We’re celebrating DSP Week by spotlighting some of our compassionate and hard-working Direct Support Professionals and Career Specialists. They’re the heart of our industry. Because of their dedication, we’re able to help hundreds of individuals with disabilities live fulfilling lives in central Missouri.

Barb Wright stands by our logo posted on the wallToday, we talked with Barb Wright. She’s a Career Specialist in our Career Services program.

How long have you worked for ACT?

A little over 4 1/2 years.

What’s your favorite memory while working at ACT?

I am blessed to have the opportunity to make favorite memories frequently but it is hard to choose one favorite. I love watching the STEP interns present their PowerPoints at the STEP celebration each year. The interns all have grown so much during the year so this celebration showcases the progress and growth each has achieved. Each time an intern has stepped up to the microphone a favorite memory is made. Watching a person get their first job offer and their excitement makes for wonderful memories as well. Working in tandem with my fellow career specialists has created great fellowship and warm memories too.

What brought you to this line of work?

I had retired from a 30-year career in special education and had returned home to Columbia to live the quiet life of a retiree. I loved being back home and being near our children and grandchildren. But there was something missing in my life. I missed being around and working with people with disabilities. I knew someone on ACT’s Board of Directors and she suggested I look at the part-time job openings. I interviewed and was offered a part-time career specialists position. So now I juggle part-time employment and being retired and I love it.

Why do you like working with ACT?

I love assisting persons with disabilities to discover their strengths, acknowledge their challenges, and find employment doing whatever makes that individual feel true worth and value as a participating member of their community. I especially enjoy working with young adults as they begin adulthood. ACT allows me to think outside the box and to build strong relationships with not only the people with whom I am working with but with other community service providers and businesses.

If you had a superhero name what would it be?

The current STEP interns told me to use Wonder Woman, but I am not Wonder Woman for sure. I am more like “Wondering Woman” because I am always thinking what if we did this, why don’t we try this, what other options are out there.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?

If I had any superpower it would be to shine a positive light on others help them achieve and maximize their potential regardless of the challenges and obstacles they encounter in their lives.

 

Thank you, Barb! We’d say you already have that superpower. We’re happy to have you on our team!