Independence Ohio – July 23, 2019:  Joseph Mwambo has been awarded the 2019 Founders Award Winner – DSP Category. The Founders Award was presented to Joseph and his family at Koinonia’s 2019 All-Staff event at the Holiday Inn in Independence by President and CEO Diane Beastrom.

The Founder’s Award is the most prestigious award a Koinonia employee can receive. It was established to specially recognize two associates who have consistently demonstrated exemplary efforts and outstanding service to our mission. This year’s recipients of the Founder’s Award have demonstrated their commitment to Koinonia through honest fellowship, interdependence, unselfish caring and compassionate partnering with people who have developmental disabilities to achieve healthy, fulfilling enriched lives. Each recipient receives a special plaque and a check for $500. Their names are also added to the Founder’s Award plaque hanging in the home office.

According to his nomination, “Although Joseph is a third shift staff, he is always taking the time out to look at the bigger picture when it comes to the individuals. He never hesitates to speak up about something that he feels the individuals may need, want or could use to further develop their independence. Joseph took the time to teach 4 of the individuals at Hilltop about their finances. These four individuals would perseverate about how much money they had and Joseph recognized it was important to them to further develop their independence with understanding this. He recognized the need for further education and the ability of each one of the individuals to learn about this. The individuals continue to carry this knowledge with them and find pride in their independence with managing their spending money. Joseph always recognizes abilities before disabilities and has a unique approach when working with each one of the 10 individuals at Hilltop.

Joseph has a special relationship with all of the individuals here at Hilltop and he regularly goes above and beyond to ensure they have a voice and say in their lives daily. Joseph recognizes the importance of family relationships and every year without hesitation Joseph takes 1 of our individuals to see his brother that lives out of town over 2 and half hours from the site. The individual looks forward to spending the day with his brother every year for his birthday. Joseph also brings the individual’s best friend to come along and they enjoy lunch together to celebrate.”

Joseph joined Koinonia as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) in 2009 and quickly excelled in his role. In 2014, he received the Maureen Corcoran Award, the top honor a DSP can earn in the state of Ohio. Joseph has also earned the Certificate of Initial Proficiency (CIP) and the Certificate of Advanced Proficiency (CAP). An Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) council member, Joseph enjoys exchanging ideas on how to inspire DSPs across the state to invest in each other for the ultimate benefit of the people they serve.

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