DSP Spotlight: Joan Leiferman

I have had the honor of working for ADVANCE for about a year and a half. I have worked at 905 my entire time being with ADVANCE, and due to the personal connections I have made there I couldn’t see myself moving to any other location. Although it is fun and interesting to experience the other locations within ADVANCE and the other people supported, I could never leave those connections behind. When beginning at ADVANCE I couldn’t have imagined forming the relationships I have with both people I support and staff. Becoming a Direct Support Professional I have been given the opportunity to join people at dances, zoo trips, and even simple trips like going to the movies. I think the best thing about being a DSP is being there for each individuals life enjoyments and even the hard times.

Working for ADVANCE has provided me with an amazing life experience. I have dreaded the time I have to leave ADVANCE from the moment I started, and when that time comes I know it won’t be a “goodbye forever” but it will be a “see you later”. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had and will continue to have with the people I support.

DSP Spotlight: Hayley Haertel

I've worked at 509 for the last 2 and a half years and it has been absolute life changer for me. The people supported at 509 have taught me so much and impacted me in a way I will never forget. The fact that I have been here since I began working for ADVANCE has allowed me to generate some really meaningful and unique relationships with each of the people that live here. 509 is such a fun and joyful community and I feel so blessed to get to be a part of the family we have, because no person is the same! Every day I come to work it is something different and I genuinely love every part of my job, the highs and the lows because I have the privilege of being a special part of each of these guy's lives. Whether it's going to movies, playing board games at the kitchen table, going on walks at the nature park or just messing around, everyone including the staff, has impacted me in such a positive way and it's always so much fun. The way that all of the people supported at 509 find joy in every activity they take part in really taught me how special life is and much better my life is with each of them in it!

My heart has been so changed and I know that no matter where life takes me, each person I've come into contact through ADVANCE will forever have a special place in it. I've made lifelong friendships and know that because of this job I will be much better in my future profession. The lessons and memories will be with me forever and I'm also so excited to continue making even more with my time at 509.

DSP Spotlight: Nicole Hoepner

I have been supporting people to live their lives to the fullest for almost 2.5 years now! I can't believe it has already been that long! Time flies when you're having fun :) When I began working at ADVANCE I did not know what an impact it would have on my life. As a freshman in college I needed a job and ADVANCE came in and talked during my first year seminar class. It peaked my interest so I applied. Quickly, I realized that it was not only a job but an life changing experience. I changed my major to nursing because I realized I loved caring for people. When I started nursing school ADVANCE had already allowed me to master a lot of the beginning skills in nursing. I also realized that I am meant to be an advocate and speak up for others which has really helped me discover myself as I went from a quieter person to talking all the time!!

Everyday I walk into the door of ADVANCE I never know what to except. Its always so different which makes working so fun. I consider work "an escape" from all the stress of being a nursing students and all my other involvements with school because its just so fun! At the beginning of each shift I am always greeted with smiles, cuddles and happiness even if I had just worked the day before. I don't even feel like I am working because I love what I do. The main thing that ADVANCE has helped me discover is the depth that word "care" has. ADVANCE has changed my life in so many different ways that I could talk forever about and that I will forever be grateful for.

I am so grateful for this company, but most importantly that people supported. :)