A blue graphic with stars and a photo of a women smiling with text that says, "July's DSP of the Month: Khristina Thompson-Gant. 'She always finds a way to include everyone and does not exclude any place that the group may want to go. She will figure out how to get everyone there. She is patient, kind, and passionate about what she does.”

DSP of the Month: Khristina Thompson-Gant

Congratulations to Khristina Thompson-Gant, July’s Direct Support Professional (DSP) of the Month!

Khristina has been a Nurse for the past 25 years. She served in the US Army active-duty service for 7 years and eventually in 1998 decided to become a DSP at the Fairfield Center.

“I became a DSP because of my Aunt Betty Black who was a Special Education teacher at what is now the BCBDD but at that time was called Fair Acres,” Khristina said. “Seeing the lives my Aunt changed, the love she gave, and her passion was enough for me. I went with her to Fair Acres on parents bring your child to work day every year because I thought she had the coolest job. I was also able to go with her to respite cases. Just seeing her love for the caretakers and the individuals they served was everything!”

After the pandemic, Khristina joined the Reach Me Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes community inclusion by offering socialization opportunities to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. 

“Reach Me Inc. had a vision of what they wanted to be and so I ran with it,” Khristina said. “I wanted the people that we served to come and do life together. I wanted to break stereotypes and barriers that the world has put on people with ID/DD. Seeing the vision my boss had and wanting to bridge the gap between people with disabilities and the community is why Reach Me Inc. has grown as an ADS program!”

Khristina is now the Assistant Director/Community Engagement Coordinator for Reach Me, Inc. Lamonda Dye, Founder and CEO of Reach Me Inc., said Khristina’s dedication is unwavering and that without Khristina there is no Reach Me Inc.!

“Khris came to our program at a time that we really needed her,” Lamonda said. “Our program was new and lacked organization. I shared my vision with her, and she latched on and ran with it! Khris not only believes in our mission and vision she breaths it. She takes pride in preparing and implementing activities for our participants. She is funny and full of life! When she started a year and a half ago, we had 3 participants. We now have more than 15 participants including Butler and Hamilton counties. Because of Khris we have a thriving program! We love Khris! Aside from the huge fact that Khris has almost single handedly grown the program, she is sincerely dedicated to the group. Last year, Khris worked 6 days a week because we did not have staff to cover her off days and she never complained. Khris also had a health issue but scheduled her procedure so that she would not miss a scheduled activity for the group. She always finds a way to include everyone and does not exclude any place that the group may want to go. She will figure out how to get everyone there. She is patient, kind and passionate about what she does.”

a group of people at a table indoors

Khristina said she has so much fun with the staff and the individuals she serves.

“One great memory is going downtown for the Reds Opening Day Parade,” Khristina said. “The looks on their faces seeing Reds baseball players, the different schools, their bands, the dancers, the cool cars, and just being out in the community doing life together is one great memory. I just love working as a DSP because I have been able to change lives. I not only have my clients and their families tell me so, but I see it first-hand. People should consider this field because it’s rewarding. The satisfaction you get from being a part of their daily lives and knowing that you have an affect whether you know it or not is an unbelievable feeling!”

Do you know an amazing DSP who deserves to be recognized for everything they do? Nominate them below! Nominations for August’s DSP of the Month are due by Friday, August 2.

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