Terrance Harris wasn’t looking for a career path, but he describes lovely stories about individuals and their daily lives told to him by his mother who was a teacher at Opengate. Through his mother’s stories he found his passion to make a positive impact on the lives of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Terrance began his career at Opengate in the late 1980’s. He started as a Direct Support Professional working with individuals in the workshop areas and in residences where he administered the food service program. This experience led him to job coaching with individuals, enhancing their skills, and securing positions for several at IBM. Subsequently, the position of Assistant Manager at Frankel House became available, he applied and was promoted to that location.
Another inspiration for Terrance was the late Steve Queenan, a long-term and beloved staff member of Opengate. He reports that Steve was the impetus behind pursuing his degree in social work and continuing to advance in his career choice.
Currently, in the position of Director of Residential Services, Terrance says that his essential goals are ensuring policies and procedures are followed and providing a safe environment for all of the individuals so they may live fulfilling lives. He also emphasizes the importance of a well trained staff that are greatly appreciated for the jobs they perform.
After living in New York City for several years, Terrance is now enjoying the quiet pace of the suburbs where he moved in 2015. He takes pleasure relaxing on his deck, walking nature trails, and watching hummingbirds. He’s happy for the change in scenery and the contrast to living the city life on concrete.
Terrance Harris quote to live by: “Work hard – Have fun – Make a difference!”