The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut awarded The Arc Eastern Connecticut $10,000 through an anonymous, donor-advised fund to help support a new Social Equity program for DSPs (direct support professionals). “This is a wonderful opportunity to help our team members, who walk every day in partnership with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Denisse Mateo, The Arc’s Chief Talent Officer. “Many employees spend their days supporting others but rarely stop to consider the importance of taking care of themselves. We want to honor them for their service and help them realize their career and personal goals.” The Social Equity program, rooted in The Arc ECT’s current Strategic Plan, is aimed at helping those who help people with IDD to thrive, and ensures that team members of The Arc Eastern Connecticut also thrive. The program involves a partnership with Berkshire Bank, which will provide financial literacy workshops to all members of The Arc ECT team at no charge. Additional workshops on self-care, professional growth, and health and wellness workshops are in process via Uplift Community Services. “It’s important for this program to mean something specific and concrete to our team members,” stressed Mateo. “Ability supports is a demanding field, and we want people to be able to succeed and thrive here. Thanks to the Community Foundation, team members will be able to share their own perceived inequities and challenges, and in doing so will receive meaningful and pertinent life-enhancement tools on a wide range of topics.” To learn more about The Arc Eastern Connecticut and its programs throughout the region, please visit TheArcECT.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.