Discover all the different careers Opportunity Village has to offer with this series of in-depth profession overviews. 

Meet Marissa D., Lead Activities Coordinator for PRIDE 

In this series of "Day in the Life of ____", we will be highlighting the various professions Opportunity Village has to offer. This feature is focused on the role of Lead Activities Coordinator for PRIDE.

What led you to OV/your current position? 

Before OV, most of my time was spent volunteering with organizations in central Pennsylvania. I attended Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA. During my sophomore year, I joined APO – a service fraternity that focuses on community engagement. My college years were spent surrounded by kindhearted people who aimed to support community members of all ages, and species. After graduation (2018) my family relocated from New York to Las Vegas. I had visited Opportunity Village years prior and remembered being won over by the positivity and energy of the individuals served. I applied to a few places, but OV was at the top of my list. My career began in August 2018 in the Enable Program, Englestad campus. Enable offered nearly 3 years of happiness and perspective I couldn’t have gained anywhere else. The individuals served taught me many things – how to think outside the box for engagement, varying methods of communication, how to connect with others & patience to name a few. Those years were also spent working with many people who have inspired me to work hard and instilled the value of being part of a team. Currently, I’m working to transfer what I've learned to work in PRIDE. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts at 6am! The first hour in PRIDE is quiet. Individuals usually start arriving at approximately 6:35am, but the pace doesn’t pick up until 7:30am. During that time, I ensure that the necessary forms are posted throughout the room and get as much computer work done as possible. At 7:30am I hold a huddle to prepare staff for the day by sharing a schedule of activities / tasks and inform them of any messages from management. From 7:30am – 12:00pm all of us in PRIDE are engaging individuals served in group & individual activities while ensuring their personal care needs are met. Individuals served begin going home at noon. This is when I attend to emails and complete any additional paperwork for program until 2pm.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

The most exciting part is working with the clients! It may sound cheesy, but I smile most while at work. Each day is an adventure – one day is different from the next, and opportunities to be creative are always present. As direct care staff, we constantly find new ways to engage the individuals served. It’s an opportunity to dig deeper, and potentially learn things others are unaware of (interests, personality traits). When a person you’re working with trusts, and chooses to communicate with you, it’s remarkably rewarding. Additionally, when you’re there to witness a person served develop a skill or try something new, it’s exhilarating. 

Who inspires you?

There are many people who inspire me. The ones who inspire my determination to do well at OV are my mom, my uncle, and my late papa (grandfather). My mom is a nurse – she’s spent years caring for patients and being the glue of our family. Although her job is different from mine, I want to carry on her strength and perseverance. She’s a problem solver, and she presses on no matter the challenges / obstacles that lie ahead. My uncle has always been my support system & mentor with education and career endeavors. He’s been very successful in the community and inspired my interest in working within the nonprofit sector. I’ve realized success in finding a career that brings joy. However, I hope to carry on his determination and ability to bring awareness to others about important causes. One of my life goals has been, and continues to be, to make my papa proud. He was always doing good for his family & friends, neighbors, and even strangers. He brought joy to everyone he met. My admiration for my papa is why the OV pillar, Stewardship, resonates with me. He made the choice to do good for others every chance he could. As an OV employee, I’m given that same choice and it drives me to do my best every day.     

What is your favorite thing to do when you're not working? 

·    When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family & best friend. Additionally, I love spending time in the mountains, and traveling – my goal is to visit all 50 states.  


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