Stephanie Hackett, a native of Altamont, Illinois joined DSC in the spring of 2020. After a long career in the food service industry, it was time for a change. When she saw the position at DSC, she was intrigued, and decided to apply. In April, she accepted the position of Developmental Instructor in DSC’s Community Day Services (CDS) Program.
In her day-to-day job at DSC, Stephanie plans activities for people who receive support from DSC. Prior to the pandemic, CDS employees coordinated activities that mostly took place outside the walls of DSC and in the community, but Covid-19 has impacted how several of our CDS programs are implemented. Today, some of our CDS Developmental Instructors split shifts with Residential CILA (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) employees. CDS employees have been going to homes, to provide programming during the day and keep people as safe as possible.
Stephanie said she tries to plan a weekly cooking related project, life skills training and during this season, they’ve also been doing activities and holding discussions centered around COVID-19. “This is an emotional time for the people we support. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand why we can’t go places like we used to and having an activity can make it easier to talk about,” Stephanie said. For example, the group made fall pumpkins to display on their porch. The project also included making masks for the pumpkins and a discussion about staying safe by wearing masks.
Stephanie said one of the bright spots about joining DSC during this time, has been getting to know her fellow co-workers. “Everyone has been so kind and easy to interact with. It has been a joy to come on board here. I love working here, especially planning out all of the activities.” Earlier this month, in one of our homes, where Stephanie is based, everyone learned more about apple harvesting (pictured). Stephanie said that she works to include everyone’s interests and activities into her plans. For example, if one person is interested in reading she will work to incorporate those activities, by picking up a book about apples to read, or planning a fall art project about apples.
When Stephanie is not working, she stays busy with her son, who is eight years old and her four-year-old daughter. She is also a village trustee in the town of Pesotum, where her family now lives.
Thank you, Stephanie and all DSPs for your dedication to DSC!