Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Jodi Merrick

REGION 3 – Sunmount
09/11/18

Position: Direct Support Assistant

Years of Service: 10+

THE NOMINEE’S FAVORITE OR MOST REWARDING PART ABOUT BEING A DSP:

Jodi Merrick says she never thought that she would be taking care of the developmentally disabled when she was younger. But now that she is, she enjoys the challenges that come along with the job.

“I like working as a team with my fellow employees, knowing that working together is one of the things that make this job enjoyable to do,” she adds. “When I come to work, I never know what to expect there. There is never a dull moment and each day is different. I like that. I cherish each time I put a smile on a person’s face.

“We develop special bonds with the people we serve and those bonds are truly meaningful to me,” Jodi says. “I think the main reason that I like this job is knowing that I can make a difference in their lives.”

ABOUT JODI:

April Ashley, Developmental Assistant 3, says Jodi is self-motivated and always has the people she serves in mind. She says Jodi is a positive influence and a leader to her peers and many look up to her for guidance.

“Jodi ensures a person-centered approach and advocates to the fullest. She is the first one to jump into community inclusion, all the while maintaining people’s dignity and respect,” Ashley adds.

Hayley LaMere, Developmental Assistant 1, adds that Jodi always takes the initiative to do assignments without being asked. 

“She goes above and beyond her assigned duties, such as decorating outside, doing extra cleaning, organizing the storage sheds and making special snacks or desserts for the people in her care,” LaMere says. 

Jodi also loves to shop, says LaMere, and she is always the first one to bring the individuals she works with on outings. “Jodi always makes this an enjoyable experience for the people we support,” she adds. 

Jodi even invited one of the people she serves to her wedding. “When Jodi’s wedding was coming up, she was excited to have this person attend the wedding. During this special day, Jodi made sure to introduce her to family and friends. She also made sure this person had a full plate of food to enjoy.”

LaMere says Jodi ensures that each person has a clean and safe environment and is always willing to help her coworkers, rarely complaining about the job. “She is an excellent and important part of our team,” LaMere concludes.