Andre Eugene and Darryl Lewis are making an impact in a newly created job role: DSP Support Specialist.
What is Workforce Development?
Did you know ADAPT has its own department dedicated to developing and supporting our team of over 3,200 staff? Grown from Human Resources in 2017, the Workforce Development division is dedicated to the business of staff experiences and education.
This department creates ongoing trainings for the agency’s teams, designs an enriching pre-service orientation for new hires, and connects staff with the resources they need to navigate their new jobs with ease.
Creating the DSP Support Specialist Role
In the Fall of 2018, the ADAPT Executive Team identified longtime Residential team member Andre Eugene as a great internal candidate to pilot this newly created job role. In January 2019, based on Andre’s success, Workforce Development brought on Darryl Lewis as a second DSP Support Specialist, to provide additional coverage of ADAPT’s programs around New York City.
A Week in the Life
The two DSP Support Specialists spend time either in the field visiting programs, or in pre-service orientation training and getting to know every new hire. Out in the programs, they plan visits with Program Directors, the DSPs, and the people we serve. They get to know new DSPs at their jobs, and stay in touch with them to listen, advise, and advocate. Andre and Darryl also make a big difference in pre-service; they answer questions, supplement all of the trainings with their own experiences, and building a foundation of support for each new hire.
Aside from their contributions to the programs or pre-service, Andre and Darryl have a growing part to play in the interview process for new candidates. Each of them has brought new insight to group and individual interviews, and each creates a fun setting where candidates can be at ease.
Testimonials from the DSPs
To hear their impact straight from a few of the DSP’s getting Andre and Darryl’s support, we picked a few ADAPT staff whose experience was affected in a positive way.
Maxime S: “Andre has been very helpful to me since I’ve been with the company! He’s been there for everything, tries his best to get what I need, very much into helping me through my transfer to another site. I see him often and he always shows positive energy, every time.”
Grantley B: “I joined the company around the time when Andre started his Support job, and he helped me through a site transfer and helped me work with the supervisors and directors. He comes to visit, gives me a periodical phone call to check in, and he represents the company very well. He is a master at what he does!”
Martha R: “I have worked with both Darryl and Andre. They come into my day program at 5030 Broadway to talk, hear me, and they both know the people we serve very well; some of them for years. One person, Angela, is nonverbal and Darryl coached me on some things I can do with her – take off her shoes a certain way, how she drinks her coffee. Andre and Darryl have a great relationship with the people we serve, and they are reliable.”
The Men Behind the Magic
Andre Eugene has worked with the company 30 years, at two different programs: the Ardsley and Vandalia residences in the Canarsie-Spring Creek area. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he is a gourmet cook and a student of history and philosophy.
Darryl Lewis has been with ADAPT for 28 years, is born and raised in Brooklyn, with family in North Carolina. He also likes to cook for groups, and keeps a busy social calendar.
Both of our DSP Support Specialists have dedicated their careers to the people we serve, and Bobbi Jo Yeager puts it best: “Andre and Darryl are very helpful to the employees and the programs alike.”