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Direct Support Professionals Celebration

Direct Support Professionals Celebration

Thank You, Direct Support Professionals!

The Autism Society of North Carolina employs hundreds of direct support professionals. Every day, they work one-on-one with individuals with autism,  supporting them in reaching their goals. They become important resources, trusted friends, and honorary members of families. Our direct support professionals are known for going above and beyond!

Every year, we award direct support professionals for their dedication and integrity. Meet this year’s winners:
2022 Roman Award WinnerMeKayla Sheene
2022 McCrimmon Award WinnersBecca Martin, Kaitlin Warren, and Angela Wideman

We hope you’ll join us in thanking the direct support professionals that work with your family and in your community. If you would like to send a DSP an e-Thank You card please click here.

Want to join our amazing team of DSPs? Submit your resume here.


Below, you’ll meet some of our extraordinary DSPs, with families and supervisors explaining what makes them so special.

Western North Carolina

Staff of Marlowe Place

“The staff at Marlowe Place make our son’s home feel like a warm, inviting home, full of fun activities. They are helping him to learn to become more independent each day, being there with him at his job in case he needs help, helping him reach his goals, and keeping him safe. Doing all of that while keeping a big smile on their faces as they show love for our son.”

Will Mcleod

“Will is a participant favorite. He is one of the most requested staff. He is kind and his true inquisitive nature and high interest in the people he helps truly makes him a legend.”

Cindi Norris

“Our family treasures Cindi!”

Reagan Daniels

“Reagan’s excellent skills as a staff are matched only by her huge heart and genuine caring nature.”

Thomas Denton

“Thomas is dependable, consistent and cares deeply for Andrew.  He provides fluent and productive communication about the day and Andrew’s needs.  You can always depend on Thomas.”

Leigh Ann Harris

“Throughout the years Leigh Ann has been so much more than a staff for Nicholas.”

Claire McCulloch

“Claire is a fierce advocate and has been instrumental in bringing many women on the spectrum together in a social group.”


Whitney Haith

“Whitney is always willing to lend a hand and jump in to help at ACLE.”

Hetty Scopel

“I can’t even begin to explain how incredible it is to work alongside Hetty. Her willingness to jump in and try something new, or be giving of her time and energies never ceases to amaze me. She has formed strong ties with each of the families she supports, and her families often consider her as an extension of their own family. Thank you, Hetty – for everything, and for sharing your big heart with us!”

Jerry Stone

“Jerry is a pillar to the ACLE program. His lived experience gives other staff amazing insights into the work we do.”

Gavin Glass

“Gavin Glass has a gentle touch and a kind heart.”

Angela Wideman

“Angela is the pumping heart of the Bear Hollow home. Everyone who walks through the door finds her smiling face and dedication inspirational. She’s loving, patient, positive and confident. She has a huge heart and Bobby loves her. She helps Bobby be all he can be.”

Lauren Pacheco

“We are so impressed with Lauren Pacheco – we have never seen so many videos of Matthew genuinely smiling! We can hear Lauren’s excited voice encouraging Matthew. We are amazed Lauren can keep Matthew engaged for seven hours every day. She has the perfect temperament and insight to understand and motivate Matthew. We feel so lucky. She has won Matthew’s heart, and ours!”


Sarah Alford

“Sarah and Adam make a great team! Adam knows he can count on Sarah, and they have developed a wonderful friendship. When asked about Sarah, Adam is quick to remind ASNC that nobody can steal her from him!”

Lisa Chapman

“Lisa is the reason Jack has been so successful in his job at AMC. She has helped him transition into different tasks, learn new skills in the kitchen, help him communicate with his coworkers and managers and be a team member at AMC. We are very lucky to have Lisa as Jack’s direct support!”

Julie Brennan

“Julie has been supporting Nick for 4 years at Creative Living. Julie always enthusiastically supports him while trying new things like cooking classes and Lego recreation therapy! Nick’s days are full and most importantly, meaningful, because he has the support of Julie. He loved Lego play therapy and has become more independent each time he takes a class!”

Laura White

“Laura and Leah are quite the perfect pair. They are silly when they should be, and focused when they need to be! Laura has really made it ok for Leah to find herself and express herself at Creative Living. Laura has helped Leah deal with overstimulation and overexcitement and advocate for breaks when she needs them. Together, they made a fairy garden out outside of Creative Living. It brought joy to Leah and EVERYONE they are around!”

Shanita Jallow

“We are incredibly thankful for Shanita! She supports Zach and Trevor, and they both consider her a dear friend. It is clear Shanita cares deeply about Zach and Trevor and her work allows them to continue to develop independent living skills.”

Kathleen Pittman

“Kathleen has done great wonders for Kelly. He enjoys their time together laughing, playing basketball, going on walks & going to the gym!”

Lauren Cotter

Cassie, who struggled with agoraphobia post-COVID has flourished working with Lauren. She takes public transportation, attends all outings, comes to Creative Living everyday, and is working toward a walking fitness goal. Her days are full, and she is happy. Cassie says, ‘I love everything about Lauren. She takes care of me, and we have fun. Lauren makes my heart feel good!’”

