Team Member Spotlight
Living Your Legacy
Penn-Mar is blessed with a diverse team of passionate professionals dedicated to building a legacy of good for everyone in the Penn-Mar family. Meet this month’s spotlighted team member!
The better we do, the better we become.
Meet Chevon Miller
Compassion and empathy are the main driving forces in Chevon Miller’s life. In many respects, it’s no surprise she found herself pulling into Penn-Mar two-and-a-half years ago, and staying.
Chevon is a Direct Support Professional and Career Activity Instructor, who works out of the new Far Hills Day Program in New Freedom, Pa., as a one-on-one with longtime Penn-Mar resident Shawn Prindle. A Career Ladders Program participant, she recently completed the DSP-I course load and is waiting for her certification. The mother of three also serves on Penn-Mar’s Person-Centered Supports Committee that recently rolled out the tagline “Empowering People to Be Their Own Voice,” which describes the nonprofit’s approach to its person-centered culture.
“Person-centered supports is a way of thinking, thinking first about the individual and getting to know them, their needs and desires, and building a relationship with them,” said Chevon. “It’s providing personal attention that makes the individual comfortable to express themselves… be their own voice.”
Chevon’s work with Shawn has been a perfect example of person-centered supports in action, and of how her compassion and empathy have fueled her approach to her work. When she first met Shawn he was in a group setting with about 10 other individuals, and as she said, he adamantly refused to participate in any kind of excursion. However, within months of working with him one-on-one, he started going out just about every day. Today, Chevon just has to tell him to grab his coat, which he does, along with his lunchbox, and they’re out the door.
“It was a 180-degree turnaround, and people couldn’t believe the change in Shawn and were curious as to what I had done,” she said. “Working with him and making him feel comfortable with his choices was key to getting him out and about. I would ask him to give it a try, and if he didn’t like being out, we would come back. I think I catered to his needs rather than his wants as a person. I showed him personal attention, and Shawn likes being the center of attention,” she laughed.
She admits that this career path isn’t always a bed of roses, that it can be frustrating at times. But at the end of the day she feels she’s making a difference in someone’s life.
“It’s been a great learning process working with Shawn and being here at Penn-Mar,” she said “There’s nothing like feeling appreciated for the work you do. It’s my passion and enthusiasm to work with people, to help them to move forward and to grow.”