Posted on November 17, 2022
Each month, we’re highlighting a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages.
We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the complex work we do.
So, tune in for our #TeamMemberSpotlight, where our team members share in their own words a bit about themselves!
What is your job title? PA Employment Support Coordinator
How long have you been with Penn-Mar? I have been with Penn-Mar for 7 years. I first joined Penn-Mar after graduating High School in 2013. I worked for the transportation department for over a year before taking a break for college and came back in 2015.
How did you get connected with Penn-Mar? My sister works for Penn-Mar.
What was your previous work experience prior to Penn-Mar and how did it prepare you for your current role? I’ve previously held a few jobs that prepared me for my Employment Support Coordinator position. In high school, I worked as a camp counselor for a local park program, which prepared me to work with all types of individuals with different interests and personalities. I also previously worked with Penn-Mar as a 1:1 at the PA Day Program before shifting to a Senior Residential Assistant position at one of the houses. I then transitioned into an Awake Overnight position while I worked to finish my degree. These previous positions at Penn-Mar helped me gain valuable experience in the field, while getting to know many of the individuals I work with today.
What does your work entail? There are two main components of my day-to-day work: Employment Support and Exploration and Discovery. For Employment Support, I provide on-site job coaching for our individuals. Our employment team works to identify necessary supports for success in the workplace. I work closely with the employers to negotiate these job responsibilities and accommodations, while following up with them monthly or at any time they need support. I also assist our individuals through the Exploration and Discovery process. This allows them to explore what they may like to do as a job, along with finding new interests.
What’s an average day like for you? My average days varies depending on the supports needed. Some days I am traveling to complete job visits. Other days I may be at a work site helping job coach someone who is newly employed. When I am not job coaching or doing job visits, I can be found at the office. There, I complete Exploration and Discovery assessments, reply to emails and calls, and follow up with employers.
What’s one thing you wish people realized about your job? As an Employment Support Coordinator, I help support both the individuals and the employers we make connections with. I travel around York County and the surrounding counties to provide these supports.
In another life, your career path is . . . An NHL Hockey Goalie. Growing up I enjoyed playing hockey, and I always wanted to make it to the NHL. I played for the York Devils throughout my youth hockey career, and for Dallastown School District. I always enjoyed the traveling and the competitive nature of the sport.
Why is Penn-Mar’s mission important to you? I believe every individual should have the opportunity to live their best life. I am proud to be a part of our individuals’ journey, and to help them live courageously in that pursuit.
What’s one thing you wished the general public knew about people with IDD? The people we support are capable of so much more than most think. Given the right tools and the right environments they can do anything they set their minds to.
What is your favorite quote or mantra? “What’s rule #1? Life’s not fair – get over it.” – Mom
Any hidden talents or fun facts someone wouldn’t know about you? I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes whenever I get the chance.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, you’d visit . . . Japan. I have always wanted to go to Japan to see the culture and experience a new way of living.
In your spare time, you’ll be found . . . at home relaxing, working out at the gym, or on the golf course — weather permitting.
A book, movie, TV show, sports team, etc. you love: I am a big Philadelphia sports fan. I love to watch the Philadelphia Eagles, Sixers, Phillies, and Flyers play. I really enjoy going to their games in person, and I am looking forward to going to an Eagles game in December. I watch a large variety of shows across many different platforms. Currently, I am trying to catch up on House of the Dragon and Rings of Power.
Something fun, interesting, or meaningful about yourself: I enjoy everything Disney — from the movies to the shows. I have watched almost everything they have produced. I am excited to return to Walt Disney World this coming summer and will hopefully get the chance to create my own lightsaber at Savi’s workshop.