In September, MITC awarded $5,000 to standout Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who continuously go above and beyond to provide exemplary service. Out of the 500 total nominations, Aspire's Moses Kilongola and Perrilee Turner were selected as two of the 13 winners.

Meet the two MITC award winners from Aspire:

Moses Kilongola  - Winner 

Moses has worked for Aspire for the past 21 years and is the Lead DSP at a community residence serving individuals with very intense behaviors. He’s a great advocate if the guys need something.  He encourages each person to be an individual, and he doesn’t do things for staff ease, rather he does them for the ease of the people he supports. When Moses is there, behavioral episodes are much less likely because he is so consistent.  

Perrilee Turner - Winner 

Perrilee is a DSP lead who has worked with Aspire for more than 20 years, working with individuals who are deaf and blind. She has many skills specific to this community and helps teach those to new DSPs. She helped implement recommendations from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind to facilitate the recent transition to a new day site. Perrilee also became an instructor for the online services that started when everyone was home during the pandemic.   

Congratulations Moses and Perrilee on receiving this recognition. Thank you for your commitment and compassion to the people supported by Aspire.

The following seven DSPs at Aspire were also nominated for a MITC Award. Aspire would like to thank them for their exemplary work!

Tricia Bastian - Nominee 

Tricia is a DSP in our Day Options program. Her energy and creativity are not only exceptional, but inspirational to those around her. She adjusts her approach to the specific needs of the individual, and she provides consistent and dependable support. When there is a need for a craft idea, Tricia has one. When an area needs to be cleaned, she cleans it, and when someone has a question, she finds an answer.  

Lisa Edwards - Nominee 

Lisa joined the Day Options team as a DSP in August 2020. Her reliability is excellent, with nearly perfect attendance. Lisa comes in early and leaves late. She respects everyone. Lisa is a great listener. She always starts with what the person wants to accomplish. If she doesn’t have the knowledge or resources to make it happen, she finds those resources, either internally or externally in the community. She works with anyone who can help.  

Frank Fumbwani - Nominee 

Frank is a DSP who works a tremendous number of hours across many residences. He is willing to do what’s asked on any level. Frank works successfully across various houses, no matter the situation. Frank gets the guys out to go bowling, to the mall, the zoo, and shopping despite behavioral concerns that make others hesitate. Frank’s success helped his peers see what was possible in the community. He helps people get out of their comfort zone.   

Richard Gabdibe - Nominee 

Richard is a lead DSP in a residence. He takes the initiative for every task, whether it’s helping people make appointments, ordering medications, or covering the schedule. Richard is a leader. He implemented a circle of appreciation to start and end meetings, where each person says something they appreciate. It’s brought real positivity to the team. When there’s an issue, he deals with it directly and works through it.   

Laurie LeBlanc - Nominee 

Laurie, a Lead DSP in a residential program, has worked for Aspire for 25 years. Laurie knows the individuals’ favorite things, preferences, what’s important to them and why. Laurie is a great communicator with everyone around her. She creates a clear path for the rest of the team. She is very detail oriented and wants to make sure that everything is happening correctly. Laurie is accountable and takes ownership, whether a situation has positive or negative outcomes.  

Mauricio Pedreira - Nominee 

Mauricio has been a DSP for a year and is already an impressive employee. He’s on time and here every day. Mauricio is willing and eager to do or try any activity with the people he supports. He’s genuine with everyone. Mauricio knows how to have fun. He gets the people he supports engaged between outings, including nerf gun battles, pick-up basketball,  and walking the rail trail. Without him, things would be much less interesting. 

Karen Veneziano - Nominee 

Karen can work in any program successfully and does well with any individual. She has incredible energy. When the program has special events, Karen is the one who gets things going, whether starting a game, pitching in, or making things. Karen helps people connect. She brings people together for coffee socials and created a friendship tree. She regularly posts on Yammer so that people can see what others are doing. If there’s an idea, she runs with it.  

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Aspire DSPs Awarded the MITC 2022 Hero Award