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Sherease Amaya: Making A Difference In Jessica’s Life

Submitted By: Jessica Pinto | A First Step LLC

I am a 24-year-old woman with Cerebral Palsy. Over the years, I have worked with a multitude of staff members. But, every once in a blue moon someone in my situation gets to meet a staff member who goes above and beyond the call of duty. If there was ever someone to go above and beyond, it would definitely be Sherease Amaya! She is amazing, magnificent, and never fails to put a smile on my face every single day! Speaking from experience, I know how hard it is to find a staff member that you have a good connection with, and genuinely enjoy spending time with. Thankfully, I was lucky and blessed enough to find all those qualities and wonderful attributes in Sherease!

I have a goal to volunteer in the community. For many months Sherease and I were looking high and low for a volunteering position and no one would give us a chance. Then one day, Sherease asked if I would be interested in volunteering my time to teach computer skills to people with disabilities. I loved this idea because I have excellent computer skills. I am also a diehard advocate so I knew this would be the perfect opportunity for me.

We used Personal Outcome Measures® to accomplish this goal. One thing that Sherease always says is, “If a door won’t open for you, then you just have to make your own door.” In my opinion, those are words to live by! After the decision was made, Sherease started helping me create lesson plans, outlines, and PowerPoints. Now, three or four months later, I am teaching classes once a week to people with disabilities and I love every minute of it! I love it more than any other data entry or office position because I’m getting to do the two things I love best which are teaching and advocating. I also love the new experiences, opportunities, and just overall excitement Sherease and A First Step bring to my life! Sherease has without a doubt made a difference in my life and in my opinion, no one deserves this nomination more than she does!

2017 Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

This article is part of a campaign during the 2017 DSP Recognition Week, to acknowledge Direct Support Professionals who are helping people achieve their individually-defined outcomes, through the use of Personal Outcome Measures®. This campaign was developed through a partnership between CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership and The National Alliance For Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).