Team Member Spotlight: Thea Beamesderfer - Penn-Mar

Team Member Spotlight: Thea Beamesderfer

Posted on April 21, 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!

Thea smilingWhat is your job title?
LISS (Low Intensity Support Services) Coordinator at MDL.

What’s an average day like for you?
It varies from day to day, even prior to COVID-19. My day typically consists of checking packets that are being submitted to make sure everything is correct and meets all criteria from DDA, processing applications, answering phone calls from applicants, families and/or their representative, responding to e-mails. These are just a few things I can put here because every day is a different day at the LISS Department and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s one thing you wish people realized about your job?
Not too many people know about our program (Low Intensity Support Services). My department is so busy throughout the year that there’s no such thing as being bored. It can be very stressful, but very rewarding, at the same time. I work under an amazing Supervisor, who is so supportive and understanding, especially when it comes to family.

In another life, your career path is . . .
Clinical Child Psychologist. I went to college and majored in Psychology. Prior to having my children, my dream was to be a Clinical Child Psychologist by the time I reached 40 years old.

Why is Penn-Mar’s mission important to you?
I am honored to work at Penn-Mar. It offers so many programs and supports so many individuals with various disabilities (ABILITIES) so they can live independently and courageously. I have worked in many various positions with many companies prior to joining Penn-Mar almost 7 years ago. What I adore most about Penn-Mar is that DSPs are encouraged and supported in so many ways. As we all know, without DSPs, our individuals who we support wouldn’t be able to do what they’re doing.

What’s one thing you wished the general public knew about people with IDD?
People with IDD have more abilities than society gives them credit for. They should be treated just how every other person, regardless of ability, is treated.

What’s your favorite food?
I don’t really have a favorite food. However, if there is some sort of seafood it in, I will eat it.

Any hidden talents or fun facts someone wouldn’t know about you?
When I was a little girl, I sneaked out to take private dance classes, which was frowned upon in my family. Needless to say, I am an Apsara Dancer. If you’re not aware of this or have never heard of this, I encourage you to look it up. It is absolutely stunning and entrancing. Granted, you’re not going to find me there.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, you’d visit . . .
I would go back to my birthplace, Battombong, Cambodia.

In your spare time, you’ll be found . . .
In my kitchen cooking or in my living room dancing to Cambodian traditional music. I LOVE TO COOK.

A book, movie, TV show, sports team, etc. you love:
I don’t really like watching movies because they put me to sleep. However, if I were to watch a movie, it would have to be an action or a horror movie. The scarier, the better. I am the BIGGEST fan of Bobby Flay. I watched him on Food Network since 1996. I guess I just told you of how old I am, too.

Something fun, interesting, or meaningful about yourself:
I am a very proud Mom of 2 amazing sons. Adam will be graduating from Penn State University Park in May of 2022 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He will be working at an engineering firm in Towson, MD in June of 2022. Andrew is a Sophomore in college. He started his Freshman year at Millersville University. However, since COVID-19 started and to avoid an extra expense towards tuition, he enrolled in HACC. He will return to Millersville in the Fall of 2022 as a Junior studying Arts and Graphics/Communication Technology.

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