“I am always thankful for the people I come across in life.” William Shannon loves working with the residents at the Demarest group home. Over the past year he has been working at Advancing Opportunities as a residential direct-support professional, William has quietly dedicated himself to the job, often working the night shift. “I work hard with the guys to help them with goals to become more independent,” he says. Being awarded Direct-Support Professional of the Month came as a surprise to him. “It was definitely an honor; it was greatly appreciated,” he says. “It was a blessing”
Shadasia Green, Manager of the Demarest group home, in the past has recognized other direct-support professionals, including Melody Williams, who is now Support Lead. And the feeling is often mutual. “She always encourages me; she’s inspiring,” says William. “She’s a warm-hearted person.”
“What I like best is to laugh with the guys. We have the best of times.” Whenever possible, William tries to involve them in the community, taking rides. One resident, Jake, takes dance classes. “Seeing them smiling and happy makes me happy,” he says, adding, “The more I can make that person comfortable, to be more independent, the better.”
A Background of Helping People
Early on, William had to care for his grandfather, who had terminal cancer. He wanted to live peacefully at home. William was able to help him. He has been in the field for five years, working in various group homes among people with various disabilities, including some with behavioral disorders. Right away, William says, “I saw my heart was into helping people.” He recognizes that being a direct-support professional is not for everyone. “You have to have a lot of patience… and kindness,” he says.
Here and Now… and the Future
In his time off, William coaches football, saying he does this because he loves training kids. “I count every blessing.” Looking ahead, he says, “My future is so optimistic. I see myself continuing to help people.”