The Aegis
Harford County

The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region celebrates its employees’ role during Direct Support Professionals Week

Johnnie Townsend started his career with The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region as a direct support professional in 2003. He has worked one-on-one with individuals and in group settings during his tenure.

Townsend, a program manager with the organization, said he has formed close friendships with the individuals he supports and that the value he has gained from his work is priceless.


“The individuals I work with teach me something every day, from patience, to how to appreciate the little things” Townsend said in a statement. “Seeing their joy does it for me.”

Townsend is one of nearly 250 employees The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region is honoring for their role in empowering individuals to reach their full potential during national Direct Support Professionals Week this week.


Direct support professionals are the staff who support people with disabilities. They take on roles such as: teacher, advocate, resource provider, ambassador, mentor and companion.

“The Arc NCR’s direct support professionals make a significant difference in the lives of people with differing abilities by tailoring the needed support to each individual’s needs,” said Shawn Kros, the Arc NCR chief executive officer.

Since 1953, the Arc Northern Chesapeake Region has helped people with differing abilities to build better lives one person at a time. The Arc NCR supports individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities from birth through the end of life.

Currently, the Arc NCR is hiring more direct support professionals. The Arc NCR offers qualified applicants an opportunity to work flexible schedules, gain crucial work experience and earn tuition reimbursement. To apply, visit

The Arc NCR Program Manager Johnnie Townsend, left, and The Arc NCR Chief Executive Officer Shawn Kros, right.