Washington Court House local finds passion as a DSP

After struggling to find a job to accommodate physical limitation, Jerry East reached out to Goodwill for assistance. Little did he and our Employment Specialist Mary Eblin know, but they’d soon find the perfect fit right here at Goodwill.

As he and Mary talked, she learned of Jerry’s personal experience in assisting his sister from a young age, providing him with a good understanding of how to care for individuals with developmental disabilities. Jerry also shared he needed a low-stress job where he is able to sit when needed.

After Jerry set his resume and profile up on Ohio Means Jobs, he was tapped to interview for for a Direct Services Professional (DSP) position at our Fayette center.

“Jerry is a very easy-going person with the personal life experience and knowledge to assist others using positive reinforcement,” Mary said.

It turned out to be a perfect match for Jerry. He not only had the know-how, the job can accommodate his needs, and the icing on top – he gets to spend more time with his siter Robin Downard who attends the center.

“Jerry has been an amazing help with everything, he’s really good at helping the individuals understand what they need to do or a way to make a task easier,” said Tex Shadley, center manager. “It is also nice having someone else here to add a different perspective for the individuals we serve.”

Jerry’s responsibilities as a DSP include transportation for individuals to the center, helping some clocking in and out, as well as assisting them with their day-to-day needs maybe.

“Helping take care of my sister has given me good insight on how to approach others within the centers because each one of them has their own unique sets of difficulties that they need assistance with,” Jerry said. “If I can find an easier way for them to accomplish their goal for whatever they are trying to do, I’ll try and steer them in that direction; sit and help them work it out. I love working here. You can’t come in here and have a bad day. They are always in high spirits and just helping them has helped me.”

Jerry’s original plan for employment was going to be a part-time position, but he’s now working full-time, and is happy to be a part of Goodwill.

Jerry has even been recommending services to those he thinks could benefit from them.

“I saw the shoppers guide that came out recently with an (article) for our Summer Youth Program, and so I reached out to a couple of individuals that I know would want to do something like that,” Jerry said.

“I believe timing was everything and Jerry needing assistance and employment as well as the services center needing a DSP, it all lined up perfectly,” Mary said.

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