Following Your Passion

Kasey’s Journey to Employment Success

Kasey had always had a dream and a passion to work with the elderly. Fortunately, she and her Summit DD Service Coordinator were able to make that dream a reality!

Sometimes people find the perfect job. And sometimes a job finds the perfect person. That’s exactly what happened when the Gardens of the Western Reserve found Kasey.

After high school, Kasey wanted to make a career out of working with the elderly. So she reached out to her Summit DD Service and Support Administrator (SSA), Beth Loeffler, for support.

“Everybody loves Kasey!” Kasey’s coworker, Edna Thomas said sincerely, referring to staff and residents at the facility. “She gets so many compliments. She’s a great additional to our department.”

At first, Kasey was interested in coordinating activities for residents at a nursing home, her SSA explained. That’s when Loeffler went to work to help Kasey look for positions that would fit her passion as well as provide her the opportunity to gain experience and earn a paycheck. Unfortunately, their original search didn’t uncover any openings based on her experience. Then they got creative.

To get her foot in the door, Kasey applied for a job in the housekeeping department at the Gardens of the Western Reserve. While it wasn’t the Activities Coordinator position she had initially wanted, it aligned to her dream of working with the elderly. What she didn’t know at the time was just how much she would end up loving this new position and her coworkers. In fact, when asked what her favorite job duty currently was, Kasey enthusiastically responded, “I like making beds!” She said she enjoyed the personal touch it created, which made residents happy.

Beth explained that it didn’t take long for Kasey to get a feel for her new position. This then meant she no longer needed follow-along services on the job. Now Kasey only needs transportation services to get her to and from work.

“Kasey has made such an impact on all of us,” shared Steve Tartaglione, Maintenance Director for the nursing home. “Residents want to be in their own homes. It’s up to us to make them feel better – and Kasey does just that.”

Steve was so impressed with Kasey that he nominated her for employee of the month after just six months on the job. “I didn’t realize I was getting an award until they said my name,” Kasey recalled proudly. “You have to have to be really good at your job [to get this award]. You have to come in with a good spirit.”

In addition to success at work, Kasey has started following her passion for music in her free time. She plays clarinet with the Stan Hywet Hall Orchestra and has even started to teach herself how to play the guitar. With each success, Kasey’s confidence grows.

Above all, Loeffler said she is proud of Kasey and the growth she’s seen over the past year. Now she sees a new confidence and sense of self-advocacy in the formerly shy, young woman. “She is really good about reaching out when she needs something,” Beth explained. “She knows that we are there to help provide supports.”

Kasey expressed appreciation to her coworkers and SSA for the support she’s received in finding and maintaining her position. “I’m a hard worker and I get my job done. It makes me proud that people gave me a chance to work.”

Read more inspiring stories

Summit DD supports more than 4,700 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Each person has their own story to tell. Read more about some of these amazing individuals in our blog.

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