Programmatic Program Manager
Length of Service: Six years
The Lakeshore Lifestyle
I wouldn’t say that I just like my job – I consider it my life’s work and passion. My job is laser-focused on helping people who have disabilities express themselves, be heard and live as independently as possible. No matter what challenges the individual is facing, we work to ensure that their life goals are our main focus.
Lakeshore does not believe a disability should regulate someone’s life to mundane, routine, or simple tasks that do not provide challenge or meaningful life experience. Our mission is to enhance quality of life. We are here to make sure that the people we serve are spending their days doing things they love – whether it is volunteering at another nonprofit like ANNA Shelter for stray dogs, helping deliver Meals on Wheels, or learning a new skill or craft, our goal is to assist and meet individuals to help them achieve their dreams and life purpose. That’s in our mission, and that’s why I love LCS so much.
Life at LCS is a fantastic adventure. For instance Leroy, who suffers from a multitude of disabilities that might seem daunting to an outsider loves to travel. His support professional, Kim Ellman, was right there to make sure Leroy’s lifelong dream to visit Disney World was realized. Our staff care about, listen to, and are dedicated to the individuals we serve. That’s one of the driving forces that makes my job not only enjoyable but meaningful. I know I am doing something to better the lives of others, but I also know I am surrounded by team members who inspire me to do better every day.
Before the COVID-19 lockdown, I had the joy of setting up fishing tournaments, cookouts at camp Notre Dame, and even a crazy kickball tournament that everyone enjoyed. During this pandemic, our team has become incredibly creative. Isolation can lead to some challenging behaviors in the ID population. Not being able to see loved ones or go for routine outings and activities is extremely hard. In response, we have looked for new ways to keep minds and bodies active without going on field trips like staycations, cooking challenges, crazy sock days, and, most recently, Christmas in July.
Here at LCS, we believe that even though we are in community-based facilities, we are still in someone’s home. We honor that commitment, and I am grateful I have the opportunity to be a part of the Lakeshore family.