A note from Robin Devore… Because of an unexpected medical leave, I had to work from home for several weeks. During that time, I was reminded how fortunate I am to work at a place that I call my “second home.” I call it my “second home” because for almost 24 years, I have grown with the individuals we support and the LIFESPAN ambassadors who provide that support. Over those two-plus-decades, I have come to realize that everything I do each and everyday has some type of impact on both the LIFESPAN individuals and the LIFESPAN ambassadors. Some days, it’s as simple as sharing a smile or giving a hug. Other days, it’s much more challenging as we work to give voice to those who don’t have a voice and advocate for those who have no one left to fight for them. At the end of the day, I know that what I’ve done has made a difference in someone’s life. I don’t have a “job.” I have a lifelong learning experience with incredible gratification. I truly get more back than I will ever be able to give. As a reminder to everyone — do what you love and enjoy, do what brings you happiness, smile at least three times a day, and let go of the things that take up negative space in your head. “Be You” and be happy! Then go change the world one smile and one hug at a time. -Robin
This may sound a little cliche, but I was asked what’s important to me. Without hesitation, I can truly say, “My son is important to me.” Knowing that my son is counting on me encourages me to knock down the day-to-day challenges whether it is in my professional or personal life. My son has made me become more responsible by helping me realize that I now have this little person relying on me. He is depending on me. He is trusting in me. Being a first-time mother is scary and it may seem like hard work, but when you truly enjoy doing something and see the value in it, it doesn’t feel like work; it doesn’t seem so hard. Which leads me to say, as the days pass, we are saddled with deadlines and benchmarks and work goals that we have to meet. We are really good at the “how,” but it’s easy to lose sight of the “why” for our work. My fellow LIFESPAN Ambassadors, we are providing support for the individuals we serve so that they can engage the skills necessary to fulfill their life; to reach their full potential; to experience joy in life! I love what I do and when I see the individuals we support flourishing and experiencing joy in their lives, it gives me joy. And I realize that all the effort; all the deadlines, and goals and benchmarks are worth it. The individuals we serve hold me accountable, just like my son does. They remind me why I do what I do. And knowing the “why” makes me want to do everything possible to make sure the programs we offer for this individuals thrive and grow and continue. So, my challenge to you, my fellow LIFESPAN Ambassadors, is to find the “joy” in our work. Experience the “why” in our work. And…take some time in our work day to experience the “joy.” I challenge all of us to display that “joy” and share it with others. And in the event, you’re having a little trouble finding the joy, think about a great moment when you really connected with an individual; think about that moment when your individual learned a new skill; think about how you helped a family member or friend or co-Ambassador. I promise, if you just give it a little effort, you will find the “joy” and reconnect with the “why.” And then, when you find the joy, do me a favor. Get up and do a dance. Seriously, stand up, put on some music and dance. Know the “why” and experiencing the “joy” is reason enough to dance! -Chelsea Freeman, Qualified Professional for LifeWorks. LifeWorks is a community based program designed for adults with developmental disabilities to help them achieve financial independence and personal acceptance.
Rhythm… the motion of the sea… & continuous learning… These are the melodies of life that ring true for me. Hi, my name is Marilyn Pryor and I am the receptionist at the Shopton Campus of LIFESPAN. I often use corporately acceptable language to describe me as “seasoned,” which actually means I am not as young as most of you. But, don’t discount me. I am a wealth of experiences, insight and seasoned information. You can learn something from me and I can learn something from you. We learn by mingling with each other, exchanging ideas and sharing experiences. We learn by getting to know one another. We learn by embracing something different, considering something new and not shying away from thing that might seem challenging. One experience that has taught me much is Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is a broad term used to describe a company’s efforts to improve society. It’s is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable — to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. These efforts can range from donating money to non-profits to implementing environmentally-friendly policies in the workplace. CSR is a concept whereby businesses and organizations consider the interest of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on its customers, suppliers and employees. CSR is something we, as employees of LIFESPAN should strongly consider. Why? Because we are LIFESPAN; we are who we present, we are what we put on display to those we come in contact with. Those who encounter us are encountering LIFESPAN. We are ambassadors for LIFESPAN and as such we have a responsibility. So, as your fellow LIFESPAN Ambassador, I have a challenge for you: I challenge you to forever be in a state of learning. I challenge you to engage your life in a forward motion. I challenge you to open your mind to new ideas, share new ideas and to be open to varied and new ways of thinking. I challenge you to consider yourself a LIFESPAN ambassador in everything you do. But keep in mind… Know when to pause for just a moment and glean what you can from that moment, because non-apparent resolutions can be the solution to your present quandary. All the best as we all accept responsibility for making this world a better place to exist. Marilyn