fun and safe environment.
Why did you choose this field? This is my first time working in this field. I was the assistant manager at Kelley Williamson Mobil. That’s when a former transportation employee told me about COH. She knew I was looking for a Monday through Friday job, since my children at the time were six and two years old. Working second shifts were really tough on me. I’m so happy I found COH. Working here has been such a joy and I finally found my passion.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in working at the Center? Come with an open mind and an open heart.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years? The biggest change besides the pandemic is all of the wonderful animals we have in the building; hamsters, fish, guinea pigs and even kitties. The participants really seem to enjoy seeing all the animals.
What keeps you at the Center? Since I have school aged children, the hours are perfect. I can be home with my family at night. It’s a great company to work for, and most importantly the participants keep me coming back. Seeing their smiles every day and how happy they are to see you, it’s a wonderful feeling.
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