The month of February and the celebration of Valentine’s Day at AIM seems to always place us in a reflective state. We look back over the last year, and stand in awe of the accomplishments of the people served, and the dedicated staff who stand by their side. Despite the countless challenges presented to them over the last two years, staff offer the most person-centered care so that those they serve can discover their power of potential. Remarkably, showing up to support others often means staff are sacrificing moments in their own lives. The dedication of staff to the people they support is one of the greatest examples of love and kindness we could ever wish to see.
We often hear people comment on the incredible contributions of staff at AIM, wondering how it is they do what they do. Every day staff share with us the moments of connection and inspiration, and the stories of the forming of meaningful relationships, that inspire them to continue to show up every day. To answer those questions of ‘how’ or ‘why’, we share below a few words from the staff themselves:
Staci, Residential: I started doing this because I knew I could make a difference in the lives of those we support. What I didn’t know was the difference they would make in mine.
Charity, Residential: I do what I do because of the people I support. They teach me every day and inspire me to be a better person.
Amy, Residential & Community Services: The people I work with inspire me every day to be the best I can. Each day when I go into work, I know it will be like a day like no other. They teach me so much about the world and myself. I have grown as a person from working with them. I am happy each day knowing that I can help make even a little bit of difference to them.
Stacey, Self-Direction: Working in the field of Human Services is dream I never knew I had, come true! The value of what I have learned about this field, about the people we support, and about myself, is unmeasurable.
Molly, Employment: Every day I have the great honor of supporting people of diverse abilities in exploring and developing their skills and careers. Every day I come to work with excitement for someone to strive for their goals and reach their dreams. To watch a person light their own fire of ambition; to become an independent, contributing member of their community, is an unmatched feeling.
Bob, Director & Direct Support: This is the best decision I ever made for my career. The feeling you get supporting these people is more than I can put into words, and I get to do it every day in different facets. Sometimes as a direct support, sometimes as a director, and other times just as friend to the people we support. I can’t think of another job/ career that you can experience what we as employees here at AIM can every day.
Nicole, Director of Day Services: Over the past five years I have developed a unique bond with each person we support. It motivates me knowing the potential of continued individualized growth. I look forward to the future of the program and supporting new people.
Kim, Fiscal: I love my job at AIM. I help support some awesome people with their finances and get to know them in the process. The relationships that I have formed with them have made me more gentle, empathetic, and patient. It is hard not to get involved when you hear some of their stories! My job is more than just financial with them, sometimes they call just to talk, and those are some of the best conversations ever!
Kyle, DOH: Often the skills I am helping the people we support learn, are the ones I still am looking to perfect in my own life. It is through the relationship with the people I am supporting, and their successes and failures, and my own successes and failures, that we are both growing into better people with the help of each other.
Mary, Nursing: I reluctantly began a career working for OPWDD 39 years ago. I had no idea it would become my life. Nothing in my life has more value than the people we support every day. I have gotten up every day with a zest for a career I love because I get to support the most deserving people the earth has.