“When you give joy to other people, you get more joy in return.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Emily Durkin began her journey with Living Resources seven years ago as a College Experience student. Of all the lessons she learned in the two-year certificate program hosted at The College of Saint Rose, Emily came away with a strong sense of independence. She said, “At first it was hard to leave home but it was necessary for me to be more independent. They taught us how to interact together and with other people while doing fun activities.” The program gave her the tools to make her own choices and feel validated by them.

After graduation, Emily decided to give back to Living Resources by sharing her knowledge with others. For the past five years, she has been working as a Direct Support Professional in our After School Program. She helps high school students with disabilities develop social and recreational skills while their parents are finishing their work day. Emily provides students with structured free time, giving them space to relax after a long school day. She loves knowing that she is making a difference in the lives of the students and their families. She said, “Without the After School Program, they wouldn’t have anywhere to go and no one to watch them, so I know I know I’m doing something that matters.” She is thankful for her amazingly supportive supervisors saying, “I can always go to them if I have an issue or questions and they are open to helping me work everything through.”

Jacqueline Calder, who oversees the After School Program said, “Emily has been a reliable team player. The families and individuals we support are thrilled and grateful to have her in their lives.” John Breitenbach, Director of Community Living at Living Resources added, “Emily is a truly dedicated staff person.  She always ensures that the people she supports are happy, healthy, and safe while attending the After School Program.  I am proud to know her and be working with her!”

Emily delights in the knowledge that she works for the same agency that gave her an education and continues to supports her with services. In her words, “Living Resources helps me out and I am trying to give back.”