Region: 2 – Central New York
DSP Nomination Name: Bonita Johnson
Position: Direct Support Assistant
Years of Service: 25
The nominee's favorite or most rewarding part about being a DSP:
“I enjoy making a difference in the individuals’ lives as well as them making a difference in mine. Taking care of others and helping others puts a smile on my face and makes my heart happy and my soul sing.” – Bonita Johnson
Bonita is a devoted staff member deserving of recognition, according to the several people who contributed to her nomination as DSP of the Year for Central New York. Over the past year, Bonita has worked in many houses on many teams, and remains kind, generous, compassionate and sincere.
“She brings professionalism to her role as Direct Support Assistant, and the people she supports love her mothering nature,” says coworker Laccy Braun. “She is also one of the best cooks with her famous white chicken chili.”
During the pandemic, Bonita was on the front lines time and time again. She rose above her own fear to volunteer to work in several homes where individuals were COVID-positive.
“In these situations, many staff for these houses were also positive for the virus and couldn’t work. Her offer to work at these houses was greatly appreciated and often was the key part of how the agency was able to ensure health and safety for the people living in that home,” Braun adds.
Cathy Crandall, Developmental Assistant III in the home where Bonita works adds, “Bonita stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic. She assumed the responsibility before she was even asked. This is nothing out of the ordinary where Bonita is concerned. She is always willing to step up in any way when she’s needed.”
“I consider Bonita a very important piece of the team,” Crandall concludes.