Taniskia was 14 years old when she first volunteered to work with people with disabilities. Now she’s an 18-year veteran DSP who has followed that passion she discovered as a teenager. She’s known around the agency by everyone as “Boo.” She takes pride in building relationships with those she supports and with their families. When she’s on shift, everyone knows it’s going to be a good day!
Here is how she is described by a co-worker: “Her relationships with the clients and their families go beyond that of just a DSP. Taniskia does not consider her time spent with clients as work, but rather an ‘Extension of her Life.’ She creates a family atmosphere that not only allows those she supports to thrive and succeed, but also provides reassurance to family members that their loved one is being well cared for.”
Advocacy is always a part of her professional approach. “Taniskia strives to change the negative stereotypes society has for disabled clients. She is making a difference in their lives,” writes Cory Young who nominated her as Illinois’ DSP of the Year. “She ensures that when our clients are engaged in community activities, they are treated with respect and dignity.”
Here’s what the mother of a woman she supports has to say about her: “I can’t say enough good things about her [Taniskia]. She is caring, calm, loving, reliable, consistent and hard working. Our daughter is so fortunate to have her as her house manager and aide. The difference Boo has made in her life is notable. Boo genuinely loves to work with the special needs population, viewing them the same as everyone else.”