CCRI Caregiver wins National and State Awards

AmandaAs part of our Direct Support Professional (DSP) Week celebration, we want to highlight a few of the things that make our DSPs stellar. Last winter, Amanda Noyes was awarded one of six ARRM Cares Awards in Minnesota AND the MN State DSP Recognition Award from our national trade organization, ANCOR.

This inspiring nomination, written by Rachel Gustofson, Natalie Pieper, and Lacey Nelson, exhibits why Amanda is an award-winning caregiver.

Happy and healthy is what most people try to achieve and is what Amanda strives to help others accomplish! Eager to make positive changes in her life, Lisa started her journey at her current home with a weight that was not her ideal. She struggled with the motivation to exercise and had poor eating habits. Fortunately for Lisa, Amanda was one of the staff working at the home. Amanda’s  constant encouragement has helped Lisa become a healthier and happier version of herself.

One of the first things Lisa told staff, when presented with healthy eating options, was that she does not like spinach and will NOT eat it. Staff and Lisa made homemade pizza with spinach pureed in the sauce and she actually loved it. As her eating habits have changed, so has her pallet and her enjoyment of nutritious foods. Lisa has come to the realization that there are foods that make her feel better  than others, thus guiding her to want to make healthy choices.

Amanda has also supported Lisa’s dream of running in multiple 5K races. Recently, Lisa has expressed interest in training for a 10K! Amanda has been her cheerleader throughout this process, letting Lisa and everyone else know that she can do it. Amanda is one of the few people who can keep up with Lisa throughout her training process and ensures she is running alongside her. Lisa has become quite the athlete over the last couple of years and was recently nominated for Special Olympics North Dakota Athlete of the Year!

Lisa’s weight loss has created a problem that most people wish they had; all of Lisa’s clothes have become too big! Amanda was ecstatic to accompany Lisa while shopping for clothes that fit her! Along this journey, Lisa has found her self-confidence and a new wardrobe boosted that even further. Amanda works hard to build Lisa up and understands that the road to changing your lifestyle can be difficult and filled with many obstacles.

Amanda is never harsh or critical of Lisa’s choices. She remains a constant supporter and gives Lisa the praise and attention she needs. Amanda’s approach with Lisa is something that cannot be taught. She chooses her words carefully and shows great patience and compassion, even in the toughest moments.

This past year, Lisa wanted to participate in the 4H competition in her home town county fair. Lisa wanted to showcase her weight loss and how she had changed her life style. With Amanda’s guidance, Lisa was able to develop a display depicting her hard work. This project earned her a pass to the Minnesota State Fair where she won first place!

It is enjoyable to look at Lisa’s accomplishments over the past couple of years and to know that Amanda has been right there beside her through the entire journey. Amanda spreads joy and encouragement on a daily basis and Lisa’s journey is a great reminder that reaching true health and happiness is a possibility!

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