DSP's Making a Difference: Ernestine Dupree
As part of DSP Recognition Week, FADSP is pleased to recognize direct support professionals (DSPs) who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of the people they serve. Ernestine Dupree is one of those DSPs.
Ernestine Dupree is a passionate and committed member of Pine Castle's Direct Support Team. Over the past four years she has built relationships, developed her skills, and worked to make Pine Castle a stronger organization that better serves its participants, its staff, and the community.
Ernestine is committed to providing the best care and support to those she serves, with a focus on building skills for future success. She works with each individual on development of skills, enabling them to become more independent. With specific attention on job skills, daily living skills, and learning a trade, Ernestine works with Pine Castle participants to give them the tools they need to be successful at work, earn a paycheck, and consistently grow in their abilities. She believes strongly that building these skills today will encourage success in the future.
In addition to her passion for developing the individuals served, Ernestine shows a high level of commitment to Pine Castle and goes above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis. She is always willing to come in early, stay late, or work extra shifts. She is consistently on-time to work, rarely takes time off, and regularly jumps in to help in areas outside of her specific role when necessary. The flexibility and resilience displayed by Ernestine on a daily basis makes her an invaluable asset to the Pine Castle team.
Ernestine is a very conscientious and ethically-minded member of the Pine Castle team. She works hard to build relationships with the individuals we serve and coworkers alike. She values teamwork and goes out of her way to make sure she has a connection with people, because she believes she provides better services when she can make a strong connection. When building a relationship with a participant, Ernestine gets to know the whole person. She makes a point to know not only about their lives at Pine Castle, but their home lives, community interactions, goals, relationships, and challenges. This attention to detail helps ensure she understands and can meet their needs, providing the best possible outcomes for each person.
Ernestine is responsible for working with participants on their mental health needs, and she helps them plan for the future by working with them on financial planning goals. Her responsibilities require her to have a strong understanding of psycho-social and mental health issues, first aid for mental health, and how to manage anxiety and depression. She works within a team of about 150 staff members and more than 200 individuals, working to create an environment conducive to learning and working successfully. She regularly takes it upon herself to ensure the facility looks it best and is presenting the best possible environment for the individuals served, staff, and community visitors.
Furthermore, Ernestine is a champion for justice, fairness, equity, and equality for the individuals served. She speaks up when she feels there has been an injustice, is a strong and committed advocate for our participants, and teaches them the skills they need to successfully advocate for themselves.
Thank you, Ernestine for your continued service to the individuals served at Pine Castle!