Described as a “role model for other DSPs in the agency,” Marian Mulbah-Poquee, named Maryland's DSP of the Year 2019 by ANCOR, is a strong and silent supporter for the individuals she serves. She lets them take the lead and “dictate what they want for themselves,” then figures out how she can assist them.
A critical part of facilitating independence is supporting individual choice. Marian encourages the women she serves to pay for their own purchases and handle their own money. In this way, they not only exercise agency over their shopping choices, but also learn about financial responsibility. Marian also supports autonomy inside the home, where she teaches them safety skills, gardening and basic home care so that they can spend more time living independently.
These skills for self-advocacy and autonomy translate into civic participation in the public sphere: each of these women is an active participant in a local advocacy group. The group provides the women with an opportunity to learn about issues affecting their community and provide their opinions. The women have become so active in the group that Marian supported their efforts to attend Developmental Disability Day in Annapolis, so that they could advocate for themselves with lawmakers.
Marian wants the individuals that she supports to be involved in their community in as many different ways as possible. As a tireless advocate for “her ladies,” Marian provides them with the space and choice to lead full and independent lives.