A smiling woman stands on a staircase near two pieces of art featuring colorful tree graphics.

Staff Spotlight: Stephanie Pinsonneault

UCS Corporate News

Taking the leap:

Stephanie Pinsonneault came to United Counseling Service (UCS) almost six and a half years ago from a background in retail, having worked in a small shop in Bennington and outlet stores in Manchester, VT. One of Stephanie’s family members had always recommended a career in developmental services, so years later, she decided it was time to take the leap.

“I wanted to try something different,” says Stephanie. “I was looking for a more structured schedule with weekends free, because I have a son.”

Now, Stephanie spends her workweek helping clients served by UCS’ Developmental Services division achieve their employment and life goals, while making sure they can access important community connections. She provides support to people working at local businesses, like the outlet shops in Manchester, VT, grocery stores, and hospitality establishments, including the Equinox Inn and Spa. “I have a lot of fun!” says Stephanie of her role at UCS. “I work mostly in our Employment Connections program in the Manchester community. We work with really good employers who are supportive of our clients. There have been even more open-minded managers recently who see the benefit of helping our folks work and achieve their goals, which is our goal too.” As a direct support professional (DSP), Stephanie also helps clients prepare for and experience events like Night to Shine, a fun prom night for people with developmental disabilities ages 14 and older, and the UCS Holiday Craft Fair, an annual event that gives clients the opportunity to showcase and sell their work alongside other artists in the community. Events like these play a significant role in helping clients become engaged community members and stay engaged as they build relationships with others.

Finding balance at UCS:

While Stephanie supports UCS clients in their daily lives, she feels supported in turn by UCS.

“As direct support professionals, we have consistency in our schedules,” says Stephanie. “Managers support us when we need to change up our schedules. We’re supported in taking care of ourselves and our families, as well as our responsibilities at UCS.” Outside of work, Stephanie spends time with her family enjoying all that Vermont has to offer, including days spent at Lake Paran and Lake Shaftsbury. “I’m learning how to fish,” she says. “My kid is trying to teach me.” Stephanie is also a proud Bennington Little League parent and is happy to be able to attend her son’s practices and games during the season, which runs about a third of the year. Compared with her past experiences working in retail, she no longer feels like she needs to miss a day of work for an appointment, or family event. Stephanie credits this balance of meeting work and personal responsibilities to the high quality cross-training she and her team receive at UCS. “There is always a well-trained team to cover you when you need it.”

We’re in it to help people.

After six years of working at UCS, Stephanie still loves her job. She’s learned more than a few things as a DSP and offers some advice to others thinking about pursuing a career in direct support: “I feel like some people feel they’re not cut out for this kind of work, or that they need a background in healthcare,” says Stephanie. “I have no background in healthcare, but if you’re open minded, empathetic, and want to make a difference and help other people while having fun––this is a great opportunity. We’re in it to help people.”

If you are interested in a great place work check out our career page at ucsvt.org/careers

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