Laura’s Journey with CCRI
Life tends to have a way of falling into place at the least expected time. This became apparent to me in 2012 as I sat in orientation to start working as a Direct Support Professional at CCRI. After spending years in college training to become a Vet Tech, what was meant to be a temporary job to make ends meet while I decided what to do with my life, turned out to be the career path I’d been searching for.
During my first few shifts I realized why people often called it a group “home”; it quickly became my second home. Although it held the challenge of working with a person with behavioral needs, the rewards far outweighed the challenges and I learned so much working side by side with four young ladies. It was a joy to help them get ready for work, to greet them as they arrived home, and to listen as they shared stories about their day.
I also began to pick up shifts in the Independent By Design program (IBD). It amazed me how easily my supervisors worked together to create a schedule that worked for me and how many opportunities there were to work with people that had abilities and personalities as different as night and day. The variety was refreshing and made me love my job more and more. The people I worked with in IBD kept me busy running errands and going to events, along with keeping up with daily routines and goals.
When a full time position opened up in the IBD office, I jumped at the opportunity. This new role allowed me to continue to provide 1:1 support to people while taking on new responsibilities and challenges. Once again, the hours fit into my busy life perfectly. I enjoyed providing extra reassurance to keep people on task with med reminders, wellness checks, and appointments. It made me proud to know my work allowed people to live as independently as possible.
I decided to go back to college in 2013 to major in Psychology with the hopes of advancing my career with CCRI. The hours spent with individuals who have a diagnosed mental illness counted towards the 2000 required hours to become a Mental Health Practitioner. I’m excited to say I started my new position this spring! I am thrilled to see what the future holds and am grateful that life pointed me in the direction of CCRI!