10 Questions With Direct Support Professional Kapri Gilchrist

In the latest installment of our “10 questions with…” series, we spoke with Kapri Gilchrist. Kapri has been a Direct Support Professional at Eden for two and a half years. She currently works at the Schalks Crossing Day Program. 

What is a typical day like for you as a DSP?

Honestly, there is no such thing as a typical day here. You never know what to expect when you walk in. It’s all based on the participants and how their morning got started, how they are feeling that day. 

Direct Support Professional Kapri Gilchrist

Direct Support Professional Kapri Gilchrist

What are some of your favorite activities to do with the participants?

Arts and crafts! It’s my favorite because, personally, I express my feelings through art. It’s how I get my emotions out, so I try to engage with the participants who like art to help them. It’s a stress reliever for everyone. 

Why did you choose this profession?

I became a DSP because I just like helping people who may not be able to use their voice. I try to help them become more engaged and have some sense of independence throughout their life. It makes a positive impact on them and within myself as well. 

How does it feel knowing you’re making a positive impact?

It just makes me feel good to help somebody who may not be able to do everything for themselves. Some guys aren’t verbal, so they can’t say what they want. It’s all about their body language and being able to understand their body language to know when they are feeling frustrated, happy, sad, overwhelmed, and then help them.

What do you enjoy doing most in your time off?

Sleeping, I am so tired. I also like to go bowling or skating or to a Korean all-you-can-eat buffet. 

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Salmon Alfredo because I like pasta and salmon is my favorite fish. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

The Maldives because it looks so pretty on social media. The water is just so blue and I feel like I could just relax and be there for a long time and be at peace.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned about yourself since you started working at Eden?

My patience level. I was easily annoyed with loud noises, and I feel like when I came here there were a lot of participants who communicated through sounds. So I have grown to allow myself to accept things like that, that I don’t like, and I don’t get frustrated with it at all anymore, it has become normal to me.

What do you want people to know about the individuals you support at Eden?

I would like people to know their disabilities don’t define them. They’re as equal to us as any human being. A lot of the guys are smarter than people might first think and they can do so much. 

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Going home at the end of the day and being excited for the next day to come. There are participants who can’t wait to come to the day program. They are just so excited to come in and do an activity. It has a positive impact all around because you give them something to look forward to and it gives you something to look forward to the next day as well.