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Why I Love Working at CCRI


Published on April 11, 2021

Why I love working at CCRI

This story, originally shared on Twitter by CCRI Team Member Claire Kuhlman, made us so proud of #TeamCCRI.

Supporting people with disabilities is always an adventure. The pride of seeing a person master a new skill that brings them a step closer to independence is incredible-I share in the joy of day to day life with them.

There are so many highs in this job. But, as with any job, there are lows as well. It’s part of the unpredictable nature of working with people who have their own thoughts and feelings.

This is a challenge I find rewarding most of the time. But sometimes the difficulties get to be too much for the moment.

Last night I worked a shift with a person I had never worked one on one with before. I am trained with her but had always had veteran staff with me. This client has a particularly difficult time with transitions and with new staff. I’m sure it was scary and unnerving to her to have someone she’s met only a handful of times suddenly be alone with her in her house. It was a ROUGH night.

For the first two hours I tried everything I have learned in my career and my education to redirect and help calm her. Nothing worked. It was a consistent battle. It was draining. I finally hit the end of my abilities to handle the situation on my own. I reached out to the on-call person and told her what was going on. I didn’t even realize how close I was to tears until my voice cracked. She reassured me that she would do what she could.

And here’s why I love CCRI: within minutes I had 6, count them 6, of my fellow DSPs call and text me to make sure I was okay and offer guidance. The 2 calls I answered were from people with a lot of experience with this young woman.I’ve never even MET most of them. One of them was ON HER VACATION. She didn’t need to call me. She absolutely could have let other people handle it. But there she was, telling me that she believed in me, and that I could do it, and what to do to help with the situation. She and the others coached me through it. Not a single one of them judged or asked me why I hadn’t tried this or that. Only positivity, encouragement, and empathy came from any of them.

I went from being alone and overwhelmed to feeling like I had a veritable army of DSPs at my back in less than 10 minutes. The on-call person I had previously talked to came to the client’s house and worked with me for over an hour to turn the situation around.

Was the rest of the night still difficult? Of course, for both of us. But we made it thanks to the indescribable support I was given from my colleagues. Do you work with people who would work this hard to help you do right by a client and take care of yourself? Does your company foster an environment where that much compassion and support is even possible, much less natural?

This is only one example of the support I have experienced from CCRI DSPs and admin alike. And this is only one example of why I am glad that this “summer job” turned into one of the best things to ever happen to me. Thank you, Team CCRI. I couldn’t ask for better.

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