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Michelle Ambrose
Director - Home & Community Program
Developmental Support Services, Schuylkill County
Michelle Ambrose enjoys what each day brings. For the past 30 years, Michelle has worked with intellectually disabled individuals in a variety of settings and support programs. Her pleasure in her work Ė and in her life- are the consumers. Michelle says her "biggest satisfaction is in watching them grow into fine adults and citizens."
The philosophy Michelle brings to the workplace is based on her ability to see her clients as "no different than you or I." She believes "itís important that we help create a good quality of life for them, no matter what the setting."
As Director of ReDCoís Developmental Support Servicesí Home and Community Program in Schuylkill County, Michelle is responsible for bringing support services into the home of the developmentally disabled consumer. Some individuals are able to live independently while others may reside with family members but need some assistance to continue in that setting. "We focus on what our clients can do rather than what they canít do." With this in mind, treatment plans are developed that honor skills and challenge individuals to use their potential.
Michelle finds true joy in working with these special clients. "They care about you, no matter what - unconditionally. And they are protective of people they care about." Michelle has learned that real give-and-take relationships are often forged in being with her clients and support becomes reciprocal. Michelle is quick to point out how consumers have added to her life but, like most heroes, she does not recognize the great gifts she delivers to her clients.
Michelle finds the intellectually disabled are truly extraordinary human beings. One of the qualities she admires most is a desire to contribute to society. "Some people abuse the system, but our clients work hard. They work with their hands and appreciate what they earn and are glad for it."
After 30 years of working in one field, one might tend to become hardened to the job and the clients, but the joy of service shines brightly in Michelle Ambrose. She says "you never leave this job. The consumers are always there. They are at home, living their lives, and we are a part of that."