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.
Today we talked with Amanda Kofman, DSP for Community Living.
How long have you worked for ACT?
Almost 5 years, give or take.
What’s your favorite memory while working at ACT?
Taking Lindsey on an amazing overnight trip to St. Louis. Lindsey loves to shop but usually is on a very limited budget. This time, Lindsey had money that she needed to spend quickly, so she went on a total spree. She bought clothes at the Disney store, a purse, gifts for her family, candy…you could tell how happy she was to just let loose in the stores without people telling her that things were too expensive. The next day at the zoo was also awesome. Lindsey had a special connection to the seals, and they swam right up to her as she sang to them.
What brought you to this line of work?
I actually studied biology in college and worked in a hospital lab as a medical lab tech for a bit before coming to ACT. Basically analyzing blood, urine, and other body fluids and submitting the results. When I was in school, the subject was interesting to me, but the actual work was stressful and felt factory-like. Piles of tubes of blood and urine to run quickly, sometimes getting called in the middle of the night to run cross matches for blood bank. I’m not the most organized person, so maintaining this kind of order was frazzling. I have always enjoyed caring for people and decided to make a change to be happier.
Why do you like working with ACT?
I like being able to provide supports for individuals who need them in the best way that I can. I have my own (sort of hidden?) disabilities and struggled with health issues in my early 20s, and was on disability myself. I needed supports- vocational rehab, caseworkers, doctors. This experience makes me feel passionate about providing assistance to the individuals at ACT. Because it could have been me, and in a way it was.
If you had a superhero name what would it be?
Not sure, trying to come up with a superhero-type name for roller derby. If you can come up with a name, let me know.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?
The ability to be in multiple places at once (while being able to attend to all of the things I’m doing). There are so many things that are available to do, but when you are in one place you can’t be somewhere else. Having this superpower would mean that I could work while also spending time with family, reading, traveling etc. It would be like leading many lives at once without missing out on anything.
Thank you, Amanda. You’re an important part of the team and we cherish your contributions to the people we support.