More about me
How do you Partner with people to 'clear the path ahead'?
In my years as a social worker, I have seen many barriers that have created obstacles in the paths of individuals seeking services and supports. I often fall back on the saying “Never say never” because I firmly believe that there is almost always some way to clear the path ahead. When a path is not first obvious, that is the time for the two of us to work harder and smarter and find a way to go under, over or around whatever obstacle might be blocking the path to you reaching your goals.
What's your favorite thing about being an IRIS consultant?
I remember when self-directed supports first took root in Wisconsin, and specifically with local service providers in the La Crosse area. It was a new concept that I loved, because it allowed for individuals to have increased control, more flexibility and greater creativity in their services and in their lives. The IRIS program has expanded that concept to encompass an individual's complete service system, which is a wonderful choice that wasn't always available. I’m proud to be a part of that and to able to help people live the lives they chose.
What past experience prepared you to become an IRIS Consultant?
Several years ago, I had the privilege of providing case management to a woman who had a lifelong disability and who ended up being my greatest educator during the years I worked with her. One of her greatest frustrations was when people would converse about her and not with her. So often she felt invisible or discounted because others tended to only see the physical manifestations of her disability and did not take the time to understand the wisdom in her words. Her courage, fierce determination and self-advocacy were inspiring and impressive to observe. She expanded my knowledge of self-determination and showed me what it really meant to live a self-determined life. I want to help others to find that in their lives as well.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
When I'm not working, I usually spend time at home with my family. I have a teen son who lives at home with me and my husband. I also have two adult daughters who live in Duluth, MN, and an adult daughter who lives in La Crosse. I have learned that relaxing and recharging during my free time is an essential part of what allows me to keep doing the work that I do.