Direct Service Provider of the month Joanne Daudelin knew that she wanted to help people with disabilities as a teenager, beginning work at nursing homes when most teens are concerned about the latest fashion trends.
“I was 15 or 16 when I started,” she said. “I always knew that I wanted to help people who were less fortunate than myself and began when I was still in school myself.” That mission to help others led Joanne to Waban Projects, where she has worked for 28 years.
In those 28 years, a lot has changed in the state (in 1994, Forest Gump was the top-earning blockbuster, the TV series Friends debuted, and the Americans with Disabilities Act was under legal assault), but Waban Project’s dedication to members has remained a consistent, Joanne said, adding that the agency has far more residences and programs available in 2022 than it did in the early 1990s.
In addition to receiving extensive training provided by the agency, Joanne said one of the most important parts of her work is engaging members and helping them work through challenges. “I like to help people feel supported and teach them new skills.”
“I talk to members about the negatives and the positives and try to help them understand their problem,” she said.
“Joanne has been a steady staff all through the challenging past few years and continues to be a true team player,” said Sally Mileson, Waban’s director of adult systems and services. “She has taken shifts other staff want off and is consistent in completing her documentation. Overall, she is a real asset to the team and agency as a whole.”
“I just love my work,” Joanne said.