Submitted by: Cynthia Harvey, People Inc.

During a person-centered planning session in 2015, Jeremy, a person receiving services through People Inc., shared that he had a dream to become a published poet, author and artist. With support from James (Jim) Jowsey, by August 2019 Jeremy hosted his official book release and signing at Expo68 Art & Design Gallery in Buffalo, NY.

Jim is a Direct Support Professional working for People Inc., a human service organization in Western New York that provides a variety of services including residential, employment, community outreach, health care, and recreation programs, so that older adults, families and people with disabilities can live more healthy, independent and productive lives.

Through Jim’s knowledge, passion, and skillset – grounded in NADSP’s Code of Ethics and Competency Areas – he supported Jeremy in bringing his book to life. From writing, to publishing, to promoting the book, Jim helped Jeremy expedite the entire process.

The result of their efforts was the publication and release of Jeremy’s book, ‘Living In An Abstract World,’ a compilation of Jeremy’s work as a poet and painter.

Beyond the book itself, this impressive endeavor was underscored by a broader impact on Jeremy’s life. It was a learning experience the helped advance Jeremy’s independence and nurture his artistic and entrepreneurial spirit. The process of completing a book also helped form community connections outside of staff relationships, where Jim has supported Jeremy in making contacts across the Buffalo, NY area.

In a thank you message sent to Rhonda Frederick, President and Chief Executive Officer of People Inc., Jeremy and his mother Carol shared, “Jim Jowsey, along with each member of Jeremy’s circle, repeatedly goes above and beyond the job description of “working to rules” to ensure that the quality of Jeremy’s life is one that promotes growth, success and fulfillment.”

They also described that Jim “has taken a dream that Jeremy coveted and incrementally distilled it into an application and process that has not only yielded a publication, but also a learning experience that continues to expand the independence of Jeremy as an artist, writer and entrepreneur.”

This article is part of a campaign during the 2019 National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, to acknowledge Direct Support Professionals who are demonstrating excellence through the use of NADSP’s Code of Ethics/Competency Areas and/or CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures®. This campaign was developed through a partnership between The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership, and The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).