In the bustling world of adult services, there are individuals whose commitment and passion shine brightly, illuminating the lives of those they serve. Deneen Smith-Frazier stands tall among them, a remarkable adult services professional whose journey embodies dedication, growth, and an unwavering commitment to creating learning moments and joyful experiences for clients.

Deneen’s ascent through the Independence360 ranks is a testament to her work ethic and leadership qualities. From her beginnings as a Direct Support Professional, she has traveled an inspiring path, culminating in her current roles as a Behavior Specialist, Safety Care Trainer, Respite and Fun and Games Coordinator and Unit Supervisor. Each promotion speaks volumes about her capabilities and the profound impact she has had on the lives of those around her.

In her role as Direct Support Professional, Deneen’s dedication and creativity resulted in remarkable progress for adults in the program, showcasing her skills in tailoring programs to meet their unique needs and finding ways to engage clients in activities that promoted their development and independence in the areas of life skills, social skills and personal development. As a unit supervisor she now guides new staff in finding their strengths and engaging even the most resistant clients in meaningful activities. “I believe every individual has the ability to be productive and lead a purposeful life. You just have to really pay attention to what they are communicating and be creative about how you present learning opportunities.” says Deneen.

However, it’s not just her professional accolades that define Deneen’s legacy; it’s her role as the heart and soul of the “Fun and Games Nights” program that truly sets her apart. As the Coordinator of these beloved monthly events, Deneen coordinates evenings filled with laughter, camaraderie and unforgettable memories for the 18 and over students, clients and alumni.

These events include dinner, basketball and sports, video gaming and karaoke, and the group monthly birthday celebration. She has successfully grown this program to an average of 80-100 attendees a month. She brings the same enthusiasm and creativity to one and two night respites. “Being able to give the clients and alumni an opportunity to hang out with their peers, just having fun and being themselves, is so rewarding. Parents and caretakers also get a break which is a bonus!” Deenen says.

What truly sets Deneen apart is her unwavering commitment to going above and beyond the call of duty. Despite her demanding schedule, she devotes countless hours outside of her program hours to support clients, families and others in times of need and crisis. Her passion for her work and the well-being of those she serves shines through in every aspect of her role, inspiring admiration and respect from all who have the privilege of knowing her. Her journey from Direct Support Professional to revered leader is not just a testament to her own resilience and determination but a reminder of the transformative power of compassion and dedication.