Leaving a Legacy of Hope…It's Up To Us.
So many people when asked what it was that drew them to this field would tell me, “I go home every night feeling good about the work I do.” Though this is a genuine and relevant answer to the question, it is not mine. I have always said that it is the people that make this work so special. What makes the population of people that we work with so incredible is that they are not caught up with the everyday way of life that you and I are. It is that freedom from conventions which sets them apart. They are not as worried about the latest fads, trends or fashions. They are people shaped through the years of their lives, filled with experience and wonder that is hard to imagine, let alone understand. They are individual’s not so much worried about “What do you think about me?” as much as, "Do you love me?" Their character and convictions are steadfast, and though they may be hardened to change, their hearts remain soft and tenable. The following essay has been written for these people, with hopes that it would inspire even a single person to take an earnest look at Oregon’s current service models for Seniors and People with Disabilities, and to keep Oregon as a premier model in which other states can continue to look to. What legacy will we leave? What hope will we inspire? My objective is to utilize this essay to answer these questions. In our state’s history, Oregon has been blessed with so many great advocates and has been a National leader with the Self-Directed Support model of services across the division of Seniors and People with Disabilities. So how will the new generation of college graduates continue this legacy? After an in depth inquiry into this subject and much self reflection, I submit the following. As we begin to take those choice words like “Independence, integration, productivity, choice and dignity”, and not just make sure our companies or non-profits mission statements included a few of them, not just...
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