DSP's Making a Difference: Angelia Thompkins
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. Angelia Thompkins is one of those DSPs.
Angelia has been a DSP for 34 years. She is a passionate and committed member of Pine Castle's Direct Support Team. Over the years, she has built relationships with staff, caregivers, and participants that helped build trust and encourage growth. Angelia has developed her skills by deepening her knowledge of identifying potential behavior issues before they begin, resulting in a more proactive approach to assisting Pine Castle participants. She has truly worked to make Pine Castle stronger through her commitment to providing high-quality service to their participants, staff, and the community.
Angelia works hard to build relationships with both the individuals served and their families. When building a relationship with a participant, she gets to know the whole person and honors the knowledge received with confidentiality. She makes a point to know about not only their lives while attending the Life Enrichment Program, but also their home lives, community interactions, goals, relationships, and challenges. This attention to detail helps ensure that she understands and can meet their needs, providing the best possible outcomes for everyone. With the extra steps Angelia takes to connect with the participants and family, the trust built between the individuals allows for a more unified approach to help the participants meet their goals and strengthen their path.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, she was one of the staff that acted as the “glue” that kept the team together ensuring that all of the residents were healthy and protected. She communicated effectively and advocated for each individual under her care. Aside from being an exceptional member of our team, she is also a dedicated CNA who provides care to others in the community.
Angelia plays a vital role in helping participants to transition from the Life Enrichment Pathway to the Employment Pathway. Within the Life Enrichment Pathway shop that she manages, she works on teaching basic life skills, including social participation and project completion that will eventually allow participants to move into the Employment Pathway. She has successfully helped transition many participants from Life Enrichment to Employment, while never losing focus on those who may not want or need to make that change in their personal journey.
One participant in Angelia's shop had been on the Life Enrichment Pathway for 11 years, and she worked with him on developing basic work skills. When he felt that he was ready, she advocated for him to move to the Employment program. Due to her commitment to this process, the individual was able to successfully transition and is currently flourishing in his new role. He recently was very excited to earn his first paycheck.
From her work ethic to her ability to see things most people would overlook, Angelia is a shining example of what a DSP should be doing each and every day. She strongly feels and proves daily that the individuals attending the day program at Pine Castle deserve to have their lives enhanced by those who have been given the privilege to spend time with them.
Thank you, Angelia, for your continued service to the individuals served at Pine Castle!