Celebrating 20 years with Bell

Cindy Bowen was working as a cashier at Walmart when she noticed two customers who really seemed to be enjoying their shopping trip together. Engaging with them in conversation, she learned that they were a resident anda  direct care worker in one of Bell Socialization Services’ community living homes.

Inspired by her interaction, Cindy followed up by applying at Bell to see if there might be a good fit for her as a caregiver in the agency’s intellectual/developmental disability (IDD) services department. Twenty years later, the answer is a resounding Yes!

In her early days on the job site, as she tells it, Cindy was flabbergasted when her first introduction to one of the individuals living in the home felt less than welcoming. “She came over and looked at me and then spit right in my face,” Cindy said; “I wasn’t sure how to react and wondered what I’d gotten myself into.”

Thankfully, it all worked out and today Cindy has much different interactions with the individuals whose home she works in. She’s developed an understanding over the years by listening and watching and engaging with the individuals, tending to their needs and offering guidance as they take on basic household tasks like making their beds, putting away laundry, and clearing the table after a meal.

One individual in the home where Cindy has spent most of her 20 years with Bell is non-verbal yet quite expressive, Cindy says, “She can communicate what she wants. And seeing her big smile when she sees me is one of the best parts of my day.” It is rewarding, Cindy reflects, to experience the individuals learning and developing over the years.

In her 20 years career as a direct support professional, Cindy spent a few years at another house but is now back where she started. There have been challenges, not the least of which  have included the pandemic and constant understaffing, but she’s sticking it out, doing her best for the people she feels privileged to serve.

The IDD leadership team asked  Cindy to come in to the office last week to offer their congratulations and presented a pair of diamond earrings to Cindy as a token of appreciation for her 20 years of service to Bell.


The IDD Residential Services program is hiring! Perhaps you’ll join the team of dedicated direct support professionals like Cindy and find a rewarding human services career with Bell. Check out our CURRENT OPENINGS.