When I was finishing high school, I wrote a list of everything I did not want to do, but I didn’t know what I did want to do. I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and in those days, women were starting to be seen as something other than full-time teachers, nurses, or secretaries. I decided I did not want to be typecast, so those job options were off the table.
When I look back on my career path, I notice a theme throughout, that I was following what I love. I love to have a cause, I love looking for issues that need solving, and I like being able to put my creativity to good use. I love learning, teaching, and leading people to a place of possibilities.
While some jobs I have had were difficult, and I doubted my ability to make a difference. I look back, and I know that I did. I am sure it is because it was apparent to those who cared that I loved my work. And I am not alone in feeling this. The community’s happiest and most significant contributors are doing what they love.
Here are two examples of people doing what they love.
Roseann Adamo, the Executive Director of the Birth to Five programs, first started at KenCrest as a Temple student for her practicum. Once she stepped through KenCrest’s doors, she knew she belonged and could do more to support little learners in Philadelphia. Now, 46 years later, she’s still working at KenCrest, ensuring that all our little learners thrive in their education and lives.
Adamo even founded the NBI-funded Child Care SWIFT Support program more than two years ago, which helps children with developmental delays on the brink of explosion receive the proper support needed to remain in school.
“The mission at KenCrest is about inclusion,” says Adamo. “We must take a stand on that and help build relationships at the centers. Children know when they’re told to leave; it’s disheartening. But they can grow emotionally when given a successful start in the ELCs.”
She does what she loves while making a difference in hundreds of children’s lives.
Two individuals we support from the Maule Lane home in Chester County are consistently making a difference in their community by doing what they love: volunteering. They even found a way to contribute throughout the pandemic, especially Joe.
A few times a month, Joe, alongside his housemates, would volunteer at the Phoenixville Area Community Services, which provides food to those in need throughout Chester County. Joe loved stocking the shelves in the pantry, befriending other volunteers, and every opportunity he got to interact with neighbors who came in seeking help.
There have been moments when his service to his community has come full circle; he’s helped provide food for other people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Seeing people with similar abilities to his own and knowing that he has made an impact has brought him so much pride and joy.
Joe reminds us every day that we all can make a difference and positively impact those around us. You can watch a small clip of Joe’s story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar3GXHXaZhE