Latrell Twine

“Philip looks forward to working on his goals and doing daily activities with Latrell! He’s made progress with adapting to community settings and learning new tasks at work while holding himself accountable. Latrell motivates Philip to work hard and earn a well-deserved cup of coffee at the end of each day.”

Becky Webb

“Becky goes above and beyond to make sure Ryan has the tools he needs to be successful. She is always finding amazing resources and opportunities to support Ryan in having a fulfilling life across all settings. She is also quick to share any resources she finds in an effort to help others at ASNC find that fulfillment as well. Becky is a gold star example of what it means to be an advocate!”

Devin Plants

“Devin’s innate patience and understanding of his brother make him the ideal person to support Griffin in leading his best life and he has already had such a positive impact. His ability to roll with whatever triumphs and challenges each day brings is truly something to treasure—and we definitely do!”

An Quigley

“Ms. An has often gone out of her way to help our family. She’s become a part of the family and we love her.”​

MeKayla Sheene

“There are not enough words to describe the ways in which MeKayla has made a difference in Casey’s life during such a challenging year in his life. In a short time, she has proven a reliable and caring staff that always follows through.”


Ebony McCallum

“Ebony committed and dedicated to ASNC and Chestnut Hills.”

Marie Conroy

“Marie is very passionate about her job!”​

Randall Raeford

“Randall always keeps it cool and fresh.”

Janice Endres

“Janice is very active and creative.”

Seluvaia Sika

“Seluvaia keeps clients happy and engaged!”

Stephanie Wall

“Stephanie is always kindhearted.”


Jennifer Noble

“Jennifer is always creative and dedicated.”


Lauren Brown

“Laura works with multiple clients. She volunteers with her clients delivering meals to seniors 2-3 times per week. She leads a dance club every Monday, and she helped her clients with employment and maintaining jobs.”

Kaitlin Warren

“Kaitlin runs 6-8.5 miles with Patrick each week in a run club for community networking. Kaitlin educates her client on better eating for his health, and with her help, he was in his best shape for the World Games in basketball. Kaitlin also provides support for Patrick with his current job at a local doctor’s office.”


Sam Eastwood

“Sam truly goes above and beyond each day she comes to work. She makes any activity fun, always has a plan and schedule, and understands how to connect with her clients on a personal level. She is adaptable, easy going, and a joy to be around! One client says: ‘Ms. Sam loves to play with me and makes each day at camp so much fun!’

Hannah White

“Hannah truly understands what her client needs without using words. She has an amazing way of positively encouraging her client each and every day and making their day successful. She is very attentive and ensures that her client’s favorite things are built into each day.”

Jada Raynor

“Jada has taken extra time to listen to Trinity’s needs. She has listened and given advice and taught her many coping skills to deal with certain issues. Jada also allowed Trinity to call her any time day or night if she just needs to talk. She’s been there for her! She makes things fun and exciting, not only for Trinity but for all of the kids at ASNC. She is amazing! I’m so grateful for Jada! She’s awesome!”


Rachael Reyna

“Rachael is exceptional because she is so consistent and passionate about coming to work every day. Rachael builds meaningful relationships, not just with the participants but with everyone around her. She motivates our participants by talking about shared interests and coming up with creative ideas to make activities even more fun. She has accepted all participants with open arms and finds a way to connect with them.” 


Rachel Barnard

“Rachel puts her whole heart into her job and can handle anything you throw at her. One of the most notable instances of this would be when she dressed up as “Sadness” from Inside Out, which was her participant’s favorite movie.  It was a great surprise for the camper and a great memory for the staff.” 

Kevin Coker

“Kevin genuinely loves the participants we work with. He started a Dungeons & Dragons group for our teens and went out of his way to meet with them over the summer. Kevin will do whatever he has to do to keep our participants happy.”  

Addie Burger

“Addie goes above and beyond for all our participants and has a true passion for her job. Whether it be elaborate art projects or interacting with them one-on-one, she always keeps the kids engaged at all times.”   

Marti Whitley

“Marti has been working at ASNC for 4 years. Throughout the years, she has worked with participants of all ages and always makes sure they feel important and appreciated. She brightens everyone’s day with her presence.”   

Katlynn Robinson

“Katlynn is one of our newer staff members but quickly became part of the ASNC family. She goes out of her way to welcome the kids every day as well as help other staff members in any way she can.”  

Courtney Bridge

“Courtney is a genuine joy to be around. She was assigned a participant when she first started and has made tremendous progress towards his goals by following a schedule while also creating a fun environment. She puts her heart into her work every single day.”  

Teresa Bowden

“Teresa is a very hard worker who has worked with just about all our participants. She can handle anything you throw at her with zero complaints. She has a true passion for kids of all ages.”  

Ed Bundy

“Ed genuinely cares for each participant we have here at ASNC. He goes out of his way to check on his coworkers and has a deep passion for helping people.”