Barb is a bubbly, outgoing woman with a passion for helping others in her community. Before she transitioned to Community Involvement Programs in 2010, Barb had only worked in sheltered workshops and in contracted group work for sub-minimum wages. Barb and her family felt like she wasn’t contributing to or meeting people in her community enough so they decided to find a provider that matched their vision for Barb; a provider that would support community-based jobs with natural supports and where Barb could make a difference.
When Barb first started at Community Involvement Programs, she found a part-time job near her house where she collated materials and prepared items for shipping. Barb continues to work here and enjoys the work and paycheck! On the days that she doesn’t work, Barb chooses to volunteer with Community Involvement Programs Day Services and one of her favorite locations to volunteer is at the St. Paul based non-profit, Books For Africa. Barb loves that she is able to help children in Tanzania, Nigeria and 47 other countries by sorting and packaging donated books. Barb has been a volunteer since early 2012 and clearly made an impact on the organization. In May, Barb was awarded the 2015 Warehouse Volunteer Award during The Books For Africa Breakfast at the University Club in St. Paul. Barb was congratulated by all the sponsors and had a standing ovation from the Kilimanjaro Society supporters when she accepted the award. Barb was even able to converse and take pictures with H.E. Oliver Wonekha, Ugandan Ambassador to the United States, the Keynote speaker for the breakfast.
Since the breakfast, Barb continues to volunteer at Books for Africa while wanting to be more involved in her community. She currently volunteers two days a week and works three days a week at two part-time jobs within the Twin Cities. Barb’s newest goal is to increase her independence even more by taking Metro Mobility to and from work. Barb exceeds expectations set forth by her team and is eager to do more and expand her horizons and make a difference. Congratulations, Barb!