Laughter echoes from one corner of a Village Inn restaurant, where Stephanie and Brenda have stopped for a piece of pie.
The two meet on Mondays and Fridays each week and spend a few hours of the day together. Whether they are planning a big trip to Adventureland, relaxing for an afternoon of listening to music, or simply running errands, it’s a time they look forward to each week.
For Stephanie, these meetings with Brenda, her LSI caseworker and “BFF,” have been a crucial step towards a more independent lifestyle.
Stephanie and Brenda have been working together for more than three years. Stephanie wanted to become more active and engaged in her community, and her family turned to LSI for support.
Through LSI’s Services for People with Disabilities, Brenda works with Stephanie on the goals she has set, like budgeting her money and practicing healthy eating.
During their time together, Brenda and Stephanie can usually be found in the community going bowling, visiting the YMCA, volunteering at local organizations, going for walks, or playing mini golf. They love driving around and listening to music – especially when they play their favorite Backstreet Boys CD.
“I love Stephanie’s laugh. She is a joy and a delight,” Brenda says. “I’ve seen her become more independent and connected to her community, and she’s learned to become an advocate for herself.”
Stephanie works five days a week at a local Hy-Vee and last year, she was excited to move into her own apartment close to her parents’ home. Stephanie feels confident and empowered as she continues to grow and thrive, all with Brenda right by her side.