Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Justin Bruce

REGION 2 – Central New York
Justin Bruce

Position: Direct Support Assistant

Years of Service: 5


Justin loves going home at the end of the day knowing he made a difference in someone’s life. He likes knowing he is appreciated by the people he serves and appreciates be recognized by the team for the commitment he shows to all.


Cheryl Herzog, Team Treatment Leader, says Justin is known to go above and beyond in every aspect of his job. 

“He has a positive impact on the individuals he serves,” she says. “He does not treat his job as just a job, but rather as an extension of his family. Justin shows genuine commitment to his job, to the people he serves and to coworkers alike.”

Justin develops meaningful relationships with both the individuals and staff he works with, no matter where he is working, says Herzog. “Justin’s approachable and professional demeanor makes the people he serves, and staff feel supported. His calming presence is what sets him apart from others. He is truly a team player.”

Herzog says Justin has supported individuals, especially those with challenging behaviors, in going to a variety of community events, such as Syracuse University games and team functions. 

“Justin demonstrates compassion and understanding when interacting with people,” adds Herzog. “When Justin is around, the people he supports seem to gravitate towards him as he engages them and makes them smile. They know he truly cares about them.”

Karen Simpson, Developmental Assistant III, adds that Justin shows by example the meaning of “teamwork.” 

“He truly exemplifies the slogan ‘teamwork makes the dream work.’ Two individuals personally wrote letters of support for Justin as they wanted him to know they appreciate him for helping and supporting them. They really want him to be DSP of the Year,” Simpson concludes.