Blog Archives

Alieu Sannoh – Direct Support Professional (10 years)

Fresh out of High School, I had no real direction or what I wanted to do. My cousin told me about the employment here at TURN, and I applied. Never in my imagination did I think I would still be here. The clients, staffs, and others in TURN have influenced my life immensely. Being employed here at TURN, overshadowed my personal expectations of my life, and provided me with the confidence needed to succeed in life. I was an exemplar, an assistant coordinator, currently I am a member of Toast Masters all of which fuel the desires to further my education. My long-term goal is to achieve a master’s degree in business administration.

My life has been greatly rewarded through my interactions with the clients, I’m blessed.

Katie Johnson – Program Coordinator, City Center for the Arts (5 years)

I’ve been at City Center for the Arts in downtown Salt Lake for almost the entire time they’ve been open. I came in shortly after its opening, as a DSP, and now am the coordinator. It’s been exciting to see how much the program has grown and evolved over the past 5 years, and how much the individuals within the program have grown and evolved.

It’s incredible to be a part of someone’s growth as a person, and I think that’s what keeps me in this field. I have a background in performance art and a degree in musical theater, so this job is a unique and fulfilling opportunity to use my background to enrich our clients’ lives. It’s a remarkable feeling when I see that a concept we’ve been learning in our music theory class has finally clicked, or when they have learned a new song well enough that they can sing it without my help. Seeing how capable these guys are of learning some difficult concepts and techniques, and how happy it makes them is incredibly gratifying.

Adam Watkins – Direct Support Professional /Exemplar (15 years)

Amy Franson – Direct Support Professional (5 years)

Fiona picFiona Hildebrant – Program Coordinator, Midvale Activity Center (25 years)

I can hardly believe I have spent over half my life working for TURN! I started supporting people with disabilities when I was in high school.   My guidance counselor thought it would be good experience for me, after I got into a little trouble in school; little did she know she was introducing me to something I would love and spend many years doing!

I have worked in the day program setting for my entire 25 years with TURN. This has been an amazing experience. It has given me opportunities to work with large numbers of people who have such varying needs and personalities. I LOVE the challenge of trying to find creative and effective ways to support each person as an individual, and getting to know their families and staff from other providers.   Even after 25 years, there are no boring days!

I worked for a couple of different providers before finding TURN.   I knew when I found TURN, it would be a lasting experience for me. The people I was working with became more than just co-workers and administrators. They were people that had similar ideas to what I felt was truly important in life and how I wanted to spend my time. Together we helped the people we were supporting to have a better quality of life and to reach for their dreams. I found the culture of TURN to be a place where I could grow and where my experiences, thoughts and ideas were valued and listened to. I am proud to say that I think I made a good decision because I can say these things are still true, even after all the changes the last 25 years have brought!

Claudine Burkhalter picClaudine Burkhalter – Direct Support Professional, Ogden Group Home (10 years)

All my life I have been surrounded by family members with special needs.  I have always loved being around these amazing people and that is what motivated me to work for TURN.  I love working with the ladies at the Ogden Group Home!! They have taught me so much including how to love others and be a better person.  I look forward to the next ten years!

Darron M Allen picDarron M Allen – Direct Support Professional, Wilmington Day Program (10 years)

I like the clients that I work with and I like to help them succeed. I also like working with my coworkers, and I like working at TURN Community Services. My favorite memory is the day I worked for TURN. My family supports me to work hard at work. My long term dream is to buy a house that I will some day live in with my family and be happy, and my dream is to finish with my wife’s cancer that she is doing right now so that she can finish her school and go back to work so we can buy a house.


Jenna Gerona picJenna Gerona – Direct Support Professional, SHARE Program (10 years)

My work at TURN has motivated me to be a better person. I love working with the clients I serve, they are such a joy to be around. My work at TURN has helped realize my lifelong dream which is to get my book of poetry published. What keeps me motivated to stay with TURN are the clients that I serve. I work with the clients at the SHARE Program, I really like working there and they make it fun to come to work everyday!

Jodi Wells pic BESTJodi Wells – Director of Program Services, Salt Lake City (10 years)

Ten years ago, I came to TURN under some unusual circumstances. I worked for an agency that was getting ready to close with very little notice, leaving numerous individuals without services and employees without jobs. TURN was contacted by DSPD and asked if they could help, and to say TURN helped is an understatement. I remember thinking at the time that TURN must be a pretty amazing agency; it seemed like there wasn’t a question of if TURN would help. Instead, the question was how could TURN help.   That is why when people ask me why I do what I do, the answer is simple: it is because of the people. Every day I have the opportunity to support amazing clients who, on the worst of days, can bring a smile to my face and remind me of what really matters in life. Every day I have the opportunity to work with amazing co-workers who are kind, caring, supportive and amazingly dedicated. Every day I am in awe of the amazing staff who give so much of themselves to ensure the individuals they support have amazing lives and opportunities. I know I have used the word AMAZING numerous times, but I honestly can’t think of a better word to describe what I get to do every day; it is simply amazing.

Marilyn Beagley picMarilyn Beagley – Direct Support Professional, Wilmington Day Program (10 years)
I enjoy working for TURN. I enjoy working with our clients and seeing their friendly faces when they come to work. They are always happy! When they come in the morning, they make sure that they say hello to you, and when you miss work they always want to know why you are not there. I enjoy the different trainings that TURN offers. I really enjoy the accomplishments the clients make. I have learned a lot from the clients, particularly that the small things don’t matter. They enrich my life and I like to see the world through their eyes. I feel that this job has made me a better person. One experience that I had was when we had a gift drawing for the clients at Christmas. One client took the presents home and her mom put the presents under the tree, so when this client woke up and came down the stairs she looked at the Christmas tree and said “wow” for the first time!
Tammy Tanner picTammy Brinda Tanner – Program Coordinator, Wilmington Day Program (10 years)

I love helping people and find great joy in seeing others succeed. That being said, it is no surprise that I ended up becoming a coordinator for a Day Program that specializes in turning dreams into reality and enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. Working at TURN gives me daily opportunities to help enrich the lives of others and help them reach their goals. I had the privilege of being present when a 23 year old rode a bike for the first time and shared in the excitement of several individuals winning medals at the Special Olympics. These are memories I will always cherish. Each day brings new adventures and another opportunity to make a difference. I look forward to discovering where those adventures lead me and how many more lives I can touch!