Direct Support Professional Recognition Week: September 13-19, 2020

We are so proud of our Direct Support Professionals! This week, we are celebrating them, their hearts, and the work they do to support people with special needs. They do so with amazing professionalism and a deep commitment to compassionate care. They have also risen above the challenges of the pandemic, demonstrating amazing courage and perseverance. Our DSPs are truly shining stars.

We would like to introduce you to a few of the DSP stars that shine brightly at Allies, Inc. each day…

Mercy Amoakowaa
Kingbird Group Home, Hunterdon County

Mercy has been a part of the Allies family for a year and four months. In the short time that she has been with the agency, she has developed positive relationships with the individuals served. Mercy always puts the best interest of the people we serve first, and quickly volunteers to plan activities and coordinate events that bring joy to everyone. She enjoys celebrating holidays and birthdays; and ensures that everyone has some form of social distancing birthday party and gets celebrated. She respects those that she serves, embraces their individuality, and is a true advocate for our friends at Allies. Mercy is also flexible, works through challenges and handles emergency situations effectively. She continuously goes above and beyond to assist in whatever home requires her help. Our friends refer to her as “the staff member that is always smiling” – and even a mask can’t hide the brightness of her smile and her positive attitude.

Brialy Barron
Shore Day Program, Ocean County

Brialy has been a part of the Allies family for a year and three months. She is a dedicated and hard-working staff member that always shows care for those we support. She is currently assigned to a home, and goes above and beyond the daily responsibilities, demonstrating professionalism and a standard of care that serves as a model for others. In addition to her regular tasks, she also supports an individual’s participation in our Virtual Day Program each day. With Brialy’s encouragement, the individual has gone from showing signs of anxiety, to interacting with over 30 peers – greeting them and sharing her likes and dislikes. Brialy continually excels at meeting the ever-changing and customized needs of those she serves; and has brought substantial positive change to those she supports.

Aniyah Carter
Jean Terrace, Morris County

Aniyah has been a part of the Allies family for almost one year. She is currently a residential counselor at our Crisis Stabilization and Assessment Program (CSAP). She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and is currently attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice to obtain her Master of Arts in forensic psychology. Aniyah has experience supporting youth with ADHD, autism, bipolar depression, anxiety, and intellectual disabilities. She plans and implements treatment plans that help clients reach the goals they would like to achieve, as well as promoting and encouraging positive behavior.

Aniyah takes the time to understand each youth’s treatment plan, provides individualized therapeutic interventions, and builds a great rapport with the youth she works with. She also manages high-intensity crisis situations with ease. Aniyah excels at communication between administrative and residential staff, while delegating and performing various responsibilities. She is also an excellent multi-tasker, balancing household duties and documentation while she keeps youth engaged in activities. After completing her M.A., Aniyah would like to work with juveniles in either a detention center or rehabilitation center so she can promote positive behavior and help them get on the right track to prepare for their release. 

Chantal Clervil
Union Mill Group Home, Burlington County

Chantal has been a part of the Allies family for 13 years. Chantal is an amazing Direct Support Professional, and an amazing person in general. She genuinely loves the ladies at her home and is always happy and willing to help. From picking up additional hours, to doing appointments, and handling necessary paperwork – she always goes the extra mile. Chantal puts herself “on the front line” without any questions asked. She excels at being a team player and has been called “phenomenal.” She is a valued staff member, and is appreciated deeply by management, staff and those she serves. 

Carol Coleman Chincopee Group Home, Sussex County Carol has been a part of the Allies family for almost two years. She is always willing to go above and beyond for our individuals. She routinely puts extra effort into her daily responsibilities to ensure that our individuals are very well cared for and comfortable. Her creativity and willingness to learn impresses everyone. She has added a great value to our group homes and has helped us reach new levels of productivity and ingenuity. She is very dedicated to her work, offering to work and support individuals in other homes even on her days off.  Carol is a wonderful asset to the agency, as serves as a great role model for other community support staff at Allies.

