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National DSP Week 2022: Spotlights

This week is Direct Support Professional (DSP) Appreciation Week! Each year, starting on the Sunday after Labor Day, we celebrate our amazing Direct Support Professionals here at Search and across the country! They are the heart and soul of everything we do to support people with disabilities in feeling, and being, included and empowered! This year, DSP Recognition Week is taking place from September 11-17th.

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Here at Search, we are excited to honor, celebrate and thank our DSPs for their hard work and dedication every day!

Cory Gumm, Search’s Chief Executive Officer, shared, “Search DSPs are truly the bedrock of our supports and services! Without them, nothing at Search is possible.  I am frequently reminded of this when traveling from site to site and observing the work they do.  DSPs teach, help, support, mentor, care for and bring joy and smiles to each person supported at Search every day.  It’s a truly unique job that requires them to wear many different hats. This week, we take the necessary time out to say thank you and share our immense appreciation for our DSPs.  Thank you!  Each DSP makes Search special and we’re so grateful they’re here!”

In honor of DSP Appreciation Week, we’re shining a light on four of our incredible Search DSPs.



Sarai has been a part of our team as an amazing DSP at Search since 2001. She works at our Austin house in Morton Grove.

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What is your favorite thing about Search? Working with the individuals and for the individuals directly

What are a few words to describe the Search team? Fun, challenging

What is the most rewarding part of your job? To help the individuals to get their own potential

What is your biggest professional achievement? It’s helping my guys with their needs, giving them a better chance

What is your favorite TV show? Wheel of Fortune

Favorite movie? Titanic

Best vacation that you’ve been on? California

I would love to visit… Rome, Italy

My secret talent is… Cooking



Claudia has been an important part of our Search team since 2004. Claudia works at our Sycamore house in Mount Prospect.


What is your favorite thing about Search? My favorite thing about Search is the way that Search cares for people and how they make them feel like they are in their own home. 

What are three words to describe the Search team? Amazing, fun and great place to work.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? I am happy that I can help consumers to integrate in society.

What makes your job worthwhile? I like to see them happy.

What inspires you to come to work? For the opportunities to work with great people.

What is your biggest personal/professional achievement? My personal achievement was to making Sycamore house a great place to stay in for ladies. And professional was to learn and understand how to work with people with special needs.

What attracted you to Search? For me was a unique experience working with people with special need.

What is your favorite TV show? The Voice 

Favorite movie? The Last Ship

Best vacation you’ve been on? Dominican Republic 

I would love to visit… South Africa- Cape Town 

My secret talent is… I like to dance 

My favorite color is… Blue, I like blue since I was a child 

My favorite food is… I like all kind of food. 


For 12 years, Wanda has been a special part of our Adult Learning Program team here at Search. Wanda is the DSP at our Kensington site in Mount Prospect.

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What is your favorite thing about Search? Making a change in other people’s life

What are three words to describe the Search team? Powerful, strong, reliable

What is the most rewarding part of our job/what makes it worthwhile? Make a difference and working together

Why do you enjoy coming to work? Seeing a smile on each person’s face

What is your biggest achievement to date? The enjoyment on each person’s face after doing activities with them

What is your favorite TV show? NCIS New Orleans

Favorite movie? The Avengers

Best vacation you’ve been on? Cancun

I would love to visit… DR

My secret talent is… Very observant

If you were a color, what would you be and why? Purple, because I want to blossom like a purple blossom

My favorite food is… Steak


Last, but certainly not least – meet Sorin! Sorin joined our Search team in 2010. Sorin is the welcoming face at our Oriole house, located in Morton Grove.

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What is your favorite thing about Search? Helping people who need the most help

What are three words to describe the Search team? Dedication, passion and commitment

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Most rewarding part is taking care of people with special needs and making sure they live a normal life like in a normal house surrounded by friends. Coming to work is rewarding for me because I know that at the end of the day I accomplished something good for the clients we serve.

What is your biggest personal achievement? My biggest achievement is coming to US 12 years ago with my family and starting a new life here.

How did you come to join the Search team? I came to Search because my mother was already working here and she told me about this job.

What is your favorite TV show? Game of thrones

Favorite movie? My cousin Vinny

Best vacation you’ve been on? Best vacation was for sure in Europe visiting Paris and I would like to visit England.

My secret talent is… My secret is that I can handle tasks without asking for help and I am always a positive person.

Favorite color? My favorite color is blue because I was born next to the Black Sea coast where the sky is always blue and my favorite food is of course the fish.

Thank you to all of our incredible DSPs here at Search!

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