Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Danielle Barnes-Monroe

REGION 6 – Long Island
Danielle Barnes-Monroe

Position: Direct Support Assistant

Years of Service: 16


Danielle Barnes-Monroe says the most rewarding part of being a Direct Support Professional is seeing something as simple as a smile on the faces of the individuals she cares for, “knowing that I am loved for being me.”


Danielle continuously goes above and beyond in her job responsibilities, according to Vincent Cagnone, Developmental Assistant 1. 

“She always puts the individuals’ needs above all else,” Cagnone says. “Danielle is an expert with the individuals, knowing all aspects of their needs. She is also extremely eager to assist her coworkers and always shows up to work with a positive attitude. Danielle is never complacent and frequently goes out of her way to interact with all people, fostering solid relationships with the people we serve.”

While there are many great DSPs in the unit where she works, Cagnone says Danielle stands out from the crowd.

“When Danielle enters any room, you can see the individuals light up,” he adds. “As an administrator, I can see the relationships that she has formed with people who, unfortunately, have little or no family. Bringing in a positive attitude every day, with her sleeves rolled up and her willingness to give her opinion on any matter, Danielle is a constant mouthpiece, always advocating for the people she supports.”

Despite what may be happening in Danielle’s personal life, Cagnone says she leaves it at the door.

“She doesn’t just provide care, but she teaches the individuals life skills so that they may one day live as independently as possible,” he adds.

Lisa Buffa, Registered Nurse 2, says that Danielle is an asset to OPWDD and to her work location. “She goes above and beyond for the people who reside there,” Buffa adds. “Danielle is always pleasant and smiling from the moment she walks in the door. She is responsible, dependable and advocates for all people with special needs. She is a team player, works well with her peers, and can probably do my job as well. Danielle is a class act and a member of our team. I’m so happy she is nominated for this recognition, which she well deserves.”