Krista started her journey at Community Living as a Direct Support Professional in the SOAR program. She said “Teen Club was a lot of fun,” but after working in the after-school program for a few months, she was ready to apply her degree in Social Work to a program with more structure. She found a fit in Support Services for Adults, an outcome-based day program. She started as a DSP at the Judy Mahon Center and worked her way up to a role as one of the Center’s Support Coordinators.
As a Support Coordinator, she gets to see how her work makes an impact over time. Support staff work with the program’s participants on a hands-on basis and make notes about what each day looks like. Krista then takes those reports and uses them to help each individual and their support team come up with goals for the year. “I get to see not only how what we’re doing is affecting the client day-to-day, but I get to see how it affects them month-to-month, year-to-year, and so on.” By setting milestones and tracking their progress, she’s able to help ensure that the Support Services for Adults program is offering its participants a meaningful and productive day. “It’s an advocacy job. I get to advocate for the client and what their year is going to look like and hopefully help them be successful with those goals.”
She recognizes that the data she collects supports the organization’s overall mission. “It’s all building blocks,” she says. “My impact is that I make sure my building block is sturdy.” She can also trust that everyone else on her team is making their blocks sturdy, too. “We have a really good team here. We’re all really supportive of each other,” she said about the other staff at the Center.
“There’s never a dull moment here at all…I learn something new from every one of them every day.”
While much of her day is spent doing paperwork, she says it’s a lot of fun, too. The Mahon Center is known for their spontaneous dance parties. They like to turn on the radio, let loose, and jam out. “There’s never a dull moment here at all.” She understands the meaningful work she does behind the desk, but she’s happy to work for an organization that lets her flex her creative side, too. She said everyone is willing to hear ideas and try new things. She knows that the whole organization is working toward a common goal to help the participants live more meaningful and fulfilled lives.
Krista says the impact works both ways. “There’s a common misconception that [the participants] are here to learn and we are here to teach and that is very wrong because I learn something new from every one of them every day.”