Wade needed a job when he got out of college. Turns out the job needed him, too.
Earlier this month, the ResCare employee was honored as Kansas’ Direct Support Professional of the year for his work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
He was flown to Washington, D.C., to accept the award from the American Network of Community Options and Resources.
“I’ve been working with the same people for many years,” Wade said. “Basically I get paid to come in and hang out with some pretty cool people, and do fun things.”
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That ranges from purely recreational outings to movies, museums and sporting events to opportunities for his clients to deliver Meals on Wheels, make Halloween baskets for elementary school students and otherwise contribute to the community.
Wade, 47, grew up in Emporia and studied psychology at Emporia State University. He says he “just kind of fell into” the job with ResCare after finishing college 21 years ago and stayed with it because he likes it.
He works with about 50 clients on a daily basis and supervises 16 staff members.
A musician who plays several instruments, Wade and his wife, Teresa, also enjoy spending time outdoors.