Providing Community to Maximize Potential

By Mary Henneberry, Winter 2011 Graduate

So…as of this moment, I’ll be living in Chicago, and working at a non-profit here in Chicago that works with mentally and physically handicapped people (from mild/high functioning individuals to profound/nonverbal, very very limited movement) in order to offer them a community of care that maximizes their potential. The job is pretty hands-on, though I’ll be working with more high-functioning adults in their daily/nightly tasks…especially with younger adults who are newer and therefore are learning what it’s like to be an independent adult. While they may have a developmental disability, the staff really tries to let them be as-independent-as-they-can-be adults (especially for these high-functioning individuals) so my job will be helping when necessary, but really facilitating the residents in learning that they can (and should) be an adult and do it on their own. Sounds simple, right?! I already know it will be a beautiful struggle :)

I officially “started” the job yesterday, but the position actually requires 4 weeks of certification and training, so that’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of the month. But so far, so good! So far I’ve learned that 1) the bakery is going to be dangerous for the bridesmaid dress I have to wear in July and 2) I have a lot to learn!! Please pray that I can make it through all 4 weeks/pass all the certification tests!

If you are interested in learning about what Mary is doing, feel free to email her,