Employee of the Month – December 2023
January 1, 2024
Suzanne Teska was selected as Homeward Bound’s December Employee of the Month for her excellent care for the people she supports!
Several Operations Administrators and Directors told us that Suzanne cares deeply for the people she serves and is very person-centered. She knows the people well, their personal preferences and their needs. You never see Suzanne sitting down! She is very involved with the individuals throughout the day and is always willing to stay late when needed. She knows her job very well and doesn’t need to be given directions. Suzanne is extremely dedicated to the people she supports and is very reliable in attendance, even when she had car issues, she found a way to work!
Suzanne says the most rewarding part of working at Homeward Bound is the relationships she has developed with the people she works with. “The people I work with provide me a lot of joy!” She says working with them regularly you can see how much they really do understand things. They make her happy and smile. She enjoys the everyday experiences with them, they come to be part of the family. Years ago, they went on camping trips and other outings up north; Suzanne has some great memories of those things. She said, “It’s fun to see them grow up and get strong and develop”. The relationships she has developed with staff also bring her a lot of joy. Suzanne’s favorite things to do with the people she supports is involving them in different things during the day, spending time and visiting with them, and trying to find things they like to do.
Suzanne joined Homeward Bound in 1975! She is the longest-term employee at Homeward Bound (49 years!). She told us she got into the disability services industry because growing up she was always taking care of family members who had health problems. She heard about Homeward Bound while she was working a live-in job somewhere else and has been here ever since. She first started working at a temporary site, but then moved to the 64-bed New Hope site. After New Hope closed, Suzanne worked at the 32-bed Brooklyn Park ICF until January 2024 when the Brooklyn Park facility closed. Suzanne now serves 4 people at Homeward Bound’s new Sugarloaf home in Brooklyn Park.
When asked if she has any advice for other DSP’s or someone new to the field, Suzanne said, “try to include the people in your everyday routine. Include them, talk to them, spend time with them. The more time you spend with them you can see what they like and don’t like. The important thing is spending 1:1 time with them and visiting, having human contact and touch, and involving them, so that they feel important. You may be the only human contact some of the people have because some don’t have family, and some don’t even go to day program anymore since COVID.
Thank you, Suzanne!
Suzanne received a $1000 bonus and is a candidate for the 2023 Employee of the Year Award!
Homeward Bound’s Employee of the Month Program started in January 2023 by popular demand from staff who shared ideas and concerns with HBI management at town hall meetings in Fall 2022. The selection process is done via blind voting to ensure that the winner is selected only for the exceptional life-enriching care they provide to people.