Trinity Services’ Woodkirk Named State DSP of the Year

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Valarie Woodkirk, a direct support professional (DSP) at Trinity Services has been named the ANCOR 2024 Illinois DSP of the Year.

Valarie joins 54 other honorees in the 2024 edition of ANCOR’s annual DSP of the Year Award program. This year’s award garnered a record-breaking 492 nominations.

“Valarie is an exceptional DSP, a compassionate and caring person who seeks to provide services to
those who struggle the most,” said Thane Dykstra, President and CEO of Trinity Services.

“Her incredible dedication and desire to go the extra mile for the people she supports makes Valarie an extraordinary member of the Trinity Services’ team. Valarie has been with Trinity since 2011. We cannot think of anyone who more clearly demonstrates the transformative power of community-based supports.
Valarie is very deserving of this special honor.”

When asked how she feels about receiving the ANCOR 2024 Illinois DSP of the Year award, Valarie said,
“I feel very fortunate. I’m just doing what I love to do every day.”

Since 2007, ANCOR’s annual DSP of the Year awards recognize outstanding direct support professionals
who deliver long-term services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
(I/DD).

The awards celebrate the important role DSPs play in ensuring people with disabilities have what they need to flourish and be included in the community.

“Each year, we are seeing more nominations, and more compelling nominations, for ANCOR’s DSP of the Year Awards,” said Diane Beastrom, president of ANCOR’s Board of Directors.

“Valarie’s nomination just blew us away. We cannot think of a more deserving professional in Illinois to honor. They truly exemplify what it means to see, appreciate, and value the people we are fortunate enough to support.”

Barbara Merrill, chief executive officer for ANCOR, added, “DSPs really and truly do it all, and it’s no
exaggeration to say this year’s class of honorees deliver transformative an sometimes life-saving
supports to the people who accept their services.”

The ANCOR awards ceremony will take place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Wednesday, April 10.

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