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A journey of passion and growth: Ndinda’s scholarship story

Ndinda Spada’s journey at Summer House, Wesley Palms’ memory care neighborhood, began in 2014, marking the start of her dedicated service to older adults. With 19 years of experience in various roles, her commitment to the well-being of Summer House residents shines through her educational pursuits, which have been supported in part by scholarships through the Front Porch Communities Foundation.

Ndinda graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Alliant International University and a Master’s in Gerontology from Capella University. She pursued additional certifications, including Geriatric Care Management from Kaplan University.

As an Activities and Memory Care Specialist, Ndinda focuses on enriching the lives of older adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia, supporting both them and their families. Passionate about her work, Ndinda sought to deepen her understanding and expertise. She obtained certifications in Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE) Administration and as an Activity Director. She’s also a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) and Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer (ADDCT).

Ndinda’s educational accomplishments have been furthered by the Wesley Palms Scholarship Fund through the Front Porch Communities Foundation. This fund, supported primarily by Wesley Palms residents, exemplifies Front Porch’s commitment to empowering staff members like Ndinda to pursue their educational and professional aspirations, ultimately enhancing the quality of care for residents across their communities.

“The Employee Scholarship Fund was one of the reasons I chose to move to Wesley Palms,” shared resident Antje Oliver. “When I first visited the community, I heard that quite a few employees had been with Wesley Palms for many years and had the opportunity to grow in their own education because of the Employee Scholarship Program. I realized that Front Porch sees, listens and encourages that growth in their staff — and wanted to be a part of it.”

Wesley Palms shares Ndinda’s commitment to excellence, providing an environment that encourages staff to embody Front Porch Core Values. “I appreciate that my colleagues and Wesley Palms leadership prioritize top-notch care for residents with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, fostering a culture of continuous improvement,” Ndinda shared.

For Ndinda, receiving a scholarship from Wesley Palms has been a transformative experience. “The process has been straightforward and equitable, with no barriers to access,” she said. “The accountability aspect, where funds are reimbursed upon completion, serves as a motivating factor, ensuring a commitment to growth. Knowing that any unused funds contribute to other worthy causes adds to the sense of purpose.”

“Ndinda has utilized the scholarship fund to not only advance her own knowledge and career, but to also pay it forward and advance the knowledge and ability of others by training them to be certified dementia practitioners,” said Wesley Palms Executive Director Justin Weber. “Our Summer House residents are benefiting every day from this enhanced training and knowledge. The ripple effect is evident, with several staff members achieving dementia practitioner certification, and hopefully more to follow.” Ndinda’s goal is to extend this training across Wesley Palms and possibly to the larger Front Porch organization.

Looking ahead, Ndinda is back at Capella University pursuing her Ph.D. in Advanced Studies in Human Behavior (ASHB) and plans to focus her dissertation on psychosocial behavior management in dementia care, a subject that aligns with her passion and work at Summer House.

Ndinda’s journey exemplifies dedication, passion, and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of older adults. With the support of Wesley Palms, she continues to grow, innovate and inspire others in the field of gerontology and dementia care.

The post A journey of passion and growth: Ndinda’s scholarship story appeared first on Front Porch.

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