Rainbow of Challenges and Prescott Nevada County Special Services will be observing March as National Developmental Disabilities Month. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan made a public proclamation that the month of March should be recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to “increase public awareness … Continue reading
Success Stories & Testimonials
Rashawnda Young has been with Making Rainbows since 2013 and with her infectious smile and soft voice it’s easy to understand why she is such a deserving DSP. She works with children at a very critical age between three and five-years-old.
“It was just the passion of working with children,” she says of what led her to apply for a childcare position. “It’s just not a job to me. I feel it’s my destiny.”
She knows each child is different and they learn at different levels and at a different pace. “Some children learn visually, some by hands-on learning, so you have to multi-task around the classroom. It’s almost like a puzzle. I try to move around the classroom and see what works for that child.”
The teaching with a particular class doesn’t end after they move up to the next level. “When my kids move to the graduation class, I will ask the other teachers how they are doing and maybe share some tips that worked for me and help them progress and go farther,” she notes.
Chaos can sometimes reign with the children, but Young has the ability to identify what may be triggering their behavior. “As they come into my presence, I want them to come into a loving environment, a caring environment and welcome them to meet their needs,” she says.
Young knows at the end of the school year, she has put all of her energy and dedication out for her children. “It’s such a privilege,” she states. “If they only get one thing from me, maybe even learning to count from one to ten, it’s an achievement not only for them, but for me too. It was a goal we accomplished together.”
- Rashawnda Young
Meet Teresa Randall, who, along with all other DSPs, is being honored across the nation for their service during the week beginning Sunday, September 13.
A Direct Support Professional is a staff member who serves as direct care, in-home support, a personal assistant and an attendant to insure that people with disabilities, both developmental and intellectual, are able to live more independently and in community settings. They are invaluable in the service they provide to the individual and quietly raise the quality of their lives across the board.
Randall has been working with Manus for more than seven years. “When I started (as a DSP) I was scared to death,” Randall says describing her introduction to the new profession. “When I got in here with the clients though, that was it. The rest is history.
“To be able to work with these clients and help them become better people, better equipped to do things on their own and share the love they have to give so freely, it’s awesome.”
Randall exudes pride to see the achievements and barriers broken by Robin and other individuals. “I am most proud to know I have helped them overcome those barriers. It’s something I never knew I would feel, but it is great to see them be comfortable and be themselves.
“This is a good thing in my life,” says Randall upon reflection of how far she has come as a DSP. “When I started, I was just overcome with joy because I felt this is what I was meant to do. So, it was hard to contain the joy I felt, that I was in a career I belonged in and that I could make a difference.”
- Teresa Randall
Making Rainbows instructor Tiffany Stuart got her start in 2006 and hasn’t looked back since. She is too busy providing the children she teaches with the building blocks they will need for a successful future. Stuart was drawn to ROC because of a nephew who was a child being served locally. She completed college and received her CDA (Child Development Associate) credential in Early Child Care and has been in the classroom since.
“It’s very rewarding work,” says Stuart. “Some of the children come in and some can’t talk or walk and we help them communicate with others and to share. We don’t only build a relationship with the children, but also with the parents. We are like a team working together.
“We are just like a big family here. If I have a problem, some of the other teachers will give me information that will help do something in a different way. And I do the same for them if I see they are having a problem. We are a team and we try to help each other out.
“I see myself doing this for a long time. I started with the youth in my church and I’m just a “children” person. So, I enjoy being with them every day.”