REGION: 6 – Long Island
DSP Nomination Name: Antoinette King
Position: Direct Support Assistant
Years of Service: 17
THE NOMINEE’S FAVORITE OR MOST REWARDING PART ABOUT BEING A DSP:
Antoinette King says the favorite part about being a direct support professional is “making people smile daily.”
“Antoinette King has weathered many winter storms and a pandemic – all while putting staff and the people we serve before her own needs,” says Thelma Owens, Team Treatment Leader, and Antoinette’s supervisor.
“A person who lives in the home where Antoinette works used to visit with her mother, monthly when she lived in New York State,” says Owens. “Although they would communicate over the telephone, they were longing for a warm hug from one another. But due to the pandemic and the mother aging, mother and child had not seen each other for three years.
“Antoinette knew of the bond that this mother and child had and wanted to help them reunite,” Owens continues. “She reached out to OPWDD administration and volunteered to travel with the person to see her mother, with no intention of being reimbursed by the agency.
“She has preserved family ties and bonds, assisted in granting this person’s dream of seeing mom again before her health deteriorates,” Owens says. “Antoinette gave this person a sense of independence and a feeling of pride by helping the person travel to her mother. Antoinette used her own funds and most importantly she strengthened that mother-child bond that was being affected by distance and time,” Owns adds.
“There is nothing Antoinette King would not do to help enrich the lives of the people who reside in that home,” concludes Annette Jamison, Developmental Assistant II.