The North Dakota Association of Community Providers named Easter Seals Goodwill ND, Inc.’s Anna Pederson Direct Support Professional of the Year in early April.
This honor recognizes the top DSP across the state of North Dakota.
Pederson, who works in the Fargo area, was selected due to her work through Easter Seals Goodwill, as it aligns with the mission of the NDACP, according to a letter from the organization.
“It is the mission of NDACP, through collective and collaborative means, to enhance, improve and advocate for positive change in the service delivery system for people with disabilities,” according to the NDACP. “[Peterson’s] work exemplifies the fruit of that positive change.”
The NDACP also spoke to Pederson’s commitment to helping people with disabilities - she has worked tirelessly with one person for the last three years.
“Your compassion and commitment to helping people with disabilities achieve the best possible quality of life sets you apart,” the NDACP said about Pederson.
Pederson said the nomination came as a shock.
“I actually wasn’t aware of the nomination until I received a phone call from my [Program Coordinator],” Pederson said. “Breanna had said ‘I have some news to tell you...’ and I was shocked to find out I was nominated, let alone that I had won!”
Less than one percent of DSPs are nominated for DSP of the Year, according to the NDACP.
Working as a DSP was not something Pederson imagined to be a career, but she said she fell in love with the work.
“Doing Direct Care was going to be short term to save up money to go to college, but once I got started I fell in love and never left the field,” Pederson said. “Working with individuals of all abilities and the experiences I have had have been substantial in my growth on the job and as a person in general.”
Pederson has been with Easter Seals Goodwill for three years and a DSP for six.
“Easter Seals Goodwill is proud of Anna and wants to thank her for her dedication and work,” Becky Briggs, Director of Residential Services said Tuesday.