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Starbridge is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Community Awards. Please join us at Cause for Celebration, on Wednesday, October 12th to meet, congratulate, and celebrate these remarkable people!

Collage showing diverse group of 2022 Community Champions


Dear friends,

Last week marked Direct Support Professional Recognition Week. I spent much of my early career serving as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). DSPs are on the front lines supporting individuals with disabilities to live successfully in the community.



Starbridge is delighted to join in the national celebration of Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week. DSPs work directly with individuals with disabilities every day – at home, at work, and in the community. We asked members of our DSP team and agency leaders to reflect on what a difference DSPs make every day.


Dear friends,

I am so honored and grateful to serve as the new President and CEO of Starbridge!

I worked as a Residential Manager at LDA Life and Learning Services from 2000-2009, so for me, it was like returning home to come back to Starbridge in 2019. Two and a half years later I’m still experiencing moments of nostalgia as I get reacquainted with familiar faces.


The Board of Directors at Starbridge is delighted to announce the hiring of Nikisha Ridgeway, M.A., as the new President/CEO of Starbridge!

Nikisha Ridgeway


 B Larson bike

Julie Larson first connected with Starbridge when she began the self-direction services process for her now 7-year-old son Beau. She then signed up for Starbridge’s Family Empowerment Series, a multi-week program to prepare families to be better advocates for their children with disabilities.


2021 NDEAM poster showing outline of USA with people of diverse abilities all around the country

While the national observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is at an end, the work to increase the number of inclusive workplaces and job opportunities for individuals with disabilities continues year-round at Starbridge.

A few of our staff shared their insights on the importance of employment options:


 Cynthia and Hyacinth edited

“My life is like a tree. Everything is connected. If one branch breaks, another one will start to grow.”

Cynthia Willis, a mother and grandmother, has faced challenges in her life, but her faith keeps her optimistic that help is out there. And last year, in the midst of the pandemic, Cynthia and her 19-year-old daughter Hyacinth connected with Starbridge.

“Somebody came up with a great idea to meet at the Seneca Park pavilion. Whoever came up with that brilliant idea, it was awesome!”


 

Branden W 

Branden Weaver is 28 years old and has worked with Starbridge’s Employment team over the years. Branden has worked in both fast food and retail operations, and hopes someday to be a retail manager.

He sees his disability as the biggest barrier to getting and keeping a job. "It's hard to find a job and maintain it for someone like me. I try my best."