02/16/2021 by Clifford Mickles
A DSP Success Story: Clifford Mickles
Greystone's commitment to employing the most skilled workforce in the industry is fueled by our professional development program. We hire based on our core values and we train for success. In each newsletter, we will feature dedicated employees who have benefitted through Greystone's Career Ladder. Meet Clifford Mickles:
I was born to a biracial couple in the Bronx, New York. After the age of seven I was raised by a single mom of mixed racial ancestry with one sister in Manhattan, New York. Agnostic in faith, I identified with an open understanding and respect for cultural norms of diverse backgrounds as well as nontraditional family structures. Being different is more of a gift than it is something to hide in favor of fitting in.
My work history began at the age of 14. I worked a variety of roles such as cashier, porter, lead porter, sales assistant, warehouse worker, library student worker, library clerk, clerical supervisor, DSP, lead DSP, Healthcare Coordinator and now currently as Assistant Residential Manager in training.
After leaving my previous organization of employment seeking to diversify my experience, I took a Direct Support Professional (DSP) position with Greystone. The employee onboarding orientation was streamlined, engaging and left me filled with a sense of optimism that I would be able to make a difference in the lives of the people we support.
During orientation, Skip Price, Chief Executive Officer, gave an impressive speech about how his preference for Yardley soap, which I had never heard of before. It was important to him as an example of his personal choice. I realized how as an organization we connect with the people we support. We want to recognize the unique character content of our residents and encourage their development further and help them make choices to lead greater independent lives.
The orientation and training led by Pattiann LaVeglia, Director of Staff Development, was excellent. She covered a lot of material and while I took away many things from the training sessions, the one thing that stood out to me was that she listened more than she spoke. We were encouraged to share experiences that we had relating to the material, which created a common ground of understanding and chemistry within the training group. Just after the first day of orientation, friends has asked how it was going and I told them that I felt like my opinion mattered on a team of people who really cared about Greystone’s core values with a high level of integrity.
In just two years, I have been promoted to Assistant Manager from a DSP. I was able to accomplish this through support of the organization, caring mentors, professional training, supervisor encouragement and demonstrating core values. I am now in a leadership position with greater responsibilities and will mentor others to take advantage the career opportunities that were available to me. I look forward to what the future holds at Greystone Programs!