National Apprenticeship Week 2020

In recognition of #NationalApprenticeshipWeek, we highlight our Direct Support Professional Apprenticeship Program! Humanim has partnered with the Maryland Department of Labor to offer a Direct Support Professional Apprenticeship Program. As a registered MD Apprenticeship program, apprentices receive paid, on-the-job training within a variety of community-based settings, while earning professional certification through the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals.

We are currently hosting Youth & Adult Apprenticeship programs in Baltimore City and Howard County. Many participants are excelling in our DSP Ladder, a program created to encourage mastery of professional standards of practice, along with career advancement opportunities and pay incentives.

Tayana is a former DSP Youth Apprentice who is now a full-time employee at Humanim! She initially joined the DSP Apprenticeship Program last year because she wanted to gain more knowledge and experience in the Developmental Disability Services field. After completing the program, Tayana decided to pursue employment as a DSP while taking college courses – the flexible hours that she can work around her college class schedule is helpful. She shares, “After completing the apprenticeship program, I’ve gained a handful of benefits. For example, I’ve gained lots and lots of knowledge in the DD world, hands-on experience with people who have different developmental disabilities, and a stable job where I not only feel more confident in doing because of this program but also have a better pay rate.”
When asked what she learned through the DSP Youth Apprenticeship Program, Tayana says, “I’ve learned about lots of different developmental disabilities, and I’ve learned how to read people and their body language a lot better. I’ve also learned more patience and problem-solving strategies and improved my communication skills.”
Tayana shares, “My favorite part of the apprenticeship is looking back to the beginning and seeing the major changes within myself now that I’ve completed the program. Another favorite part is the connections and relationships I was able to form with the people I worked with, who were once were strangers, but I can now call my friends.”

Thanks Tayana, for your commitment to making a positive impact as a DSP!

Today we highlight Sapna, a Direct Support Professional Apprentice at Humanim! As a DSP Apprentice, Sapna gains hands-on experience in the Human Services field. Sapna shares, “I joined Humanim’s DSP Apprenticeship program because I wanted to get out of the school setting. I wanted to start working and start to become more responsible and disciplined. I also love working with people in general, and I thought this would be a perfect fit.”

Some of the things she has learned so far include person-first language, ways to resolve problems, and how to help and encourage individuals. Her favorite part has been going to work every day and learning new things, as well as interacting with individuals in Humanim’s programs. She shares encouragement to others who are interested in the DSP Youth Apprenticeship, “The connections and interactions you make are amazing, and it’s good to learn about a community that you might not know much about. It can offer a way to improve your skills in the vocational setting and in the personal relationship and family setting.”

On how the Apprenticeship differs from the type of learning at school, Sapna shares, “The apprenticeship is on-the-job learning. You are working and learning at the same time. It offers so many more opportunities to help you in your future careers and in life in general. The school [setting] doesn’t always teach you the things you need to be able to move into the working field after you graduate. This is an opportunity to continue your education and gain that experience.”

Thank you to Sapna for her dedication & for sharing her insight into the DSP Youth Apprenticeship Program!

Meet Ella! Ella is a DSP Youth Apprentice who joined the program as an opportunity to get a headstart on her career. She says the benefits of the apprenticeship so far include “being able to acquire new skills, whether it is being able to properly de-escalate a situation, or learning how to effectively communicate with individuals. This apprenticeship program has helped me gain a professional profile on paper, as it shows future employers that I have some experience in the public health field.” Ella’s favorite part of the apprenticeship is the daily discussions with her colleagues, and she appreciates how it’s helped her build professional relationships and experience. She encourages anyone interested in the DSP Youth Apprenticeship to “come in with an open mind and allow themselves to be teachable, and also make mistakes because that is how you properly learn.”

Thank you Ella, for your dedication to learning and making an impact as a DSP Youth Apprentice at Humanim!

Today we highlight Kynise – a DSP Youth Apprentice at Humanim! She joined the program “because I knew it would help my future, and I would be able to help individuals live a meaningful life.” Kynise shares that her favorite part of the apprenticeship is meeting new people and applying things she is learning to her life. She also finds being an apprentice rewarding as she can help people in their daily life.

“The benefits that I’ve received are becoming better with my communication skills and my social skills. It’s helped with my current job and my new job. I’ve learned how to be more professional in a work setting and also how to be more respectful to my coworkers. This apprenticeship has [also] opened up job opportunities for me,” says Kynise. When asked to share why others should participate, Kynise says, “Others should become a DSP because it opens you up to many things in life. It can offer others more knowledge on individuals with disabilities… Have an open mind in this job, and always pay attention to what’s going on.”

Thank you, Kynise, for your dedication to Humanim’s DSP Youth Apprenticeship Program, and for your commitment to making a positive impact.

Meet Keiarra! Keiarra is a current DSP Youth Apprentice in Humanim’s Developmental Disabilities Services. She joined the program because “I wanted to learn more about individuals who have disabilities. I also wanted to know how to treat people with disabilities for my future career as a surgeon, Lord willing.”
“There are many benefits that I have received from being an apprentice. One example is that it has helped me with my communication skills. I have learned what to say and what not to say, and now I can use it in my day to day life.” Her favorite part of being a DSP Apprentice is forming and building relationships with other young people across the county.
When asked what advice she would share with students considering the DSP Youth Apprenticeship, Keiarra shares, “I would say take it [the opportunity]. You would be gaining more than what you are losing. You gain wisdom, a new perspective, you meet new people, and much more.” She also shares her perspective on how the program differs from in-school learning, “This apprenticeship is much different from school because you are in an actual working environment with adults. Also, in school, they tell you dos and don’ts, and they may not go any deeper than that. However, this apprenticeship will.”

Thank you Keiarra, for your hard work and dedication as a DSP Youth Apprentice at Humanim!

Today we highlight Olamide! Olamide is a current DSP Youth Apprentice at Humanim, who joined the program to gain more hands-on learning. She shares, “I felt this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. I want to go into the health field, and it is the best of both worlds. I would be able to learn, meet new people with different backgrounds, and do what I am passionate about.”
Some of the benefits and opportunities she has gained include a deeper understanding of relevant topics and discussions that allow for growth. She’s also learned techniques in de-escalating situations, both in the workplace and outside of work. Olamide shares her favorite part of the program is “For sure the discussions. I love talking to people about what they think and if we see eye-to-eye or have a different opinion. It also gives you time to learn from other people.”
When asked what advice she would share with someone interested in Humanim’s DSP Youth Apprenticeship Program, Olamide says, “Just do it. Even if you don’t want to be in this specific type of field, it opens doors to learn things you may or will take to other places that you go into the future. It could even impact your everyday life.”
Thank you, Olamide, for your commitment to learning and making a difference in our community!