It was an extra special celebration for Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week as The Arc of Essex County welcomed officials from the N.J. Department of Human Services and leadership from The Arc of New Jersey at an event at the Opportunity Zone in Maplewood on September 12.
OZ hosted Department of Human Services Deputy Commissioner Kaylee McGuire, Assistant Commissioner Jon Seifried, and Policy Advisor Jack Teters, as well as The Arc of New Jersey Executive Director Tom Baffuto, Associate Executive Director Celine Fortin, and Senior Director Sharon Levine, who toured the facility and met and interacted with day program participants—including engaging in some friendly banter about football teams.
During a special ceremony, The Arc of Essex County CEO Linda C. Lucas, as well as Baffuto, McGuire, and Seifried, spoke about the important role of DSPs, applauding their kindness, skills, and commitment to the IDD community. The state officials read and presented a proclamation from N.J. Governor Phil Murphy, and recognized a group of Arc DSPs. The group stood in front of a banner painted by day program participants at Studio Arc, which read “DSP Recognition Week: Thank You For Helping Us Shine!” In addition to the ceremony, The Arc of Essex County gave Arc-branded insulated tumblers to each DSP as a gift of appreciation.
The Arc of Essex County is grateful for the leaders who attended the event at OZ, and especially thankful for all of our DSPs who help fuel our mission every day.