A Patron of Joy | DSP profile of Calpernia Burden

A Patron of Joy | DSP profile of Calpernia Burden


Calpernia was no stranger to the disability community, having grown up among family members with disabilities. That experience led her to an education in psychology at East Carolina University and a career in the disabilities field.

Her passion for her job is evident in the way she describes her role at The Arc. She states, “I approach each day with positivity and happiness, and I am guaranteed to get it in return. I love to make people smile.”

Calpernia’s job has changed a lot over the last seven years. She started as a 1:1 for a young man at his home, stepped in to assist with landscaping contracts during the pandemic when we had a reduced workforce, and has been connecting with small groups in day services both in-person and virtually ever since.

Recently selected to our Leadership Institute program, Calpernia represents the ideal DSP who leads with her heart, steps in where needed, and embodies the mission of The Arc.

"I wanted to be in a field where I could help bring joy into a person’s life and what I do would matter."

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