Inspiring Change: Keion’s Youth Apprenticeship at Humanim

Meet Keion, a senior at Hammond High School and another exceptional youth apprentice we’re proud to spotlight for Youth Apprenticeship Week. Keion discovered Humanim’s Direct Support Professional (DSP) Apprenticeship program through his school counselor.

In the past, Keion applied his talent for helping others by assisting classmates with disabilities through academic support and meaningful friendships. Motivated by this experience and his passion for giving a helping hand, Keion saw this opportunity as a natural fit.

As expected, Keion has found immense satisfaction at Humanim since he started last fall. When reflecting on his experience, he credits the program for helping him come out of his shell. “I get to meet new people, and I’m really shy so it helps that I can talk and joke around with individuals in our program and staff.”

For Keion, the chance to engage with individuals in the program has also been eye-opening. He says this aspect of the program will help him “speak up more in the future and be involved in the community” as he aims to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities beyond his time at Humanim.

He also acknowledges the lessons he’s learned about the importance of respecting autonomy, stressing “even though those we serve face barriers, they’re capable of doing a lot, and don’t always require help unless they ask for it.”

Among Keion’s fondest memories from his apprenticeship are the simple yet meaningful moments spent on walks with program participants. These outings not only offer relaxation but also serve as opportunities for Keion to deepen his connections and better understand each individual’s needs.

Memories like this have made Keion realize the impact DSP’s have on the community. They teach others that those with disabilities are human too, with unique interests and skills. Overall, spreading unity and compassion for all.

Grateful for the personal and professional growth he has experienced, Keion extends a heartfelt thanks to everyone at Humanim for their guidance and support. He not only gained work experience but also discovered newfound confidence in socializing and collaborating with his colleagues and program participants. After graduating high school, Keion hopes to continue working at Humanim as a full-fledged DSP while studying at ABC Greater Baltimore to become an electrician.