Mainstream Living

Employee Spotlights - Meet Some DSPs

Amanda Royce - Des Moines

How long have you been with Mainstream Living?
I have will have worked for Mainstream for seven years.

What is your favorite thing about being a Direct Support Professional?
My favorite thing about being a DSP is knowing that I make someone’s life a little easier. I like knowing that I make a difference.

What’s something a member has said to you that you’ll never forget?
I’ve had a lot of meaningful conversations with each of my members. If we want to go the funny route, I’ll never forget that my member told me at 25 years old, she wanted her menopause already. Girl, being a woman is rough.

What was your dream job growing up? What is it now?
I used to really want to be a lawyer of some sort. However, I’m pretty happy with my job now. When I was a young adult, I never thought this would be what I was good at but when I met a member and their staff at a tattoo parlor and heard all about the company, I knew this was what I wanted to do.

What’s your favorite thing about Mainstream?
The members will always be the best part about Mainstream. So many different personalities and beautiful faces.


McKenna Brown - Des Moines

How long have you been with Mainstream Living?
I've been with Mainstrem for five years. 

What is your favorite thing about being a Direct Support Professional?
My favorite thing about being a DSP is when my members smile. Knowing that they are happy and I am doing everything I can to enrich their lives is everything to me. 

What’s something a member has said to you that you’ll never forget?
My members can't verbally tell how they feel buttheir expressions when they see me just makes my day. I enjoy coming to work everyday because of them.

What was your dream job growing up? What is it now?
My dream job growing up was becoming a Speech Pathologist. Sometimes things don't work out the way you think and now I am a mom of two amazing girls with my fiance. I don't have a dream job anymore. Being a mom is more fulfilling than any job. 

What’s your favorite thing about Mainstream?
My members and the people I work alongside of on a daily basis. 


Anna Buseman - Ames

How long have you been with Mainstream Living?
I have been with Mainstream since January 2019.

What is your favorite thing about being a Direct Support Professional?
My favorite thing about being a DSP is seeing my members everyday; they make my life so much better. When I first started, I believed I would be helping them become better individuals, when really it is the other way around. My members teach me patience, empathy, kindness, how to celebrate life's accomplishments, and I care about them like I do my own family.

What’s something a member has said to you that you’ll never forget?
When I first started, a member would address me only as 'staff'. It took a couple months, but I will never forget the first time they addressed me by my name, followed with "I like you, I am doing good!" It made all the hard days in the beginning worth it 100 times over.

What was your dream job growing up? What is it now?
I did not have a dream job growing up, but I knew I wanted to help people just like my own mom did as a nurse. I stumbled upon this job by pure chance and it is now what I look forward to everyday. This is my dream job.

What’s your favorite thing about Mainstream?
My favorite thing about Mainstream, besides my members, is getting to meet other staff and employees who share the same passion and interests as I do. I love making new friends.


Dena Risius - Des Moines

How long have you been with Mainstream living?
I've been with Maintream for 12 years. 

What is your favorite thing about being a Direct Support Professional?
I love the nteractions with member. One got very used to riding with me to go do errands for the household or just to get out of the house for the day. We had the music blaring one day and she tapped me on the shoulder and began to dance to the music. Then she tapped me on the shoulder again, and began to air guitar! I began to laugh so hard, and had to compose myself because I was driving, but it was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen! 

What’s something a member has said to you that you'll never forget?
I was driving one of my members to her day program at Link. I turned the radio up when a good song came on was singing along. After teh song ended, I asked the member if she liked it and she said "yes". Then I asked her if she like my singing, to which she responded, "NOOOOO"!!! The honesty they give you is remarkable!! 

What was your dream job growing up? What is it now?
My dream job was to be a writer of some sort. Rather a reporter, because I like to investigate and talk with people or to be a songwriter. I always loved the creative process  of how things are brought about. Now, as an adult, I would LOVE to have the money to donate to make a day program in Des Moines that is Mainstream owned. 

What’s your favorite thing about Mainstream?
The unconditional love that is given by the clients. I believe that God sent our clients here to show people that have never felt love, or never have been loved, what it feels like to be loved, truly and unconditionally.


Kayla Woodhall - Des Moines

How long have you been with Mainstream Living?
September 2019 will be five years since I started working at Mainstream. 

What is your favorite thing about being a Direct Support Professional?
I enjoy being able to take care of the members and watch them progress in so many different areas. Since being at Mainstream I have helped one member to go out into the community more, socialize with peers and do crafts, when she never did before! 

What’s something a member has said to you that you’ll never forget?
I can't think of one on the top of my head but I do love when they say they have fun doing something that I planned such as a craft, or activity for them. It makes me happy and proud that my ideas, and hard work of planning stuff for them.

What was your dream job growing up? What is it now?
I wanted to be a OBGYN as a little girl. My dream job now would be a judge on the Food Network Channel so I can try all sorts of new food and travel the world.

What’s your favorite thing about Mainstream?
My amazing co-workers and the members. The supervisors caring about their staff and being flexible is a plus as well!


Megan Friestad - Des Moines

How long have you been with Mainstream Living?
I have worked for Mainstream for six years

What is your favorite thing about being a Direct Support Professional?
My favorite thing about being a DSP is getting to work with members and helping them to be as independent as possible

What’s something a member has said to you that you’ll never forget?
I've heard a lot of funny things over the last six years but I'd have to say being told "Thank you" or that you are appreciated is rewarding and something I won't forget. 

What was your dream job growing up? What is it now?
I wanted to be a nurse growing up and I still would like to achieve that

What’s your favorite thing about Mainstream?
My favorite thing about Mainstream is my clients and co-workers.

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