Amber Sweet: Achieving Career Success with DRS

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Amber Sweet: Achieving Career Success with DRS

Amber Sweet’s goal was to help people. As a crisis counselor for First Choice Services in Charleston, Amber achieves that goal daily. 

According to Terrance Hamm, Director of First Choice Services’ 988 program, this non-profit organization operates helpline services throughout West Virginia and other states. The 988 program is part of a larger national mental health effort to provide services for people who are having crises around suicide throughout the nation.

Hamm describes Amber as a great resource for people in crisis. 

“So, in her role, she works with people through chat and text all over the nation who reach out to us for support, emotional crisis, having thoughts of suicide, in the act of suicide attempt,” he explained. “Or it can be a third party looking for emotional support for a family member or an organization looking for resources for someone struggling with thoughts of suicide or some type of emotional crisis.”  

Amber’s educational background helped her to earn the position at First Choice Services, and she credits the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) with helping her to pursue her love of learning.

DRS Branch Office Manager Betty Parsons explained how Amber came to DRS in college for assistance with obtaining her education.

Amber was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She was enrolled at Glenville State University and later transferred to the University of Charleston, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2021.

Amber had attended Roane County High School and admits that she struggled a lot throughout high school.

Parsons described Amber as positive, helpful and pleasant. She believes her best qualities are that she does not give up easily and she is very determined to succeed. At her job, Parsons feels her problem-solving skills and adaptability are assets to her employer and the people she is trying to help.

Amber’s experiences have helped her grow more confident in her ability to learn, and she plans to pursue a master’s degree starting this fall.

Amber appreciates DRS’ assistance with her education and the encouragement and support Betty Parsons provided to her as she pursued her degree.

Amber is happy to be making a difference in the lives of others. 

“I love the fact that we get to impact the mental health field and help people with their mental health issues, and I’m really proud that I get to dedicate my life to helping people,” she said.

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Amber Sweet was selected as an Ability Works Award Winner in 2023. The annual Ability Works Awards honor one outstanding consumer from each of the agency’s six districts, coinciding each October with National Disability Employment Awareness Month.