First thing you’ll notice about Stacy is her smile. Next, you’ll probably hear her infectious laugh; and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to know her irresistible personality. It’s no surprise that residents at the retirement community where the 29-year-old works as a dietician aid adore her. Stacy is downright fun.
“It’s her bubbly personality that everybody loves,” said her mom, Katrina. “Yes, everybody loves Miss Stacy.”
Stacy has been working part-time at The Bluffs, a skilled nursing facility in south Columbia, since August. She helps serve and clean up after meals, but best of all, she gets to visit with the residents.
“That’s my favorite part,” Stacy said.
Katrina said her daughter’s friendly demeanor and willingness to listen is what makes her so popular at The Bluffs. “I’m so proud of my baby,” she swooned.
Stacy has come a long way since 2007 when she began receiving services through Boone County Family Resources. That’s the year she and her Mom moved to Columbia from St. Paul, Minn., to be closer to family here and in St. Louis. Today, the duo share a duplex not far from downtown.
At first, Stacy received job training through ACT and landed a job at McDonalds where she worked for 2 ½ years. But that was only the beginning. Through BCFR’s Life & Work Connections, Stacy received community skills training on relationships, boundaries and nutrition. She also received instruction on building self-esteem and advocating for herself. Since her mom doesn’t drive, Stacy receives rides to and from work through the para-transit service and Taxi Terry’s.
For those who know Stacy, the benefits of the training and newfound independent are obvious.
“She is so much more confident,” said Kaila Betts, Stacy’s Support Coordinator at BCFR. “She really is a success story.”
Another boost to Stacy’s confidence came when she underwent extensive dental work through Missouri Donated Dental Services. The transformation of her teeth and well-being empowered Stacy to take charge of her life.
“Our goal for Stacy is for her to be more independent,” Kaila said.
In addition to her training and part-time job, Stacy has participated in Special Olympics, competing in basketball, tennis, bowling and bocce ball. Not only is Stacy an athlete, she has an eye for fashion as well.
“She is usually dressed from head to toe with matching shoes and accessories,” Kaila said. “I used to think her mom dressed her, but nope! She dresses herself. She’s like a fashionista!”
Kaila has enjoyed being a part of Stacy’s journey.
“Stacy is willing to try new things, which has been beneficial for her and makes it a joy to work with her,” Kaila said. “ Stacy is laid back and easygoing. She’s a lot of fun.”