Junior Tarwo – Arizona Direct Support Professional of the Year
Junior Tarwo works at one of our youth group homes in Peoria, Arizona. He shows kindness to everyone he meets, especially with our youth, and his compassion has afforded him great relationships with them.
Junior promotes a positive environment for the young people in his care and encourages them to talk about their wants, needs, and desires, attentively listening and providing positive feedback. Many of the individuals in the home have experienced trauma and have difficulty trusting people. By taking the time to build authentic relationships, Junior earns their trust.
Junior works to ensure the individuals he supports address their social-emotional needs. Whether transporting individuals to their therapy appointments or encouraging them to use their coping skills, Junior advocates for each individual’s overall wellbeing.
Recently, a teen was having difficulty with his feelings and was unsure how to express his emotions. The young man decided to leave the home and walk to his school at three in the morning. Junior joined him on his walk and encouraged the individual to come home but didn’t push or escalate the situation. Together they sat outside the school until 6:45 a.m., talking and listening. Junior remained positive throughout the entire experience, offered suggestions about dealing with difficult feelings, and provided coping skills.
Junior sees each individual’s struggles and setbacks as an opportunity to develop new skills and grow. He assists people in achieving their goals and encourages their independence. He provides reinforcement and praise when goals are met, and they can choose their own direction.
Junior has developed lines of communication between the individuals’ teachers at school and provides additional support. He has also developed relationships with the applied behavioral analysis coaches, therapists, guardians, parents, and employees. Junior knows that having these positive relationships will benefit the young people he serves.
The positive attitude that Junior brings to the job encourages and inspires all those around him. He speaks positively of others, keeps an open mind, and encourages his peers to do so. Junior reminds his colleagues never to take anything the individuals do personally and that any non-preferred behaviors are a reminder that the individuals need support. That type of attitude helps others see why the Direct Support Professional (DSP) role is one of the most important roles in our company.