Independent, involved, motivated: these are all words that can be used to describe Lora. Originally from Sturgeon, Missouri, Lora has been a resident in the supported living program since 1994 and she works part-time at Central Missouri Subcontracting Enterprises. During her free time, she enjoys a host of hobbies, including cooking, knitting, photography, watching movies and traveling.
In fact, this well-traveled lady has been to all 50 states and some foreign countries. Most recently, she returned from a week-long trip to Denver where she attended the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) annual convention. At the time of her interview for this report, Lora had prepared and submitted a video speech as part of her application to be a self-advocate board member for the NDSC. She’s already actively involved with NDSC as a member of the Self-Advocate Council. The Council meets formally during the annual convention and members share information about opportunities for becoming involved on the local and national levels.
As far as participating on the local level of self-advocacy, Lora’s already got that covered. She never misses a meeting of People First of Boone County, serving this year as the treasurer for the group. She’s also responsible for organizing bake sales and garage sales for People First as a fundraising source. “I’m the official signer of checks,” says Lora, “But I’m going to run for president of People First. I would like to be in charge.”
“Lora’s aspiration to be an active member in the self-advocacy movement is something that I have always admired about her,” says Matt Hoff, Site Supervisor for Team 12. “We try very hard to find ways for our clients to be active members in their own lives and it’s refreshing that Lora has something all to herself like the NDSC and People First. It affords her an opportunity to share common interests with others outside of the direct scope of staff support.”
Lora also enjoys helping to lead building meetings at Team 12 and is the co-editor of the building newsletter – although she admits, the newsletter hasn’t quite taken off as she’d hoped. “It turns out, there’s just the two of us doing all the work,” she says. “I don’t have the time.”
Indeed, with as much as Lora has on her plate, she is surely already planning her speech for next year’s NDSC annual convention!