FutureCare Irvington's own Victoria Gerstley is being awarded the ARC's 2018 Self-Advocate of the Year award for her work as an activities assistant! The ARC is a local organization which is dedicated to supporting adults and children with intellectual disabilities, as well as their families. Each year, they recognize a select few individuals who have gone above and beyond in their support of the goals of the ARC. FutureCare is proud to be recognized this year.
Victoria has successfully completed a 90-hour education program for activity professionals with the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals and has obtained her National Certification as an Activity Assistant. We caught up with Victoria to learn a little bit more about her and what she does:
Hi, Victoria! Thank you for speaking with us today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am from Pikesville, Maryland. I have been an activities assistant for almost 2 years at FutureCare Irvington.
What does a typical day at FutureCare look like for you?
My typical day at FutureCare starts with morning room visits, then giving out the daily chronicle and mail, and making coffee. Next, I start my activities for the day. I always run an exercise group for 30 minutes. After that, I set up our juice bar, and all of our residents come in for coffee. When our patients are done with their coffee, I set up lunch before I take a break for my own lunch. I come back to lead activity groups from 2-4pm, and then I leave at 5pm.
Every day for me consists of trying to make sure that my residents have a great day, have fun, feel special, and feel involved in our FutureCare community!
What is your favorite part about working at FutureCare?
My favorite part about working at FutureCare is putting a big smile on my residents' faces throughout the day!
What made you choose to be an activities assistant?
I chose my activities job for three reasons:
1) I get to meet interesting people
2) I get to make a difference in someone's life
3) It's fun for me!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is making a difference in our residents' lives and striking up relationships with my very special residents.
Congratulations on receiving the Arc's 2018 Self-Advocate of the Year award! What does the term 'self-advocate' mean to you?
The title of self-advocate means that I can speak up for myself to make sure that my needs are met. It's also being aware of yourself and your environment, and being devoted to your success.
Victoria also shared that she is proud of her accomplishments as an activities assistant. She has worked hard to become MCAT certified, and she feels that she is a valued employee at the company she loves.
Congratulations to Victoria and all of our staff at FutureCare Irvington for this ARC recognition award!