Member Spotlight: Tracie Funderburke, SPIN, Program Specialist
For more than 20 years, Tracie has realized that providing 24/7 care at home for men and women who are intellectually challenged is a marathon, not a sprint. As a Program Specialist at SPIN, she finds joy in every step taken on the path to a fulfilling life, celebrating the small steps that matter such as learning to write a list, make an appointment on a calendar, or putting a plate in the sink. Transitions count and she has developed relationships with the residents she supports. Now more than ever, these relationships help maintain a calm, productive environment and maintain her ability to work effectively to provide services for residents to achieve their goals. She aims to infuse virtual interactions with humor and warmth, even in the era of “zooming”.
Her heart is in her work as a Direct Support Professional and she freely admits it is not a job for everyone. Tracie hopes more people will understand the challenges faced by people with autism. The COVID pandemic made it even more difficult to provide the support they need with the added difficulties of PPE shortages and introducing new layers of protection for both staff and consumers; she felt her residents were disrespected. Tracie sums up her two decades of dedication to helping people by saying “it’s very simple. I want to make them comfortable; they just want the lives you and I have.”