Alisha Nickel has supported individuals with disabilities since 2008 in a number of capacities (Residential, Day Service, Independent Living, Job Coaching, Respite services) and has worked for Association for Community Living Swan River, St Amant, Epic Opportunities, and Manitoba Family Services and Labour Respite Services. Currently, Alisha is a Manager with Eastman Employment Services (within enVision Community Living) in Steinbach, MB. Alisha now works alongside individuals who have a focus on Supported Employment. Alisha is a 2015 graduate of the Disability and Community Support program at Red River College and is an advocate for the field of direct support.
The Alliance of Direct Support Professionals of Manitoba is a volunteer-run Board, that stands for re-election during the Annual General Meeting in May.
The ADSPM Board of Directors consists of dedicated professionals who perform many different roles in support of people living with disabilities.
Jessica Yestrau (Chair) has been involved in the disability field for a number of years, and currently works as a team leader in a Supported Independent Living program. Jessica is also in her second year of the Disability and Community Support Program at Red River College.
Kendra Phillipchuk (director) is a grad of the Disability and Community Support Program at Red River College. Kendra has worked for a number of years in various areas of the disability field and has taken her passion for direct support work by jumping into self-employment, providing direct support to individuals.
Pauline Alexander (secretary) currently works as a Team Leader at St Amant in the Supported Independent Living program. She has worked in the field for over 10 years in various areas including residential, day services, outreach, respite and employment services. Pauline has a passion to serve the people supported and believes in every person’s right to self-determination.
Chelsey Kent (Vice Chair) has been involved in the disability field for about 10 years. Chelsey started spent many years working as a frontline DSP in a day program, as well as a community residence. Chelsey currently works with individuals who are seeking assistance in connecting with their communities. Chelsey is currently in her second year at Red River College in the Community and Disability Support Program. Chelsey believes the professionalization of the disability field will positively impact Direct Support Professionals as well as the individuals being supported by DSP's in Manitoba. Chelsey began her work with the board in the spring of 2018 and is excited to see where her work on the board will take her.
Ashley Zuk started her career in 2002, supporting individuals in her hometown of St Claude. Ashley has worked in various sectors in the field, working and managing homes both rurally and in Winnipeg, working in a day program, and respite care. In 2013, Ashley was asked to sit on the steering committee of the then named MADSP, which became the ADSPM. After becoming a director on the first official board, Ashley took a year off to spend with her daughter. A year was long enough, and Ashley has remained in the board since then. Ashley has a passion for this field, and wants nothing more than to have it fully recognized as a valuable career choice. Type your paragraph here.
Michelle Lodewyks (director) is a full-time Instructor in the Disability and Community Support Program at Red River College. She has a Master’s degree in Disability Studies from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in Sociology, and Justice and Law, from the University of Winnipeg. Michelle has supported people with disabilities through Muscular Dystrophy Canada, Campus Life Manitoba, St. Amant, Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg, and In the Company of Friends (ICOF). As an Instructor, Michelle understands the value of education in ensuring quality support and longevity within the disability field. She believes the ADSPM will play a critical role in increasing the status and professionalism of DSPs.
Sean McGrath has been involved in supporting individuals with disabilities since 2009 in various capacities including supported independent living and residential support. His career started out as a DSP as an activity assistant at Friends Housing Inc. In 2011 Sean started at New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families as a DSP staff where he now works as an Associate Program Coordinator in the Shift Staffed Homes Program providing 24/7 residential supports to youth and adults. Sean is currently pursuing his second year at Red River College in the Disability and Community Support Program to finish up his Bachelor of Disability Studies Degree at the University of Winnipeg. As most of his career has been as a front-line DSP Sean understands and is aware of the critical impact that education, training and fair wages can have on the quality of care and longevity of DSP’s in the field. Sean believes that the ADSPM can help play a crucial role in building Provincial awareness to these topics and believes that the continued reach for recognition will have long-term benefits to DSP staff as well as the people they support.
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Sandy Weiten (Past Chair) is currently a Co-ordinator for Epic Opportunities and has provided support in residential, home health care, schools, independent living, and day programs since 1992. Sandy is a graduate of the Disability and Community Support Program at Red River College. She has been a member of ADSPM’s original Board of Directors and was re-elected as Chair in 2016. Sandy looks forward to increasing the professional recognition for DSPs in Manitoba and believes that DSPs can have a powerful impact on the people they work with and for. She is grateful to have an opportunity to support others in achieving their dreams, goals, and outcomes while encouraging others to live their best possible lives.