Aspire serves neurodiverse children and adults who are discovering their passions, unlocking potential, and thriving. We recognize that it’s the dedicated and well-trained employees who assure the quality of the services we provide. Their dedication and compassion are at the very heart of the Aspire community. The employee spotlight series highlights employees from across the organization and the impactful work they do.

Nina Raymond has been with Aspire as a direct support professional (DSP) in Bedford, NH for over two years.  After being a stay-at-home mom for eight years, she was ready to get back into the workforce. Searching for a caretaker-type role that impacts the community, she applied to be a DSP at Aspire, and hasn’t looked back. We sat down with Nina to learn more about her and the work they do.

How would you describe working at Aspire?

“It’s like being part of a small community. Everyone is so warm and welcoming.”

What do you think Aspire does well?

“As a DSP, we get a lot of support from our supervisors, mine specifically will check in with me daily and see how things are going. She always makes me feel needed and appreciated. We also get formal monthly check-ins with our supervisors, which can be very helpful.

Everyone is just so approachable. There’s a lot of interesting programs offered to do with the person we work with, like a bowling league, cooking classes and trips to the museum.”

What do you enjoy about your job day to day?

“I really enjoy the work-life balance, I never have to feel like I’m choosing work over spending time with family. I love being with the person I support in nature. We spend a lot of time hiking and doing really fun things outside.”

What makes your job rewarding for you?

“Seeing the transformation in the person I support and standing back and looking at all the progress we’ve made. It could be the smallest thing, but every week there’s something new.”

What advice do you have for someone who’s starting out as a DSP?

“You always have to keep an open mind, because there’s not one way of thinking that’s correct. You have to be patient and understanding.”

And what about someone who’s thinking about applying to be a DSP?

“I would definitely encourage them to try it out and see if it’s right for them. Just because, I’ve met so many great people in the past two years, and I’ve learned a lot about myself as a parent, and I’ve seen a lot of personal growth from many people. It inspires me to want to continue to improve.

On a more personal note, where are you from and how’d you end up where you are?

“I’m originally from Washington state, but I’ve been in New Hampshire since I was two years old.”

Is there an unusual or interesting job you had before coming to Aspire?

“I’ve worked mostly in customer service type jobs and nannying. Before I came to find my place at Aspire, I was a stay-at-home mom for about 8 years.”

What are some hobbies or activities you enjoy outside of work?

“I enjoy quality time with family, taking my dog Bijou for walks and spending time in nature. I also love working in my yard.”

What’s something surprising people may not know about you?

“I’m a total hermit. I’d rather stay home with my dog!”

Is there a cause you’re passionate about?

“I am passionate about mental health awareness. I’ve struggled with mental health in the past. You never know what someone else might be going through, you should lead with love and kindness.”

Feel like you could make an impact as part of the Aspire team too? Visit the Aspire job board to see what opportunities are waiting for you.


Employee Spotlight: Nina Raymond