Aspire of WNY Helps Hayley Gain The Confidence Needed for New Role as Direct Support Professional



Hayley aspired to do more.

Already a part-time employee at Paula’s Donuts and a licensed NYS driver, Hayley, with the support of her mom, joined Aspire of WNY’s Supported Volunteering and Lifestyle Enrichment (SVLE) program. Initially, Hayley was shy. Her support team knew she had a wealth of practical skills, but she needed some coaxing to come out of her shell and show off her social skills and confidence. The SVLE team happened to be the right people for the job!

Every Tuesday, Hayley joined the Self-Advocacy group, where she could meet with like-minded individuals. At first, Hayley told her mom the group wasn’t for her. But, with encouragement from her mom, and Liane Agro, Aspire of WNY’s Coordinator of Day Service Opportunities, she decided to give it a shot and ultimately completed eight classes from the Self-Advocacy Association of NYS (SANYS U).

During the coursework, Hayley began to open up. She made new friends and shared her hopes and dreams for the future. One of her proudest accomplishments was creating a “hangman” game for her final presentation in preparation for graduation. She presented the game to a room full of people, something she would have never done before the program.

With her newfound confidence, Hayley expressed the desire to do more, realizing she had possibly outgrown her part-time job at Paula’s Donuts. Through innovation and collaboration, the Aspire of WNY Human Resources and Day Habilitation teams created a position for Hayley right here at the agency! Hayley applied through the website, secured an interview, and was eventually hired as a relief Direct Support Professional (DSP) at Brock Day Hab, one of Aspire of WNY’s Day Habilitation Program locations. On top of that, Hayley went through orientation and passed an intensive test, known as SCIP-R, with minimal help!

Success stories like Hayley’s are only possible due to the innovative collaboration between the divisions at Aspire of WNY. The willingness of all teams to create a good fit for those we support is critical to their aspiration of living as independently as possible and realizing their full potential.