The Guild is excited to announce that Isaac Mukwaya, Residential Assistant with Sudbury House, was honored with the Direct Support Professional of the Year Award for Massachusetts by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR). ANCOR is a national association of community-based service providers that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization has over 2,000 members and receives hundreds of applications for its "DSP of the Year" awards annually.

Isaac has worked at The Guild for six years as a Residential Assistant. In his role, he supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by helping them develop independent living skills, administering medications and medical care, assisting them with communication, and much more. Isaac's colleagues point to his compassion, leadership style, and meticulous attention to detail as qualities that make him an exceptional Guild staff member.

"Isaac takes time to get to know every little thing about those he works with and learns how each adult uniquely copes with stress. Establishing rapport is important to him," said Maxine Dieudonne, Residential Manager who supervised Isaac at Sudbury House. "He has a quiet but confident leadership style that allows him to effectively step up to the Lead Staff role when needed."

Nursing staff highlight Isaac's rigorous attention to detail in documenting health and medical data. "Isaac is not only an incredibly compassionate staff member, but he also does everything by the books," said Joelle Keuchkarian, Adult Nurse Care Manager. "He documents every last detail and calls nursing staff if he's ever unsure about something because he cares so much about our community."

Isaac's award application illustrated one example of his work providing exceptional support for adults with complex needs. During the pandemic, one of the adults in Isaac's care experienced significant vision loss, requiring multiple surgeries and lengthy recovery periods. Isaac stayed with this adult's family during the day and was right by his side to help him navigate the world with new disabilities. Isaac was critical in his safety and recovery.

"Isaac understood that our son needed normalcy, and he brought joy and humor to his day," said the adult's parents. "Isaac's love, compassion, and professionalism gave us hope for our son's future when it was hard for us to feel hopeful."

Isaac will be honored on Wednesday, April 26th, in Chicago at ANCOR's annual conference, Possibility Unleashed. Every year since 2007, ANCOR has given Direct Support Professional of the Year awards to professionals who exemplify excellence in direct support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The awards program honors one Direct Support Professional from each state and one outstanding employee at the national level.

"I love what I do," said Isaac. "My main goal is supporting the adults so they can become more independent. I go home feeling fulfilled that I was able to help someone else."