Meet Renee Stoklosa, our Residential Services Manager. She oversees all of Pioneer Center’s developmental disability group homes. We asked her five questions so you can get to know and love her just as much as we do!
What is your background? Where do you come from?
I grew up in Waterford, Michigan, which is about 30 miles north of Detroit. I attended Central Michigan University and graduated with a Therapeutic Recreation degree. Prior to coming to Pioneer Center, I worked at Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA).
What draws you to social services and/or developmental disability services? (personal connection?)
I have known since I was young I wanted a career that helped people. My inspiration to work with individuals with disabilities began when I was six years old. My cousin Shannon had a bad reaction to a shot when she was four months old and from that point she was diagnosed with multiple severe disabilities. I never treated her differently and enjoyed spending time with her. This past spring, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. I have always said she is my inspiration and I am the person I am today because of her.
What’s rockin’ your world this month? (personally or job related)
One thing I am looking forward to job related this month is to open up Pioneer Center’s new Intermittent CILA home in Lake in the Hills. In the five months I have been with Pioneer Center, getting this house up and running has been one of my biggest projects. I am excited for the residents to move in and enjoy this beautiful home. Personally this month, I am actually looking forward to not having a lot planned and having some “me” time as well as spending time with my husband. This may not sound exciting to many but the last four months have been so busy with a lot going on so enjoying some rest and relaxation is needed.
Who inspires you? (could be someone “in your life” or someone “bigger than life”)
There are many people who have inspired me in my life. My aunt is someone who has really inspired me. She has had so much dealt to her in her lifetime but she always stays positive and continues to live life. She is someone who is always giving to others. In 2000, she donated her kidney to her best friends husband. She had been friends with her since they were kids and when she saw how heart broken her friend was she got herself tested to see if she was a match, with no hesitation. Not very long after she donated her kidney, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This disease has affected her many ways but she keeps fighting and continues to live life to the fullest. She is an amazing mother to my cousin Shannon who is my inspiration for why I do the job I do.
Tell us something personal about yourself (maybe something that not everyone knows…)
Since I was six months old, I have spent my summer vacations on a sailboat. My family and I would travel around the Great Lakes in Michigan. I have driven a sailboat many times under the Mackinac Bridge, have been a mile away from a water funnel while in the middle of the lake and have visited just about every port (town) along Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.