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FOCUS ON An Update from ODC, Inc.

ability

JANUARY 2019

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME Everywhere I go, the song remains the same. Led Zeppelin fans will catch the reference… if you’re not, let’s just say that the story remains the same. I recently visited the third and most recent Project SEARCH program site supported by ODC – Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Since 2012, I have been fortunate to be able to talk with numerous interns participating in the program and the program site staff who work alongside them, and to share their stories with you. Each person I speak with - whether they’re at the Marshfield Medical Center Project SEARCH location, the Aspirus Riverview Hospital location, or at Aspirus Wausau Hospital - shares a remarkably similar story with a remarkably similar theme. The song remains the same. Take Becka Wemmer, Dietary Aid in Aspirus Wausau Hospital’s food service department. When asked about Ashley, a Project SEARCH intern working in that department, she told me a story.

“One day,” said Becka, “Ashley was helping me to check out customers. A manager from another department caught me the next day and said, 'Ashley put a smile on my face… it made me so happy, I thought about her all day’.” Then there’s Cheryl Kubnick, Environmental Services Department Manager. “I knew absolutely nothing about Project SEARCH – had never heard of it before,” said Cheryl. “Now, I think I’ve learned more than our intern, Jesse. It’s fabulous!” “It’s actually embarrassing,” she said, “when I think, ‘Why weren’t we doing this sooner?' We didn’t recognize what a great opportunity Project SEARCH is for people with disabilities and for hospital staff as well. We didn’t realize what can be accomplished and how helpful this can be to our departments… and the interns themselves, who are growing so much, too!” SEE PROJECT SEARCH / PAGE 3

ASHLEY Empowering People With Disabilites To Achieve

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Opportunity Development Centers, Inc.


PROJECT SEARCH CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Finally, read the words of Deb Schleif, Director of Provider Support Services, who works with an intern named Nick. “Nick’s attitude, and the fact that he so enjoys coming to work and is so happy for the opportunity, has been so good for all of us,” said Deb. “We get a little jaded and we forget what is was like to be so excited about getting a new job. We forget how grateful we should be to be able to work and earn a paycheck. Nick comes to work and you can see that he’s thinking, ‘Isn’t this the most awesome place in the whole world?’” “I have to ramp up my own gratitude level a little bit,” she said. “I think he’s done that for all of us… and that’s been an added benefit that we didn’t expect.” The song remains the same… and isn’t it a great song? - Jennifer Blum, ODC Director of Communication & Donor Relations

NICK JESSE

PAGE 1 (LEFT): According to her supervisor, Ashley is a rock star in the food service department. “She picks things up so easily,” said Becka Wemmer. “You show her how to do something and she just goes to town!” | PAGE 1 ( RIGHT): Food Service staff work hard but like to have a little fun, too! “Ashley was shy at first” said Becka Wemmer, Ashley’s “mentor” on the team. “Now, she’s opened up and loves to joke with us!” | PAGE 3 (LEFT): When Jesse’s internship in Environmental Services ends, he will be missed. “We’re wondering what we’re going to do without him!” said Jesse’s supervisor, Cheryl Kubnick. | PAGE 3 (RIGHT): “Not knowing Nick’s abilities, we had planned that he help us with a big scanning project,” said Deb Schleif, Director of Provider Support Services. “He mastered what we had planned for him and much more!”

PLEASE NOTE: ODC and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) work together to fund and support individuals through job search and training services. Project SEARCH is funded in partnership with DVR and local school districts. Project SEARCH was developed in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which is still the administrative headquarters for the organization. Project SEARCH is an internationally-recognized model of employment training for individuals with disabilities. Empowering People With Disabilites To Achieve

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Opportunity Development Centers, Inc. 1191 Huntington Avenue Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

Non Profit Org US Postage Paid Wisc Rapids WI Permit No. 31

Administrative Office 1191 Huntington Avenue Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494 715-424-2712 2406 East 21st Street Marshfield, WI 54449 715-387-1161 41 Park Ridge Drive Stevens Point, WI 54481 715-344-4563

www.odcinc.com

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2019 January: Focus On Ability  

Focus on Ability is a newsletter published by ODC. Our mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their work and life goals.

2019 January: Focus On Ability  

Focus on Ability is a newsletter published by ODC. Our mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their work and life goals.

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