Jane Webb Bendolph has been working at VOA Southeast (VOA SE) for 37 years. She began working at VOA SE after two neighborhood friends growing up had positive career experiences there. She jokes that after 37 years she’s outlasted her two friends. She loves people and enjoys serving the VOA SE region in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama. Her role as staff development trainer is to train and onboard new team members, making sure they are certified in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and CPI (crisis prevention intervention) as well as complete e-learning modules. She works with direct support professionals (DSP) and qualified development disability professionals, guiding them through the onboarding process and ensuring they are adequately trained in state-required topics prior to serving the community.
Bendolph serves as a DSP herself and helps those with disabilities participate in daily living activities, encouraging community inclusion. Bendolph’s goal is to support people with disabilities in all aspects of their lives, helping them to be as independent as possible. “We don’t segregate people with disabilities from others. We want them to go to church and be friends with people who don’t have disabilities and make them feel as welcome as possible.” Examples of activities include going to parties, shopping, learning how to do laundry or using a smart tablet.
One of the most powerful testimonies Bendolph experienced at VOA SE was after Hurricane Katrina. She went to Texas where individuals displaced by destroyed group homes in New Orleans came for shelter and relieved affiliate staff whose homes had also been damaged. What stood out to her most was how valued and appreciated the staff was for caring for the people. She will never forget the lasting impression that experience had on her.
The best part of working for VOA SE is the ministry of serving others, according to Bendolph. “VOA is a wonderful place to work. We have many different programs to help veterans, those with disabilities and we provide habilitation services for those who struggle with drugs and alcohol.” If Bendolph had anything to say to those who are interested in working with VOA SE, it would be, “if you like helping others, VOA is the place to come!” Working at VOA SE is an opportunity to serve and make a difference in the lives of those in your own backyard.