ANCOR Announces 2017 DSP State Winners

By Sunrise Group on May 4, 2017

Since 2007, The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) has recognized Direct Support Professionals who personify the values of ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign. Nominees are judged on their success in helping people with disabilities build social networks, engage in substantive community participation and for advocating for the people they serve.

This year, ANCOR received 245 nominations from 41 states and the District of Columbia. It's an honor to announce that two members of the Sunrise team were selected as 2017 ANCOR State Direct Support Professional Award Recipients. Congratulations to Alabama award winner Ms. Vernita Manning of Resources for Independence and Florida award winner Ms. Debbie Cowan of Sunrise Community of Central Florida.


Vernita Manning personifies what compassion and dedication is all about in the direct support profession. For six years, Vernita has built meaningful relationships with each person she supports and their respective families. Her positive attitude, affectionate laugh and never-ending patience bring an ease to the individuals she supports as they embark on new learning opportunities. Vernita's team spirit is evident as she encourages and supports her co-workers to be the best they can be. Vernita Manning truly personifies the Sunrise mission and values.



Debbie Cowan is a Direct Care Professional and takes great pride in her position. During her twelve years with Sunrise, Debbie has consistently demonstrated excellence in all that she does. She is compassionate and dedicated to the individuals she serves. Debbie plays a important role in the local Aktion club and was recognized by the Aktion club for excellence in service. She encourages self-advocacy by providing the people she supports a platform to voice their needs, wishes and desires. She is an outstanding employee and just as importantly, she is a mentor, leader and friend to everyone. Debbie is well known and respected in Lakeland Operations and always goes above and beyond One of the people Debbie supports said it best..."Debbie is special to me, she is my friend and I love her."


Congratulations to our Sunrise shining stars!