AHRC New York City is proud to congratulate Sofya Olkhovskaya and Elizabeth Massalee, who each provide direct support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through our organization. Sofya and Elizabeth received Direct Support Professional Awards of Excellence from the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies, (NYSACRA) during its November 15th Conference.
Sofya Olkhovskaya, Senior Job Coach, Employment and Business Services
Sofya Olkhovskaya began working at AHRC NYC’s Employment and Business Services in 2013 as a Brooklyn-based Substitute Job Coach. She was soon promoted to a full-time position as an Employment Skills Coordinator, where she assisted workers with disabilities at their job sites. Two years later, Sofya was promoted once again to the position of Senior Job Coach. Her current assignments include supporting people as they prepare for employment, including preparation for job interviews.
Sofya O, as her colleagues often call her, is a caring woman who always treats people with a personal touch, helping them to be successful in their jobs. She supports people as they learn new job responsibilities, teaches them how to dress for success, and how to be professional while at work. Most importantly, Sofya teaches people how to believe in themselves and aim for their dreams.
Elizabeth Massalee, Residential Habilitation Counselor, Home Care
Elizabeth Massalee has been providing support to people who live in their own homes for many years. Supporting people to live community-based lives takes a blend of knowledge, skills and values. Elizabeth exhibits these each and every day, assisting people to lead self-determined lives, and learning about their chosen goals. Without judgment or pressure, she guides people to be empowered and to make informed choices.
She is also a valued team member, never hesitating to reach out to Circles of Support when needed, or to ask questions of other professionals when she feels it will help someone to reach their goal of a good life. Because of Elizabeth’s professional conduct and skills, the people she supports are valued members of their communities and neighborhoods. Her work has been vital support and her determination never waivers.
Professionals like Sofya and Elizabeth are critical to AHRC NYC’s mission. to support people in the way they choose to live their lives. Their passion and dedication have changed many lives for the better, and we are grateful for their work.