This soft-spoken DSP models her belief that “all DSPs need to lead with their heart.” The staff at ResCare says that she is a role model for co-workers and that those she supports look to her as their mentor.
One man says he “found a friend” in Keisha even though he is not one of her clients that she supports. He checks in with her when he has questions or needs advice, or, simply just wants to talk. He invited her to go to church with him because he wanted her to meet his new girlfriend. So, on her day off Keisha felt is was important to be there for him so he knew and understood that relationships matter.
“It was a simple act that meant a great deal, and it showed that Keisha is more than a caregiver,” said Shelly Bugenis, who nominated Keisha as Texas’ DSP of the Year. Keisha is a strong advocate for her clients, and that all began when she was young, explains Shelly. She saw caregivers mistreating her family so she learned to speak up when she witnessed inappropriate actions – even when those actions were unintentional. She reminds doctors, sales staff and anyone else to speak directly to the person she is supporting, not to her.
“Keisha engages all people – abled and disabled. For Keisha, it is simply doing something for someone to make sure they have a better day,” Shelley says. “She does it because they are a person, not a person with a disability. She leads with her heart.”