After going to school for psychology, Hydia Giddens knew she wanted to go into social services to spend her career helping others. However, when she first joined Eden Autism she didn’t know that the people she was supporting would also help her.
“Once I come here, I start to interact with the participants, and it puts a smile on my face,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what I’m going through outside of work. The participants put me in a space to enjoy myself while I’m here.”
Hydia has grown tremendously since joining Eden as a Direct Support Professional in 2019. She has learned new skills and formed strong bonds with her colleagues and the individuals they support. Earlier this month, she received a promotion to Lead DSP of Clayton Center.
“I love what I do,” she said, “It gives me a sense of pride, and it’s taught me a lot of things about myself and others that I probably wouldn’t encounter if I were in a different field of work.”
Her work ethic, compassion, and attention to detail are evident to all who work with her. “Hydia has always stood out to me as a natural leader,” said Bridgette Connolly, Director of Day and Employment Services. “She has built a great rapport with many of our participants by learning their interests and keeping them engaged. I’m excited to see her grow in her new role and the ideas she will bring to Clayton Center.”
Whether Hydia is organizing activities in the center or taking groups out on community outings, she enjoys working with the individuals in the adult program. “They’re all unique in their own little way,” she said. “They all have their own personalities, and they’re very interesting. I have grown to love all of them and build trust with them.”
Hydia stressed that she is far from the only employee who has a strong relationship with the men and women at Eden. She is proud to work alongside her colleagues to ensure every individual at Eden is living an engaged and fulfilling life.
“Some of us work the day and residential programs, so we spend a lot of time with our guys,” she said. “We are very dedicated to their growth, whether it is their job or the little activities we do with them. We are 100% for our guys.”