on Friday, August 18, 2023
Once a Service Recipient, Now a Service Provider
When Maggie moved into Exceptional Persons, Inc. (EPI)'s residential support services in 2015, she made it a personal goal to gain greater independence by getting a job (for the first time in twenty years) and once again living on her own. Little did we know achieving this goal was just the beginning for Maggie.
When she began receiving community based residential support services, she had many hospitalizations due to uncontrolled mental illnesses. Her social anxieties made it difficult to interact with her EPI support staff and her new roommates. These anxieties were at times debilitating, especially when interacting with people in the community.
Her personal goal of finding a job and a place to call her own became her anchor. Staff and Maggie alike shared constant reminders of the "why" behind the goals - to live a more independent life, a full life of her choosing.
By 2018, Maggie proved her commitment to these goals by taking a giant step of joining EPI's employment services. Together, we began preparing her for employment by matching her skills and interests to employment opportunities.
A few months later, she was offered two jobs and gladly accepted both! After holding the same job at a clothing store for a year, Maggie received the Independent Living Award from the Association of People Supporting Employment (APSE). This award was given due to the progression she made during her short time within EPI's employment services.
Maggie used her increased responsibility and engagement as a platform for her success. She graduated EPI services in 2018 and began living in an apartment on her own.
While achieving her personal goals felt great, she was not yet fulfilled. Maggie then set her sights on becoming a direct support professional.
"I wanted to become a direct support professional (DSP) with EPI because it gives me a purpose. I wanted to give back by helping people in the same way I was helped."
While EPI staff believe they merely assisted her, she credits a lot of her success to her them.
"I've known her for years. What's great about the services she provides is she truly gets it. She knows exactly how the people we support should be treated," shared her supervisor.
It's true, the support Maggie provides is unique due to her own life experiences. She applies the same mantra she has used to help herself through the hardest times, 'progress not perfection'. Her mantra is used to help others take notice in the progress they are making before expecting perfection.
Not only does she work well with persons served, but she also has a special way of encouraging fellow coworkers. She takes the time in between shifts to ensure her coworkers feel confident in the service they provide.
Maggie stands as an example of success in how community based services can make all the difference.
*The names in this story have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.