Lending his voice to a new cause

Published Feb 16, 2018 at 12:00pm

“Alright! You’re hanging out with Dana Crouse here on the Moose,” a phrase that people in the North County set their watch to during Dana’s 25-year career as a disc jockey on WBRV-FM, The Moose radio station in Lowville.

A family decision to move to Rome meant signing off for the last time and searching for a new career that eventually led him to The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter.

“I had experiences with people who have a disability through my work in radio and meeting people at remote broadcasts, but the thought of actually ‘doing’ the work scared me a bit,” says Crouse. “Then I got here, and I found out the people we serve are just people like you and me, and I had nothing to fear at all.” 

Crouse is a day habilitation specialist at The Arc Day Habilitation program at Gore Road. There he takes people on outings, works on skill development, and mentors the people served by The Arc.

For Crouse, being able to help educate the community on what people with developmental disabilities is essential.

“Some misconceptions are that people we support are ‘different’ or ‘difficult’ and that’s not the case. Are they people with special needs, yes, but if you are willing to open your heart and mind, then a career at The Arc can be a life-changing thing like it has been for me.” 

The Arc is hiring in Lewis and Oneida counties.

Visit www.thearcolc.org to see their redesigned recruitment page with an application that jump starts the employment process in just 10 questions. Apply online or call Kelsey Romano, 315-272-1538.

It’s been a little over a year since Crouse took the first step of applying to work at The Arc. Crouse points out that the paid training he received helped him start his career with confidence, though he’s learned so much from his co-workers, who have welcomed him with open arms. It’s a different kind of satisfaction from the successes he enjoyed during a storied career in radio that Crouse explains is the reason he believes more people should consider a career at The Arc. “I cannot stress enough how fulfilling this job is! Every single day I get to make a real difference in someone’s life, and they do the same for me.” 

It’s a long way from the airwaves to become a direct support professional, and Crouse will always have fond memories of his time working in radio. Still, this is a change he’s happy to have made.

“With respect to my years on the radio, this is the best job I’ve ever had!”