What’s Your Story? Samantha Dunlap

What's your story

I have been a Intervention Specialist for seven years. I live in The Plains with my husband Kris Dunlap and we both have been working for the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities for five years. We are currently expecting our first child in March 2016 (this weekend) and enjoy being outside with our dogs, kayaking, watching movies and checking out all the great spots around Athens!
I have been teaching at Beacon School for six years now in the Young Adult room and I LOVE my job. I work with eight amazing students ranging in all abilities and from the ages of sixteen to twenty. I also have an amazing team of adults that I could not be successful without, my teaching assistant and three paraprofessionals. My students stay in my class until they are twenty-one and then they graduate from Beacon and move onto day habilitation programs in the community or supported employment opportunities. My job is to educate my students in functional life skills that they can use at home, school and in their communities to be more independent as young adults. I teach them to act socially appropriate like their typical peers, how to communicate in their own unique way and how to advocate for what they want to do with their life after graduation.
What I enjoy most about working for the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities is working with the clients and other employees. We have an incredible team of passionate, hardworking individuals that go above and beyond for our clients on a daily basis. We are all open minded when it comes to seeing what our clients are capable of, we figure out what works best for each individual and no one person is afraid to step up and advocate for what our clients need. I also really enjoy working with the clients we serve. I wake up each morning loving my students like they are my own children and I enjoy seeing what they can achieve each day. I also enjoy working alongside their amazing attitudes, they make me laugh, they tell me jokes and their willingness to stay happy and optimistic no matter what life throws at them continues to impress me every day!
What I want people to know about the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities is that we are an amazing organization that has so much to offer our community. We serve a population that not many people know much about, not many people interact with on a daily basis and we need to change that image. Our organization has so many opportunities for those with and without disabilities, we want our clients in the community alongside their peers and we want to educate our community on how to interact with this population so that everyone can be successful working and playing together!