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Direct Support Professional

Beatrice Adegbesan, a Lifelong Caretaker

The first thing you notice when you first meet DSP (Direct Support Professional) Beatrice Adegbesan is the radiance of her smile — even when she’s wearing a mask, she beams. Beatrice’s smile extends to her eyes and you instantly feel comfortable in her presence.

Providing comfort is what Beatrice does at her full-time DSP position at the Trudeau Center’s Titus group home in Warwick, Rhode Island, and she does it so well! Group home resident Lorna gushed over Beatrice, “She is wonderful, and she may cry when you tell her I said that.” Lorna was right and Beatrice did cry a little when I shared all the kind words people used to describe her as we honor her as our DSP of the Day.

Beatrice and Lorna

Originally from Nigeria, Beatrice moved to the United States in 1984. Beatrice quickly acclimated to a new world and began her career as a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant). She instinctively knew that taking care of others was what she was meant to do. Beatrice found her way to the Trudeau Center 10 years ago and has never looked back.

“I love working with people and making a difference in people’s lives. It’s a part of me,” said Beatrice.

A mother of four and grandmother to eight, Beatrice’s support has a familial feel. During a quiet moment at the group home, Beatrice shared a touching story about her love for her job. Years ago, at Titus, Beatrice received an emergency phone call with news that her daughter was going into labor and needed Beatrice at the hospital. Hanging up the phone, Beatrice literally jumped for joy and rushed to find a fellow DSP to cover her shift, then ran to her car in a frenzy of excitement. When Beatrice returned to work a few days later, Mark, who heard her phone call on her last shift, softly asked, “How’s granddaughter?” Beatrice tears up while describing this moment and explains, “They know who takes care of them. Just love them.”

Working as a DSP with people with disabilities can be challenging but Beatrice always finds pockets of joy at work. Program Manager Doddie McShane can’t say enough great things about Beatrice:

“She is a kind, compassionate, and conscientious employee who genuinely cares about each person she supports and has taken the time to know them well. Beatrice can always be relied upon to support the most challenging of situations with ease and calmness while working her hardest to make them better and she always makes them better.”

When Beatrice’s isn’t working, she enjoys reading, bible classes, and spending time with her grandchildren. A woman of many talents, Beatrice received her associate degree in pastry at Johnson & Wales University and is a self-proclaimed African chef. If the smells that were emanating from the group home’s oven are any indication, Titus’s residents must eat incredibly well.

Thanks to employees like Beatrice, the Trudeau Center can fulfill its mission to promote an enhanced quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities. Thank you for all that you do, Beatrice!

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Mark Dickson, Trudeau’s DSP of the Year

Meet Mark Dickson, a J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center DSP (Direct Support Professional) for over 26 years. A gentle giant, Mark is a towering man with a natural comfort and ease that translates well into his career of service. Mark retires in October and the Trudeau Center honors him for his decades of exemplary service and highlights him as our DSP of the Year for DSP Week 2021.

Mark and Mark.

Mark’s profession as a DSP is one that he “stumbled on,” but that soon became his true calling. Feeling a little uninspired with his former occupation, 26 years ago Mark started taking classes at the Community College of Rhode Island. Mark’s favorite CCRI professor was Rita Price, who was the director of Trudeau’s day program at the time. As was Rita’s custom, she provided her class with a tour of the Trudeau Center and Mark liked what he saw and immediately believed in Trudeau’s mission to promote an enhanced quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Mark took a chance and began his second career as a DSP, and the rest is a part of Trudeau’s beautiful history.

Reminiscing about his time at Trudeau on a recent morning at the Titus group home, Mark expressed a tremendous amount of gratitude for the Trudeau Center and his coworkers, past and present.

Mark’s coworkers place all that gratitude right back on Mark. Trudeau’s Director of Adult Residential Program Darlene James can’t say enough kind words about Mark and explains his many strengths, “He maintains a professional yet personalized relationship with the folks Trudeau supports, who all like him and feel comfortable with him. Mark is always willing to help, regardless of situation or notice.”

Mark Dickson, Nancy Gannon, and group home residents.

In between helping run a weekly activity club, preparing healthy lunches, and taking residents outside for fresh air, Mark talked about maintaining three jobs by practicing healthy living and positive thinking. A father of two grown sons, Mark looks forward to retiring to Florida in October. Along the drive, he will stop in North and South Carolina to visit his son and sister. An active and fit man, Mark looks forward to a quieter life of playing golf, bocce ball, swimming and — you guessed it— a little work!

“I found a work family,” Mark said, “socially, economically and fulfillment wise. I did not do it alone and I owe a debt of gratitude to so many people.”

As we spoke about Mark’s retirement, Lorna, who lives in the Titus group home and is Mark’s biggest fan expressed, “Mark, you will be missed more than you can imagine but you will also be so happy.”

Here’s to more happiness, Mark and thanks for everything you’ve done for the Trudeau Center.

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