ST. ALBANS — Mindy Neal has been named SKILLS Inc.’s Direct Support Professional of the Year for 2023.

Direct support professionals work with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, supporting them to build skills for daily living, and engage in the community, grow in independence, and reach their full potential.

Mindy Neal Submitted photo

“Mindy goes above and beyond every single day. She is dedicated to the people she supports, is kind and caring to co-workers, and willing to do anything she can to make everyone’s day run more smoothly. We are fortunate to have a DSP of Mindy’s caliber at SKILLS!” said Lori Lefferts, director of human resources at SKILLS, in a news release from the nonprofit organization.

Neal has been with SKILLS for 12 years. During this time she has worked across the organization’s facilities and on many different shifts, giving her a comprehensive understanding of SKILLS that she has used to inform recommendations about how to make the organization the best it can be. Neal steps up regularly to accompany individuals on out-of-state trips, vacation excursions, and medical appointments.

The announcement of Neal as the SKILLS DSP of the Year comes as SKILLS prepares to join in recognition of Direct Support Professional Appreciation Week, Sept. 10-16. On Monday, members of the SKILLS leadership team will be participating in a statewide effort to enhance awareness and show appreciation for all DSPs by standing at several busy intersections with sandwich boards.