A doorway is the first step into an entirely new world…

From an early age Lisa has always been passionate about life. Her life experiences and education helped her set goals and dreams. After graduating from Grant Community High School in the 1980’s, Lisa strived for very many of the same things all teenagers do after graduation: move out and become independent, have a good paying job, transportation, and even get married one day. Lisa found an opportunity to enhance her life of well-being, independence and inclusion and moved into a Pioneer Center group home with other adults with developmental disabilities striving for the same goals.

Through supportive services like vocational training, community employment services, and connection to resources, Lisa passionately worked towards her independence by mastering daily living skills such as management of her medication needs, cooking, volunteering and obtaining a community job. Another door of opportunity opened when Lisa transitioned from a 24/7 staffed group home to an intermittent group home with less housemates and staff. Throughout this time, she continued to work towards complete self-sufficiency through resources and support provided by staff that includes assistance in the areas of socialization, transportation, finances and budgeting. Lisa just celebrated her 2-year work anniversary at a local grocery store. When she isn’t working, she finds herself most happy when she is with her longtime boyfriend, family and friends.

Lisa’s ability to achieve these milestones was not easy but between her hard work, determination and passion for life, it was all worth it to achieve her HAPPINESS.

In December of 2017, Lisa opened the door to her very own apartment with the assistance of her Pioneer Center staff and the resources available to her. With the continued support of Pioneer Center and the community, Lisa just celebrated one year of independence!

                           …when one door closes, another one opens.

You can open the door to more possibilities in 2019

Lisa’s story is just one of the successes of this past year for individuals we serve in our Developmental Disability Program.  Some of the individuals we serve can live almost entirely on their own, while others need more help taking care of themselves.

We’re here to help individuals learn new skills throughout their lives. Achieving independence is a continual goal for all those we serve. Together we are focusing on their abilities, instead of their disabilities.

As we close the door to 2018, we open another to even more possibilities in 2019. By fulfilling our mission “to help people live a dignified life of well-being, independence and inclusion”, Lisa’s accomplishments and those of all those we serve are achieved. Without the generosity of community members, successful journeys like Lisa’s would not be possible. We ask you this holiday season to donate to continue to open more doors for those in need in McHenry County. Your commitment to strengthen our community provides opportunities for those who didn’t know they had doors to open. Your gift this holiday season creates a community where each person is valued and given an equal opportunity.

Wishing you and your family all the very best this holiday season and all the best in the new year.