Direct support professional (DSP) Matt Ennist has been named the recipient of the 2023 New Hampshire DSP of the Year award by ANCOR, the national advocacy organization for providers of community-based services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The awards ceremony will take place at their annual conference in Chicago on April 26, 2023.
“Matt always puts the people he supports first. He has helped folks discover passions and unlock potential in ways others were unable to do,” according to Aspire Senior Director of Program Operations, John Whittemore.
The person Matt supports had few communication skills and often made needs known through challenging behavior. Undaunted, Matt approaches every situation with compassion and optimism that the individual he supports can learn new skills and enjoy life.
Through curiosity about the person’s wishes and flexibility in his approach, Matt gradually helped to develop a meaningful daily routine. The person now participates in community events and volunteers three days a week. That engagement is the source of new friends and new skills. Where once two direct support staff were needed for safety, now just one is enough.
Program Manager, Matthew Engelmann, notes “Before Matt came into the person’s life, they spent most of the time refusing new activities and options. Thanks to Matt's effort, attentiveness, understanding, and care, the person has agency in their life for the first time in a very long time.”
Matt has proven himself to be a great coworker, too. He maintains a positive outlook in difficult circumstances and treats everyone he meets with respect. He makes a point to greet every person when he comes to work each morning and says goodbye when he leaves.
“Aspire congratulates Matt for this well-deserved recognition. It is a pleasure to see his accomplishments and those of other direct support professionals spotlighted. Direct support professionals do essential work that strengthens our communities every day,” says Lou Giramma, Aspire CEO.
Matt joins an exceptional group of Aspire DSPs who have been honored by ANCOR over the past several years. DSPs work closely with people of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. They support people to realize their dreams and become valued, active members of their communities. DSPs provide a wide array of services including teaching life skills, networking to develop relationships and employment, supporting health and wellness, implementing treatment plans, and assisting with everyday tasks.