Carolyn Flores
Bayshore Group Home, Ocean County

Carolyn has been a part of the Allies family for over 15 years. Her unwavering commitment to excellence, strong work ethic and personal integrity are greatly admired. Day in and day out, Carolyn brings a wealth of compassion and knowledge to those she serves. She has been recognized as a leader, team player, a role model and mentor to the staff and individuals at Bayshore. She has demonstrated a commendable level of patience not only for those we serve, but also loyalty and resiliency through various challenges over the years. Carolyn’s dedication is highly regarded by everyone who has the privilege to work with her.

Margaret Franco
Springdale Group Home, Monmouth County

Margaret has been a part of the Allies family for almost six years.  Margaret excels in her role as a Direct Support Professional, always exceeding expectations and her responsibilities. She has proven herself to be a dependable and reliable team member. Margaret treats every individual we serve with respect, dignity and compassion. She is a tremendous asset to the agency and a pleasure to work beside.

Yassah Harris
West Inman Group Home, Union County

Yassah has been a part of the Allies family for ten years and has been committed to serving people with developmental disabilities for the past 32 years. During the early 1990’s she was instrumental in the statewide movement to depopulate large developmental centers and transition individuals to more appropriate individualized community living. Yassah ensured that the transition was a smooth one, filled with kindness and care. She takes the time to learn about everyone that she serves, noting something special about them. She forms a unique relationship with each person that is built on compassion, dignity, and joy. Yassah has a special way of interacting with individuals that, at times, struggle with communicating their needs.  She is patient, warm and has an amazing sense of humor. Yassah is also a team player, encouraging others to work together towards the common goal of creating a safe and nurturing environment for the people we serve. She has touched many lives and has a true passion for creating positive opportunities and life experiences for those in her care. Yassah was also recently nominated by Allies, Inc. as a DSP “Hero of the Year” – a celebration lead by the New Jersey Association of Community Providers.

Muna Hunter
King Highway Group Home, Salem County

Muna has been a part of the Allies family for a little over one year. She is a dedicated staff member that has consistently stepped up to fill in for colleagues who are out. Muna has also taken a lead role when a Manager is not present, ensuring that shifts run smoothly and efficiently.  She is committed to ensuring that those we serve receive compassionate care.

Markevah McNair
Project Freedom Hamilton Apartments, Mercer County

Markevah has been a part of the Allies family for over two years. She works very diligently, caring for those she serves as if they were her family. Markevah provides individuals with her undivided attention, making sure they are comfortable, receiving the care they need, and are doing well physically and mentally. She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty, working additional hours if needed. She is a valued team member whose managers call her “one of the best.”


Nicole Sorchinski
Crane Group Home, Ocean County

Nicole has been a part of the Allies family for almost one year. She continually goes above and beyond her call of duty to serve both the residents of the homes she works in and the staff and managers she works with. Her dedication has been proven numerous times; as she has cared for sick residents, stepped in to cover extra shifts, and spent time in emergency rooms during a crisis. She also volunteered to be a live-in staff member when a resident tested positive for COVID-19 – taking time away from her own family to do so. Nicole selflessly devotes her time, energy and most importantly her heart to the people we serve. Her hard work and efforts are greatly admired and appreciated.



Larry Whitten
West Windsor Apartments, Middlesex County

Larry has been a part of the Allies family for a little over three years. He started his career with Allies in the Old Bridges Costello Complex. Larry has also worked in Cypress, Pump Branch and is currently assisting in West Windsor. Larry has been an asset to the agency from the start. He is kind and takes excellent care of the individuals he serves. Wherever he works, all the individuals love him, from the most difficult individuals to the most loving. He goes above and beyond the call of duty. Larry makes sure individuals are shaved and given haircuts, keeping them clean and looking and feeling sharp. Larry also tackles anything that is asked of him. He jumps in where he is needed and does whatever is necessary to make his shift run smoothly – including attending to minor repairs to wheelchairs or within a home.

We thank ALL our DSPs for their dedication to those they serve. Because of them, individuals remain healthy and safe, and can live with greater independence, participate in the community, and lead more fulfilling lives.

If our stars inspired you, consider learning more about the DSP role and how you can become one.