Direct Support Professional Sharina Martin Honored as TLC Employee of the Year

The mother of children with special needs began working with Typical Life Corporation individuals four years ago and loves knowing that she’s making an impact.

Direct Support Professional Sharina Martin goes all out for the individuals she serves at Typical Life Corporation.

“I just love what I do,” she says. “It was just meant to be.”

In December, Sharina was named Employee of the Year for 2022 at TLC’s annual meeting. As she heard her name called, she was shocked.

“I felt so good, I was about to cry,” she says.

Serving At Home and At Work

As a mother to children with special needs, Sharina has long had a passion for helping others. She learned about TLC four years ago while working as a secretary at a similar organization that served children.

At first, the transition to working with adults at TLC posed challenges. However, the more time she spent with the individuals, the more she looked forward to each day.

Knowing that her children someday might need the same assistance that she provides to her individuals inspires her to always offer her best.

“I go all out for the individuals,” she says. “They live in these settings the rest of their life. Our goal is to make that the best for them. My job is to support them in whatever they want to do.”

‘I Can Still Hear’

Often heralded as a hard worker and team player, Sharina always looks for ways to help her individuals truly feel comfortable, both at home and in the community. 

Striving to connect with individuals on a personal level, Sharina treats those she serves just as she does anyone else. Her passion has led her to work on writing a book tentatively titled I can still hear, which underscores how individuals with special needs, especially those who are nonverbal, do hear comments and react to what is said.

“If you say they can’t do something, in their head they’re saying ‘I can do that.’ You have to be mindful of what you say,” she says.

Being a DSP has helped Sharina become more patient. Watching the individuals she serves at TLC grow, she has gained a new confidence that whatever lies ahead for her as a mom, she’ll have the ability and the community support to face it head-on.

“Sometimes God gives you these special kids or adults for a reason,” she says. “They give you life. They give you hope.”

Congratulations Sharina and thank you for a job well done.