We’re excited to be sharing a new series: Meet the PMs! Our Program Managers are the unsung, behind-the-scenes heroes who have one of the toughest – and most important – jobs within our organization. We’re looking forward to you all getting to know them and their work a bit better, so tune in on social media for #MeetThePMs!
Get to know Alyssa Albright!
How did you become a PM? I initially started at Penn-Mar as a Maryland Day Program Manager . . . and was in that role for a whopping month before I was approached to move into the Residential Program Manager role! I’d worked at another agency in a residential setting before, but never as a Program Manager. This experience has challenged me and made me grow immensely.
Why is Penn-Mar’s mission important to you? I’ve been working in this field since I was 16 – and I can truly say that Penn-Mar gives the most agency to the individuals we support, more than anywhere else I’ve experienced. We truly look to SUPPORT the individuals, not dictate or make decisions for them. My step-daughter has ASD, and my hope is that one day she is able to live somewhere that supports her in the way that Penn-Mar supports the individuals we serve.
What’s one thing you wish people realized about your job? Though we are not always the ones directly in the houses working (although we do that too!), we sacrifice a lot of personal time to ensure that the houses we support are functioning well. My family and friends know that no matter the function, if my phone rings I’m most likely going to jump up to answer and help problem-solve.
What’s one thing you wished the general public knew about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities? A lot of people seem to think that if a person isn’t able to verbally communicate, that they will not be able to communicate with them at all. This is so far from the truth. The individuals we support are SO adept at communicating if we take the time to get to know them – be it gestures, facial expressions, etc.
What’s your favorite food? I’m a sucker for some mac and cheese!
Something people might not know about you? I like music from basically every genre – Broadway to rap! And believe me, I WILL sing along to every song I know the words to . . . and probably some I don’t. Car rides with me are great!
When COVID-19 is over, the first place you’d like to travel to is . . . I would really like to go to San Francisco – I’ve never been to the west coast, and one of my best friends moved out to SF about a year ago. It’ll be great to see her!
Any pets? I have 3 cats, and I’d probably have more animals if we lived in a bigger house. Someday!