|Justin stands with his fiancée Sara after receiving his award|
On Saturday, October 22, 2016, NYSARC, Inc. honored local Justin Santas as the Western Region recipient of NYSARC Inc.’s Thomas A. Maul Direct Support Professional Excellence Award at their annual convention. Justin is one of only four award recipients across the state of New York to receive the $2,500 award.
Presented by NYSARC, Inc., the Thomas A. Maul Direct Support Professional Excellence Award is an award to acknowledge the work of a direct support professional from each NYSARC, Inc. region who consistently demonstrates excellence, creativity and commitment in providing supports to people who have intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
Justin Santas, a direct support professional with Allegany Arc for the past four years, received this year’s Thomas Maul award – given to a direct support professional who has demonstrated exemplary performance and commitment to improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. Justin is the first employee from Allegany Arc to receive the award.
Colleagues describe Justin as a detail-oriented leader who leads by example and a strong advocate for the people he supports. One colleague said, “Justin has had a positive effect on the people he serves and provides an excellent example for those he supervises. Justin is always mindful of individual rights and seeks to empower the individuals to make their own choices and take control of the direction of their lives.” Another colleague said, “Justin has always seemed to be very in tune with the individuals. Justin always seems to pick up on the slightest warning sign or change in an individual and is very aware of how to approach each person in a way that works for that individual.”
Allegany Arc’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Damiano had this to say about Justin, “I am honored to recognize Justin Santas as the Western Region’s recipient of NYSARC Inc.’s Thomas A. Maul Direct Support Professional Excellence Award. For Justin, Person-Centered-Planning isn’t just a token phrase, it is something he strives towards every day. Justin’s peers look to him for guidance as he seems to always be in tune with people we support. Justin maintains a professional and upbeat demeanor even during challenging circumstances. Congratulations to Justin – Allegany Arc is excited to have you honored with this well-deserved award.”