Our DSP this week is Basra. She started her career with Living Well at our 75th house, and a few months ago switched over to Lyndale. In March she celebrated two years with the company, and we are delighted to have her on the team.

Basra loves to get out and do fun things, and equally enjoys slow afternoons at the house. Stacy Quackenbush, Program Manager, says, “Basra is someone who always wants to make the people served have a better day. She is always taking an interest in their day and finding ways to connect with the people. Basra is a person who I know as a manager will always make sure the people are having the best time regardless of if they are at home or out in the community.”

Basra considers her job at Living Well a bit of a respite from her stressful day job that keeps her on the phone all day tucked away from people. She adores the one-on-one communication at the home and appreciates the human interaction of the job. Basra enjoys the connections she has made with the people she supports and is happy when she gets to work, which together make her feel fulfilled.

Basra, we appreciate your energy and are thankful for the amazing relationships you have built here at Living Well. Thank you for making a career out of caring.




Number of years/months with Living Well: 2 years 3 months

Hobbies/Interests: I love traveling and go home to Kenya whenever I accrue enough vacation. I also enjoy travelling in the US. I look at the weather and beaches, see if family or friends live in the cities, and if they have sightseeing places I can visit. SanDiego is a favorite so far.

Education: I went to school in Kenya and have a degree in social work.

Job Experience/History: I have worked for Hennepin County for the last 19 years as a Child Support Officer. It can be stressful, but somebody must do the job. And I have been with Living Well for two years now.

Favorite part of the job: The people. I love and have built relationships with them. I have a bond with them and feel like I am doing something that is good. It makes me feel satisfied at the end of the day, like I helped somebody and was there for them. I love the help that I am giving them here, and like getting to know how it is on the other side of disability. To appreciate what you have every day, is important—because things happen. If you end up in need, how do you want to be treated. Treat people with respect. Be kind. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind and helpful. It is satisfying work.

Favorite or craziest work story: Every day is interesting, and things can happen very quickly. It takes time to get to know people and their strengths and struggles. I have learned to be patient and how to treat everyone differently, not to expect them to be the same. It is important to show them that you are listening, and even if they mess up, to tell them it is ok, that we all make mistakes. It takes time for them to trust and know you, especially during personal care needs. And it is important to me that they feel supported.

What is your motivation for coming to work: I look forward to coming here, my day job is over the phone, and I don’t get to see anyone. When you come here you are having a conversation, going to a movie, doing life with them. I look forward to the human-to-human contact. I joke around with the people here, and it is fulfilling. It feels like I am doing something good for all of us.

What made you apply: My friend worked here at the time and referred me. And that is how I started.

What makes you stay: The people we serve. It is that simple.

What would you tell people interested in joining the team: It is a good company to work for, which is why I am still here. I have not seen anything negative here, a few bumps along the way, but they took care of it. They listen to employees and appreciate the staff and their input, they find solutions.

When not at work what do you like to do for fun: I love to read. My favorite writer is Sydney Sheldon, a mystery writer. I have read every book of his. Every night before bed for at least an hour I read, it is a calming mechanism.

Do you volunteer in your community or school: I volunteered more when my son was younger, but he is almost 25 now, and I am always working. On religious holidays I will volunteer when possible. And for my day job we make blankets for the homeless and pack food for the food banks.





Want to nominate a DSP? Please email jessica.maurer@livingwell.org to nominate a Living Well DSP. Special thanks to Miles and Cheri Cohen for their support of DSP of Week. Want to join them in underwriting our DSP Shoutout Program? Please contact Jamee Yung for sponsorship opportunities.