Direct Support Professionals as Future Leaders


“One of the best paradoxes of leadership is a leader’s need to be both stubborn and open-minded. A leader must insist on sticking to the vision and stay on course to the destination. But he must be open-minded during the process.”— Simon Sinek


We all want great leaders. There’s a certain poise, a certain distinguishable trait we cannot quite put our finger on that defines each leader. In short, extraordinary leaders have a presence about them. An aura they exude. Something many of us have often dreamed of for ourselves. Something that we may think about as we choose a certain job.

Leadership is not all glamour and authority. It can be pretty tough road too. There are no shortcuts for becoming a leader. It will take time, dedication and hard work to climb the ladder of success. Most of our direct support professionals here at 1st Choice Family Services are molded as future leaders. It is a lifelong dream for some to grow in this company.

Helping our direct support professionals achieve their dreams by becoming future leaders is something that we encourage in the company. Being surrounded by people who have the leadership mindset is something of great value. A lot of our direct support professionals choose this job because they have a passion for helping people with disabilities. Because of their dedication to their profession, they often decide to grow here.



Prioritizing other people’s welfare is our direct support professional’s main priority but it doesn’t stop there. Some want to become a certified EDS (Elite Direct Support), an Expert in Clinical Documentation and Client Services, and then become a Service Manager. Kourtnee Weber, one of our direct support professionals, shared her lifelong dream with us.


“I wanted to open my own office in Tennessee because I wanted to live in Tennessee. I want to keep growing in this company and open an office there. I would love to run my own office in Tennessee, representing 1st Choice Family Services, and help the people there that need the services of our direct support professionals. Sharing these services in a different state with the same mission that our company upholds will help a lot of people. If I can look back to the time I started working as a direct support professional, I know in my heart that I made the right choice. Because before, when I was working in a factory, it produced anxiety. When I was working in a factory I always had panic attacks, but in this company, I never experienced any panic attacks at all. I love everything about it. I love working with people. It is my passion, always has been. So I have never wanted to leave.”


It is very heartwarming how some of our direct support professionals dedicate their whole life to this field and to see them grow as an individual with a positive mindset and a pure heart towards people with disabilities. Working as a direct support professional will change your life for the better. You open your heart and you learn to be more patient. Working as a direct support professional will help you grow stronger. It will enhance your mental abilities, and eventually, you’ll learn how to cope with every challenge life throws you.



“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
― Mother Teresa


Our service managers and direct support professionals work hand in hand to provide the best care we can offer to our clients. Leaders are those who can inspire and influence people. They are willing to work hard, take risks, and stand by their teams in times of hardship. Working together makes everything easier. Our direct support professionals who are working side by side with their clients are maintaining harmonious relationships with them. Thus, it makes everything easier. The stigma about the difficulty of taking care of people with disabilities is just a misconception.



Kourtnee, added:


“This job is not for the faint of heart, because there are behavioral clients. You will be called names, you will get screamed at, you can potentially get hit, but the rewards are so much better than the risk. You just have to have patience. I don’t see how this job is difficult. Their behavior might be difficult sometimes, but this job is so rewarding. Literally, the best job ever, if you put your heart into it. If you don’t, and you just come into this job for the paycheck, then yes, it is going to be very difficult because you don’t understand where they’re coming from – why they are displaying this kind of behavior, why they are being anxious about certain things, and so on. If you have an open heart, and you are willing to pay attention, then you will understand why they are having that behavior, or why they are acting like that. It is not hard. It is really rewarding and fun. I love this job. I would never want to do anything else other than work as a direct support professional. It changed my life for the better, and I am not going to leave. I want to help people with disabilities.”


Our direct support professionals who want to become successful in this field are the problem-solvers. They become the person that their service managers can depend on to keep things running because of their initiative and integrity. Helping them become future leaders is not just growth for them and the organization; it also means that our platform for supporting people with disabilities is growing strong too.