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Best Part: Direct Support Professional

Building Meaningful Relationships

In May 2022, Ashley Burris graduated with her Master of Arts in teaching degree from Kansas State University. She also holds an undergraduate degree from Sterling College in Business Ministry (2019).

Ashley joined Rainbows in June as a Camp Woodchuck direct support professional. “I truly just love the work Rainbows does and was excited to learn more before entering my first year teaching,” she said. “I was a camp counselor throughout my middle and high school years. In adulthood, I have been pursuing a career in teaching. Through student teaching, working as a sub, and receiving my master’s degree, I have learned so much about children and working with our campers.”

Ashley appreciates the flexibility she gets to fill the days with activities her clients love. She likes to start the mornings with some time outside. She and her clients will often take a walk, go to a park, or read on the porch. The afternoons are a great time to attend the library, make crafts, head to a splash pad, or practice baking a new treat at home.

“My favorite part of the job is building relationships with my clients,” said Ashley. “I love getting to earn their trust, learn what excites them, and spend time together. My biggest achievement here has been building a relationship with my client Britten. He was slow to trust me. Since the beginning of the summer, I have seen growth in his confidence and abilities in decision making, social situations, and speech.”

“Ashley is AMAZING!” said Tiffany Graf, Family Support Services Coordinator and Camp Director. “She loves her job, and you can see that in her daily performance. She is new to Rainbows this summer and she has done a great job with her clients. She can adapt to any behavior or situation. We are lucky to have her join our FSS team.”

“My favorite memory so far this summer is taking my client, Carlos, to a Rainbows’ event at a splash pad,” said Ashley. “It was great to see him reconnect with his friends as well as watch him have so much fun doing cartwheels and going down the slide.”

Ashley loves to read and bake. She’s already read 60 books in 2022! She is at home with her husband of almost 3 years, Roger, and their dog, Joey. Roger is a real estate photographer. They enjoy spending time with their families, finding new shows to watch, and serving at Vima Church.