Ann Stone-Doyon, Tommy Sharrow, and Generosa Joyner were honored by ANCOR, the American Network of Community Options and Resources, at their national conference on June 14, 2021. ANCOR is the national association of providers supporting people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Each year ANCOR selects those DSPs who have shown exceptional dedication and achieved life-changing outcomes in partnership with the people they support. One DSP of the Year is selected from each state. You can watch the awards ceremony here.

Tommy was chosen as Maryland DSP of the Year and Ann was selected as New Hampshire DSP of the Year. Generosa received a special-category Leadership Award. Each has been an outstanding team member, and we’re honored to share their stories.

Generosa Joyner
Genny exemplifies the ideals of the Direct Support Professional: empowering, compassionate, empathetic, supportive and dependable. She has worked for the past six years works at a staffed residence in Connecticut, most recently on second shift. Genny has inspired her fellow DSPs to have high standards and provide stellar support.

One individual was going through the final stages of life with bone cancer in a yearlong struggle. Genny chose to sit with her, doing the things she enjoyed, and keeping her comfortable. When Genny had time off from her school job on holidays and snow days, she spent them at her side. When the end came, Genny was on Facetime with hospice to say goodbye. Genny also played an important role in preparing the other women in the home for losing their housemate, with whom they shared a close bond.

Genny has a family of her own, but when the pandemic hit Genny was there for the women she supports. She came in from 9 a.m. until late evening each day. She created fun activities to keep everyone engaged. One individual was diagnosed with COVID and spent time in the hospital and then quarantined off-site. Genny sent her every meal and activity that the housemates were doing so she would still feel included. She packed up all her favorite belongings and sent them over, too. Genny helped the individual make an “I survived quarantine 2020” t-shirt, and that t-shirt is one of her favorites to wear to this day.

Tommy Sharrow
Tommy is the guy you want on your team when the chips are down. He’s worked in almost all our Maryland programs during his nearly 10 years with Aspire. When others say no, he says yes. And during the pandemic that meant he was invaluable in keeping the house where he worked functioning. Tommy rallied his colleagues and helped motivate them to keep going through those difficult days. He worked tirelessly, sleeping at the program and never complaining.

Tommy and his wife are also shared living providers. They share their home with an individual with significant challenges. To help her turn things around they’ve focused on tuning in to her needs, staying calm, and keeping their promises. Their commitment to doing what is important to her has helped her have a much happier life.

Tommy currently works as a coordinator position for an individual who receives 24 hour 1:1 staff support in their home. This role helps him balance his work responsibilities with his shared living responsibilities, so his wife can get a break. He also works part-time overnights for another agency—he worked two jobs since moving to the U.S. from Liberia. “Even if I take a day off I want to go back in the evening. It’s not about money, it’s about empathy and the will to help others.”

Ann Stone-Doyon
Ann works 1:1 with numerous individuals as a float staff in New Hampshire’s Community Participation Services. She has been with us for just one year, but she has already had a significant impact on the people we serve. Ann is a natural teacher who quickly identifies what’s needed for people to make real progress toward their goals. Ann readily volunteers for any assignment where help is needed, whether it's building a master schedule, leading classes in our virtual services, or supporting someone new.

During the pandemic, Ann found ways for people to pursue their dreams differently, rather than just delay them. One individual had been applying for jobs unsuccessfully prior to the pandemic. When restrictions were implemented, Ann worked with that person to identify what might be going wrong in her job hunt. They identified poor interviewing as a barrier. So she began practicing her interview skills and now doesn’t rely on her DSP to give her the answers.

Ann's creativity makes every day more fun and meaningful. Ann is an incredibly thoughtful person who shows others how to be a friend. She is consistently positive and makes everyone feel valued, whether or not she is assigned to work with them. She consciously models random acts of kindness, and her colleagues and those she supports have followed her lead.

Congratulations Ann, Tommy, and Genny. Your honors are well deserved!

News

ANCOR Honors Aspire DSPs at National Conference