REGION: 1 – Central New York
DSP Nomination Name: Michael Laribee
Position: Direct Support Assistant
Years of Service: 32
THE NOMINEE’S FAVORITE OR MOST REWARDING PART ABOUT BEING A DSP:
Michael Laribee says, “I love to see the expressions on the people’s faces when they learn new things. I love helping them with their daily activities and being a part of their family.”
Jaclyn Phelps, Developmental Assistant III – who nominated Michael for this recognition – says he is confident in his job duties and provides special activities to the people in his care to make sure they are learning and enjoying every minute of their lives.
“He ensures that all the people's interests are carried through on. He has learned how to help the men and women with their video games, gardening and setting up special trips to see family members,” she adds.
Justin Wheelock, also a DA III, says Michael has worked for the Central NY DDSOO for a very long time – since the late 1980s – longer than Justin has been alive!
Wheelock says Michael worked at one home for 20 years before the lease ended and the people living in the home had to move. He was side by side with them during the transition and helped them pack and move. He then made sure the new place was made comfortable for everyone – helping the people set up their bedrooms and rearranging furniture.
“Mike always has a smile and makes each day fun for the people he supports,” Wheelock adds.
Even the people he supports have kind words for Michael:
“I would like to share how wonderful Mike Laribee is to have as a DSA staff working with us. I wanted to do some outside yard beautification work and Mike helped me buy some beautiful flowers and we planted them in the raised bed planter in our yard,” one person says. “Mike also helped me set up a gazebo in the yard – he made the yard a fun place to hang out and have barbeques, listen to music and talk to my friends.”
“He takes exceptional care of the people he supports. concludes Stacey Valenzano, CNYDDSOO Psychologist II. “Michael is a huge asset to this agency.”