REGION: 5 – Staten Island
DSP: Bonita Blackmon
Position: Developmental Assistant II
Years of Service: 16
Bonita Blackmon was selected by the Staten Island DDSOO as a Direct Support Professional of the Year because she has shown exceptional leadership and support to her colleagues and to the people she supports.
“Bonita goes above and beyond for the people we serve. She ensures they live fulfilling lives and experience things that fit their personal desires. As a supervisor, she sets the tone for the residence, and the staff follow her lead. Although she is the shift supervisor, she makes sure at least 2 to 3 days out the week that she prepares a delicious dinner for the people at the home where she works. And they love her cooking!” says Team Treatment Leader Jenayra Jones.
Jones says Bonita is a natural leader.
“I can always rely on her to ensure people and staff are up to date and aware of any changes,” she adds. “Recently, how to document billing changed. Bonita sat individually with each staff member to ensure they were completing the goals and documenting it right. Since the new system was implemented, her residence has not missed one entry.”
Jones says Bonita also makes sure that all of the people go on trips to their liking.
“She ensures that the people in the home can express their personalities and individual styles,” she adds. “The men go for haircuts regularly and have the best smelling cologne. The women are regulars at the salon in the nearby mall and their nails always look fantastic. Bonita is a perfect example of what it means to be a great DSP.”
In addition, as a way of initiating tasks for people to foster their independence, Bonita encourages person-centered outings to assist with developing everyone’s interest, and by guiding everyone for success.
“Bonita works side by side with her staff to ensure their growth as a direct support professional. Whether it’s safe patient handling or data entry on EHR, you can rest assured Bonita is on the job,” Jones says. “She does not leave her shift until the people in the home are sound asleep, and all documentation is completed. She has and continues to be a force to be reckoned with, Bonita does the best and outshines the rest.”