REGION: 5– Staten Island
DSP: Jovan Rice
Position: Direct Support Assistant
Years of Service: 19
The Staten Island DDSOO chose Jovan Rice as a Direct Support Professional of the Year because he is a presence that brings happiness to all that surround him, people he supports and staff, alike.
“Jovan is constantly going above and beyond the call of duty,” says Scott Alena, Habilitation Specialist I. “I have personally witnessed him using his training to recognize the onset of a serious seizure and acting with lightning reflexes to ensure the safety of that person.”
“Jovan is constantly going out of his way to help anyone around him who needs any kind of assistance,” he adds. “He has extensive medical knowledge that has helped to identify and circumvent potentially disastrous situations. His knowledge of technology and computers has enabled him to aid his peers as they transitioned into a requirement to use more technological software in the everyday work routine.”
Alena says his knowledge of the job, and a natural understanding of the people that he serves gives Jovan the ability to make everyone around him feel calm and comfortable – Alena says Jovan lacks any hesitation to getting dirty or breaking out in a sweat while on duty.
Alena adds that Jovan has a natural ability to connect with all the people in his care.
“Jovan is truly a friend to the people he supports; he treats them as peers and friends, and they react to his friendliness accordingly,” Alena says. “He has been the person that his coworkers can lean on in any situation. His supervisors lean on him as the go-to guy to assist with any out-of-the-ordinary assignment.
“I have seen him use his PROMOTE training to diffuse many dangerous situations. He is a calming force for his coworkers and the voice of reason to assist everyone around him in keeping calm during emergency situations. Everyone around him benefits just from working with him,” Alena concludes.