Houston, 27, from Kennebec County, holds two positions as a Family Youth Counselor and also a DSP. He works with children and adults.
Honestly, I never thought I’d be in this field. I was doing construction and working convenience store jobs before this. But people told me I’m good with kids and I should apply to be a DSP. As soon as I applied, they hired me, and I loved it. I do this for the kids. I want to make sure they have a good life at the end of the day.
It is a very stressful job at times. It can get chaotic. It can get crazy, but if you go in with the right mindset that you’re going to have fun that day and get your job done, too, everything can go to plan. I had one client who would not talk to me. It took about two weeks before this person even opened up to me, and as I found out more pieces of their backstory.*They got used to me and some other staff. They said: ‘You guys have been there for me through everything. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I leave here.’ That felt really big for me.
You have to be willing to adapt to any situation. This is a big one–you have to put your work aside when you go home. Because if you can’t do that, it’s going to severely affect your home life. At the end of the day, you’re not here for the paycheck–you’re here for the kids and the adults.
*Pronoun changed to plural to protect the anonymity of the client.