Direct Care Career
I obtained my Bachelors of Arts in Human Services from NYC College of Technology. As an alumnus of NYC College of Technology, I was lucky enough to learn about the Direct Care Program a year after I received my degree. At the time, I was unemployed and struggling to find work in the field of Human Services. I was also eager to get back into school but was unsure of what program and degree to pursue. Enrolling into the Direct Care program has truly jumped started my career as an advocate for individuals living with disabilities. I not only had an opportunity to meet amazing people in a very warm and familiar setting, but I was awarded the opportunity to learn great skills that I still utilize in my work today. Shemira Busby and the other staff members ensured that we not only left the program with a certificate, valuable skills needed to work with vulnerable populations and a professional resume but with a high level of confidence that we did not have before entering the program.
After completing the Direct Care program employment opportunities weren’t so few and far between anymore. The Direct Care program gave me valuable skills and certifications that I was able display on my resume. When I received a job offer from a small non-profit agency, I called Shermira Busby for some advice. The position wasn’t particularly financially suitable for me, but she encouraged me accept the position with the expectation that I would gain valuable work experience. I am so thankful to her for encouraging me to accept the job offer. Over the course of 4 and half years I was promoted 4 times and learned a great deal about myself and the Human Services field! I owe so much of that to Shermira for the skills, confidence and encouragement she gave me throughout my training.
One of my greatest memories of the program was meeting great educators each week who all added substance to the program in more ways than one. At one particular session I was reunited with one of my undergraduate professors from NYC College of Technology. During this session, she spoke about a fairly new master’s degree program; Masters of Arts in Disability Studies at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. This program sounded so intriguing and I was definitely interested in applying. I was shocked to discover that she would be teaching classes in the master’s degree program. I promised her that she would see me in that program in the following semester. True to my word, the following fall I enrolled into the Masters of Arts degree program in Disability Studies at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Ironically, my old professor was now my new professor in my graduate studies!
In June 2012, I obtained my Master’s Degree in Disability Studies while graduating with a 3.8 GPA. Shortly after, I obtained my Certificate in Rehabilitation Counseling from Utah State University. In July 2014 I was credentialed by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor (CRCC) to work as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) in New York State. I am now working as a CRC in a large non-profit agency where I provide career counseling to individuals living with disabilities.
The Direct Care program has had such a huge impact on my career and professional growth. Although I went into the program with a Bachelor’s degree, I owe all of my success to the Direct Care Program. The training helped me to hone my skills and knowledge of the disability community and essentially helped me to begin my career. The Direct Care Program will always be very near and dear to my heart because I took this course with my nephew, Nathaniel Johnson, with whom I still work in the field of Human Services. The training allowed us to bond in a way that is invaluable not only in our professional lives, but in our personal lives as well.