Read our Q&A with Rhiannon Moccio, Opportunity Village's new QIDP Residental Services Manager.
What is your job title?
- Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional (QIDP) Residental Services Manager
What led you to Opportunity Village/ your current position?
- I'm Rhiannon Moccio born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, then moved up north to Reno to attend the University of Nevada. I stayed there for 9 years and it was really hard being so far away from my family, especially my sister who is an OV participant, Gianna. We are a very close family so being away that long was rough. I didn’t know what I wanted to do once I graduated until a project came up in a class my junior year to create a portfolio for our "dream job." I went to the office hours of my professor and told her that I really didn’t know how to approach the project because I hadn’t found my "dream job" yet. She said, "Yes you do; you have spent all semester talking about disability services, how important your sister is, and how much she has grown with Opportunity Village. Start there, then see where it goes." So I did! It was in that moment not only did I know OV was my end goal, I knew my career path. My senior year I interned at High Sierra Industries, fell in love with disability services and got a job there as a Job Developer a month after I graduated. A year later got promoted to Residential Case Management and the rest is history; it was home to me! (no pun intended haha) I stayed in that position for a little over 3 years and learned all I could about residential services. Fast forward to about a year ago, I saw the first advertisement for Betty's Village and knew that was where I needed to be. It was an absolute dream come true; I could do what I love and finally come back to Las Vegas to be with my family. I applied, got the job, and moved home ASAP. I am so thankful and honored to be a part of the OV family and could not be more excited about this project and all the lives that will benefit from it-- including my own.
What's the most exciting part of your job?
- The most exciting part of my job is sharing resources with families and encouraging people with disabilities to push themselves into being more independent and try new things. I saw how hard it was for my mom to locate services and resources for my sister while we were growing up and I wanted to fill that gap for other families when I started my career. I love being able to tell people that they have options and there are no limits to what people are capable of accomplishing. Giving people the tools to advocate for themselves genuinely makes my heart smile. In conjunction with that, seeing people with disabilities and their loved ones interested in taking that scary step towards independence, in any capacity, makes me even more excited. I feel that growth happens when you push yourself to try new things and being able to be a support system for people during that process means more to me than I can explain. Every one of us deserves to live the life we want to and I believe Betty’s Village will provide the safest space for people to learn and grow; I am so honored to be a part of this project.
Who inspires you?
- If you couldn’t tell already, I’m extremely inspired by my sister. If it wasn’t for her I don’t know where I would be in the world and I truly owe all of my success thus far in this field, to her. Even though I’m the older sister, Gianna teaches me more than I could ever teach her. Being the older sister, one would think that she would ride my coattails through life but I must say it really has been the other way around. No matter what, I grew up known as “Gianna’s sister” because wherever she is she takes the spotlight and leaves such a lasting impression on everyone she meets. She is smart, witty, kind, caring and so much fun to be around. All I do I do for her and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is your favorite thing to do when you're not working?
- I didn’t have a “hobby” for a long time, however at the beginning of quarantine I started hoop embroidery and I love it! It’s so fun learning new embroidery stitches and creating new pieces that force me to be creative and think outside of the box. Not to mention, they make great gifts so if I’m not working, I’m probably at home stitching while watching Game Show Network with my friends and family.