Five Mosaic employees honored by ANCOR
Mosaic employees were chosen as Direct Support Professional of the Year for 2015 in five states. They are: Kim Pettela (Mosaic in Connecticut); Evans Omanga (Mosaic in Delaware); Liz Pagel (Mosaic in Macomb, Illinois); Sharon Teets (Mosaic in Central Nebraska); and Latasha Love (Mosaic in Waco, Texas).
Kim’s nomination noted her “unwavering commitment” to help someone she served through his two-year losing battle with stomach cancer. She was with him every step of the way, through each doctor visit, treatment, and surgery. She was even his end-of-life advocate to ensure his desire to not be on life support was honored.
Evan was honored for being a strong advocate for people served. When one person’s health was declining after a surgery, family and hospital staff were ready to consign him to a long-term care facility. Evans advocated taking him home to a familiar environment, where he was placed on hospice. Within six weeks, the man flourished and hospice services were canceled.
Liz finds creative ways to overcome barriers and help people integrate into community activities. Taking a group of eight people to the State Fair was not a challenge for Liz. She also helps people participate in community gardens and crafts, and turns every trip – even something as mundane as a haircut – into an adventure for the people she serves.
Sharon creates bonds with the two men she supports, and lets them know she will listen to their struggles and concerns. When she realized they love all things Native American and Western, she helped them decorate their home in that artwork. She also helped them create an outdoor retreat for relaxation and even helped them find a suitably ‘manly’ moose for their Christmas décor.
Latasha (known as Lele) supports some of the local agency’s most ‘behaviorally challenged’ individuals. A local special education teacher called her a “nurturing authority,” noting Lele’s ability to always calm the people she supports if they have an outburst. He said he takes comfort knowing the students go home to someone like her every day.
For a full-size image of the ANCOR congratulations ad, click on the image.
It’s not rocket science, but it’s fun!
Mosaic in Southeast Texas has a Science Club that meets every Thursday in the Day Service Center. People supported by Mosaic are given the opportunity to learn basic scientific concepts through entertaining projects.
The club is hosted by Allison Gilmore, a senior at Texas A&M University and Mosaic intern. Recently, participants created foam from shaving cream, baking soda and vinegar, to learn about the concepts of molecules and polar and non-polar bonds. The project was successful – and fun.
“The club is so popular with the individuals we serve that they wanted to continue the club next fall when our student interns return to Texas A&M University,” said Deborah Burch, Community Relations Manager. “The individuals learned about the hypothesis of each project -- like if the project would work or not, they learned that the hypothesis was an educated guess or premise. It was so much fun."
Click on the image for a full-size photo.
Dakota Johns speaks at ANCOR conference
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Dakota Johns, who receives services from Mosaic in Arizona, was one of the speakers at last week’s ANCOR conference in Virginia. In a talk titled, “Person-Centered Services: A Meaningful Life Full of Possibilities,” Dakota captivated the crowd with his personal story, which includes achievements such as running his own pet care business and working as an inspirational speaker. He also spoke about the importance of having the right supports for success.
One conference attendee blogged about his talk. You can read her account here.
Dakota has spoken at Mosaic gatherings in the past. He is also a member of the sustainable funding team in Arizona. Along with Mark Matulka, Mosaic’s Governmental Affairs Director, Dakota made a visit to Arizona Representative Trent Frank’s office. They also spent some down time visiting the Lincoln Memorial (which knocked an item off of Dakota’s bucket list), the World War II Memorial and other sites. His mother Gina accompanied Dakota on the trip, and the two of them were able to tour the White House and Capitol.
A sophomore at Grand Canyon University, he majors in communications and minors in video production. Dakota's long-term goals include becoming a sports broadcaster and working as a professional keynote speaker. He is involved with Best Buddies, Special Olympics and is working toward his Eagle Scout Award.
Using New Technology to Solve an Old Problem
Monday, May 18, 2015
Robert Prine, who receives services from Mosaic in Liberal (Kansas), likes to go for walks. When he is sitting outside his apartment, sometimes the mood strikes and he’ll take off, maybe heading to Walmart or somewhere else. Because his street safety skills are not top notch, his wandering usually brings out a search party, which has on occasion even included local police.
The staff who support him put their heads together to solve this problem. They wanted Robert to have his enjoyable time outside his apartment, but wanted to keep him safe also. Searching the internet for ideas, one staff member found a solution that would keep Robert safe and allow him independence -- Smart Soles.
A Smart Sole is wearable GPS tracking technology that inserts into a shoe. Using an app on a smart phone or tablet, someone is notified whenever the person wearing the shoes wanders a designated distance away.
Even though the soles have to be charged every two days, Robert loves the idea that his shoes are “Smart,” – and that his life has not changed one bit. The staff love that it takes four minutes or less to locate Robert, which enables them to keep him safe and away from any busy street.
The importance of donors and gifts
Tuesday, April 12, 2015
Thirty years ago this month, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Ellsworth, Kansas for new residential services to be provided by Bethphage, one of Mosaic’s legacy organizations.
You can read about the groundbreaking here. The article states: “The project completion date for the homes is December 1, 1985. … A building in downtown Ellsworth has been remodeled to serve as a sheltered workshop for the clients. Funding will not be available to run the workshop until the homes are completed and operational, however Bethphage will be operating the workshop throughout the summer and fall months by donor gifts.”
Participating in the ceremony were David and Nancy Stonebraker (photo), along with their son, Spencer, who would be one of the first people served in Ellsworth. Although Spencer passed away a few years ago, the Stonebrakers have remained active supporters of Mosaic. They also volunteer on the Partners in Possibilities sustainable fundraising team.
Because of gifts from others, Mosaic was able to open in Ellsworth. Grateful families, like the Stonebrakers, will help sustain services for others into the future.