In honor of National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, Jawonio celebrates the valuable contributions that our DSP staff make to the Jawonio Community by posting personal profiles of a few members on our fantastic team.

MEET VALERIE HSIUNG – Originally from Taiwan, Valerie has lived in the U.S. for over 35 years and currently lives in Rockland County just minutes from Jawonio Tech where she works as a DSP in the Without Walls (WOW) program.

Valerie has been working for Jawonio for close to 12 years. She started in the Seniors Day Program, then worked at Nyack Studio Arts and is now with WOW full time. She started working as a DSP because of a few friends she had who invited her to visit them at work at one of the Group Homes. She saw the positive environment and when she was looking for a change from her restaurant job, she applied. When she first started she didn’t know a lot about the work, but she learned quickly and liked it a lot.

Valerie’s day begins at 8am with providing the transportation for the program participants. She picks them up and brings them to the program. On Mondays, they have a morning meeting where everyone shares their weekend activities. On other mornings, they touch base about the activity schedule for the day, followed by going out into the community for the day’s activities.

“The most rewarding part of my job is taking the consumers out to their community activities. They do so many great things. We take them to volunteer at People to People, we visit the library, go bowling, play tennis at Memorial Park in Orangeburg. We also go to the Jesse Kaplan School and play music for the kids. Seeing how active and engaged they are really makes me feel good about what I do,” Valerie says with a smile.

She participates in various training programs, including CPR, First Aid, Common Core, SCIP, AMAP, HIPPA and OSHA.

“Valerie has a great deal of energy and is very creative. She has a huge heart and looks out for the people she works with in such an amazingly warm and loving way. She is so very sweet and nurturing in everything she does, and we are so appreciative of all that she does every day,” said Elisa McGuire, Program Supervisor.

Thank you to Valerie and our whole DSP staff for making the Jawonio Community such a caring place!