What’s the most rewarding part of being on the COR board?
The most rewarding part is the functions when you can actually see the work being done. There’s usually availabilities to meet and interact with the folks that are in the COR family be it house tours or family events. Obviously Covid has changed some of those types of things but just seeing the difference that COR is making in the lives of people is fantastic. Being part of that, and then helping with the governance on that and the other end of it, less so the day-to-day service piece, is really important. I think it’s important in an organization that is growing rapidly and experiencing more complex challenges to support that growth to ensure more people have access to COR services. Being involved in that aspect is really rewarding and a big part of why I stick around.
Is there something that’s happened at COR that you were a part of that you’re extremely proud of?
There are a ton of things but the one thing that jumps out is the expansion to the studio and the day programming space. From inception to launch, to how they’ve made sure they’re adapting to keep people safe through through the pandemic in that space is incredible. There’s a huge gap for a lot of people in the community and to build this space to be able to provide really great creative outlets for folks has been incredible. I think it’s been such a big jump for the organization to go from trying to find places for people to have those outlets to actually being the place where folks can go to experience that kind of opportunity for personal expression.
“COR is one of few places in our country that actually do it this way. They’ve gone above and beyond to make sure they meet the needs of folks.”
What do you tell people about COR that don’t know anything about the organization?
I start with the mission, which I believe is the most critical piece. It’s a place that provide supports to folks in home who have cognitive barriers. That’s sort of the jumping off point I start at and then get into the nitty-gritty of how they do things differently. I share everything from the differences in how many people are in a house, to how they define and build spaces that meet the needs of people and put people first. It’s so different than many places. You might think, this is happening everywhere, but it isn’t. I know Michael and his crew wouldn’t see it this way but they also take the hardest to house people. There are people with pretty significant and complex degrees of challenges they have to meet and the way they approach it, and make life better and easier for these folks is incredible.
“They’ve taken a traditional institution and just sort of said, ‘no, we’re not going to do it that way. We’re going do what’s right for the person not what’s right for the organization.'”