Kelly always had a big heart for people who need extra help, beginning with her grandmother's sister who she helped with doctor appointments and other tasks. In fact, she was hired by Creative Support in Huntington Beach just out of high school, and has provided independent living and parenting instruction to people with developmental disabilities for 11 years.
Currently working with eight adults and four children served by RCOC, she takes a person-centered approach - respecting their wishes and guiding them through challenging situations, while working to ensure that each person she serves has the opportunity to live the type of life they want. The support she provides touches on everything from meal preparation, healthy living and daily routines, to doctor appointments, interpersonal relationships and stress management
One person she assists has Williams Syndrome, an intellectual disability. The 36-year-old is very friendly, doesn't understand social boundaries, and cannot be left alone. Kelly supervises the staff providing 24-hour care to make sure he is safe in his home.
She assists a 45-year-old woman with memory problems related to epilepsy who receives care from her sister. Kelly and the sister are working together to help the woman, who also has diabetes, to be healthier, including creating a journal to track her eating and blood sugar.
Some time ago, she worked with a man with an intellectual disability who became homeless and ended up living in a riverbed. After getting back on his feet with her assistance, he moved to Oklahoma. He recently called from there just to tell Kelly how he was doing.
Kelly is a wonderful role model who makes genuine connections with the people we serve, said Larry Landauer, RCOC's Executive Director. She and other direct care professionals like her are vital to the California's regional center system of community care and we can't overstate our appreciation for the work they do.