Emily Ward – West Virginia – Relationships Category Winner
Emily Ward works hard every day to see that the people she supports achieve as many of their goals as they can.
For example, a Residential Services client was preparing to move to an independent living environment where she would be taking on a great deal of personal responsibility. Emily helped her prepare, teaching her several valuable skills. The client learned to cook meals independently, make a grocery list and complete her shopping on her own. She even learned how to make a monthly budget for herself. This individual has since moved out on her own in an apartment setting, and is living a successful life, making her own choices and making her own way in the world.
One client who works in food service in a day treatment program had a goal to one day have a job. Emily arranged for the client to take the same food handler’s safety certification course that ResCare employees take. Emily and the client recently took the course together, and now the client is so proud of her certification card that will enable her to seek a job.
Emily’s passion to help those we support learn to grow and build relationships outside of their everyday environments really stands out. She regularly takes clients into the community on special trips so they can interact with people and experience new things.
One client’s favorite interest is superheroes. He loves Superman, Spiderman and Captain America. Emily once surprised him with a trip to the local “Comic-Con” event. When he walked in, his face lit up to an entire indoor stadium filled with all the characters and stories he loves. He got to meet other people who share his love of superheroes. He even got to meet his heroes. There were actors dressed up as his favorite characters – the people he looks up to most. He got to shake hands with Spiderman and have his picture taken with Captain America. It was a day he will never forget.