Posted on March 31, 2022
Penn-Mar Human Services Direct Support Professional Named One of Nation’s Best
– Senior DSP Maria Swift Recipient of Prestigious ANCOR DSP of the Year Award –
We are honored to announce that one of our outstanding Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), Maria Swift, has been named the winner of the 2022 American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) Direct Support Professional of the Year Award.
Despite only having three years of experience as a DSP, Maria’s foresight and innovation exceeds that of even more seasoned professionals. Perhaps her most outstanding trait, and one that makes her so worthy of this award, is her unique ability to create meaningful connections that empower individuals to better themselves.
She is known for building solid relationships by understanding people’s needs, recognizing when they are becoming apprehensive, using techniques to support them, and offering activities that allow them to participate in a way that they feel safe. Maria accomplishes this all while helping the people we support to connect with their communities and further develop their independence.
“Maria is the perfect example of why DSPs are so vital to not only Penn-Mar, but the community as a whole,” says Penn-Mar CEO Greg Miller. “No matter the person or the situation, she is always searching for ways to adjust, innovate, and overcome. She is an inspiration for all of us and the perfect example of what it means to live courageously.”
Maria is also known for her dedication to personal independence for those she supports. “I’m always asking myself ‘What do they need to complete this task without me?’ and turning that answer into action,” says Maria. “Each new day brings a new challenge, but that’s also an opportunity to help someone take ownership and feel proud of their work, so that they become more self-reliant.”
Since 2007, ANCOR has given the Direct Support Professional of the Year Award to DSPs who embody the hard work and dedication that is a signature trait of people who have chosen to support individuals with disabilities. Each year, ANCOR honors nearly five dozen outstanding DSPs, including the national award, as many as 50 state-specific awards, and a small handful of special category awards.