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"Who" Cares ? - Yesny Sandoval

Yesny Sandoval

yesnyIt wasn’t until more than halfway through the conversation that Yesny Sandoval casually remarked that “I guess you could say I saved a woman’s life.” The woman she was referring to lives in an Arc of Rockland residence where Ms. Sandoval works as a Direct Service Professional (DSP). The incident involved a woman who, as it turned out, had a brain tumor. Thanks to Yesny’s quick thinking and actions, the woman was properly diagnosed, surgery performed and her condition stabilized.

This modesty, competence and dedication to her job are among the reasons that her supervisor, Tonja Willis, says of Ms. Sandoval, “She is very reliable and works well with the women in her residence, and with her co-workers. She is a team player.”

Of course, working at an Arc of Rockland residence isn’t always about saving lives—at least, not in such dramatic ways. Instead, it is about day-to-day kindnesses and interactions that affect people in subtle ways which can ultimately make permanent differences in their lives. In Ms. Sandoval’s case, it means teaching the individuals in her care some of the skills of daily living, accompanying them on trips, ensuring that they are involved in various community activities and creating lasting bonds.

For example, Ms. Sandoval and two other staff members recently went with four women on a trip to Philadelphia. “One of the women has a brother there who can’t come to visit her, so we take her to see him. This time we dropped her off for the visit, then the rest of us went on a tour of Philadelphia , visiting the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and some other sights, before picking up the fourth woman from her brother’s and returning home.”

“The women in the house are my favorite thing about the job, their personalities—they’re just nice to be around,” she continues. “I enjoy doing things with them. They’re really helpful in the house, which makes it easy to come to the job. They’re also very knowledgeable, sometimes teaching me things that I didn’t know, like how to get to a specific place in the area or aspects of specific religious holidays.”

In fact, the woman whose life she saved has triggered a new learning opportunity for Ms. Sandoval. “She speaks Italian, which makes me want to learn the language, too. I started studying with a Rosetta Stone package.”

Before joining Arc of Rockland, the 28-year-old Ms. Sandoval, who has lived in Rockland County all her life, worked as a salesperson at JC Penny, honing her people skills. Her career change was motivated by the fact that “I knew that Arc was more one-on-one, offering the opportunity of helping people. I also heard it was involved in the community. I like that aspect.

“Arc is very flexible. They work with us, helping out if some type of accommodation is needed. And being involved with people with developmental disabilities is rewarding. When one of the women learns or accomplishes something new, it gives me a wonderful feeling.”

Thank You to ARC of Rockland’s 2017 Corporate Sponsors: