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“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome” Booker T. Washington

This is the very first post on the new Pike Co. Senate Bill 40 “50@50” blog. Our agency is celebrating its 50 year anniversary of supporting persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in 2020. Throughout each week in 2020, we will post a different “success story” featuring persons served with IDD, and how they have succeeded in life. We will also post video interviews throughout 2020 with both persons served, as well as former staff, board members, and others. We are excited to celebrate our 50th year of making a difference in the lives of Pike County persons with IDD! We hope you follow our blog throughout 2020, so stay tuned for our weekly posts!

Success Story #3: Adrienne Becker

Above: Adrienne shows off some of her coloring artwork.

Adrienne Becker is a very talented young lady… just ask anyone who has seen her artwork! Adrienne’s art includes everything from painting and coloring to diamond art and string art. On any given day while at the PCADD Community Living Skills (CLS) program, Adrienne can be found either diligently working on her artwork or getting ideas from Pinterest using an I-Pad.

“Once she learns something, she just does it by herself” comments Deann Myers, her support staff with PCADD. PCADD staff initially introduced Adrienne to the world of arts and crafts, and have nurtured her interest in this area ever since. Deann also mentions that Adrienne has a real interest in exploring new forms of art, and this keeps staff on their toes.

Above: String art is something Adrienne is becoming accomplished at.

Artwork is her passion, but Adrienne has also seen success in other areas of her life throughout the years. Although content in her current situation in the PCADD CLS program, Adrienne has been successfully employed in the community in the past using supports provided by PCADD, and does not rule out pursing employment again in the future, if it is a good fit for her. Adrienne has also volunteered her time with organizations such as Head Start and the Salvation Army.

Aside from honing her art skills while at CLS, Adrienne is also supported in accessing the community, doing things such as shopping and dining out. Adrienne lives in the community in a home with supports provided by Ruth Jensen Village, who also support Adrienne in accessing the greater Bowling Green area while she is at home.

Adrienne gets many of her artwork ideas from Pinterest. Above, Adrienne uses an I-Pad at the PCADD CLS program to explore Pinterest.

As far as future goals are concerned, Adrienne would like to attend formal art classes or an art school to further develop her skills as an artist. Although her artwork is just a hobby right now, Adrienne states, “I might want to try and sell it someday”.

Get out your checkbooks everyone!

Success Story # 2: John Hinten

Mr. John Hinten probably has the single most important job within the PCSB 40/PCADD administrative offices… keeping the soda machine stocked.

Above: John and his support staff Marcia L. show one of the picture books he uses to communicate with others.

If it weren’t for John, staff would not get their regular caffeine boost, and productivity would grind to a halt. Payroll wouldn’t get done, bills wouldn’t get paid, reports wouldn’t be completed… ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get the picture.

Keeping the soda machine well stocked is something that John is good at and takes pride in, but it is just one of the many things he does that makes him a success in life. During the summer months, John volunteers at Cancer Memorial Park in Bowling Green, helping the keep the fountain full of water. With the support he receives from PCADD’s Community Inclusion program, John is an active and contributing member of the greater Bowling Green and Pike County community. Some of the things that John likes to do with his support staff include going to the YMCA in Louisiana, hanging out at the library, shopping, and eating out at restaurants.

According to his support staff Marcia L., one of John’s greatest achievements over the years has been learning to communicate using picture cards. Although he does not communicate verbally, John has absolutely no trouble whatsoever in getting his point across and letting others know what he wants, and the picture cards have helped him tremendously with this.  

John ALWAYS wears a smile, and his fun-loving and mischievous demeanor can brighten anyone’s day. John also has a great collection of t-shirts that he likes to show off; his favorite designs include American flags, St. Louis Cardinals shirts, and deer shirts. John has many passions and hobbies that include airplanes, tractors, school buses, watches, and bikes.

John has a collection of t-shirts; above he shows off one of his St. Louis Cardinals t-shirts

John Hinten is a success in life for many reasons… he has overcome significant barriers in communicating with others that he once faced, he volunteers his time doing things he wants, he uplifts the spirits of others, and he is an active and contributing member of the greater community. The fact that he is indirectly responsible for the high productivity level of our staff is just icing on the cake!

Success Story # 1: Mike Hager

According to a recent Career Builder survey, the seven most common qualities of good employees are:

  1. Strong work ethic;
  2. Dependable;
  3. Positive attitude;
  4. Self motivated;
  5. Team oriented;
  6. Good communicator; and
  7. Flexible

The people at Career Builder may as well have been describing a gentleman by the name of Mike Hager. Mike has been employed as a custodian with Pike County Connections (PCC) for the past 12 years. Mike’s positive attitude shines through in many ways; if you should happen to say something that is generally accepted as the unvarnished truth, Mike will heartily exclaim, “that’s right!”.

Mike’s primary responsibilities with PCC include cleaning the employment services and community inclusion offices with the Pike County Agency for Developmental Disabilities (PCADD). This includes the staff offices, conference room, and restroom. Because all PCC employees are paid at or above the minimum wage, Mike brings home a decent paycheck every couple of weeks. At the end of his shift each day, Mike walks over to the PCADD administrative offices, where his favorite administrative staff are treated to hugs, and then he gets the PCADD mail before heading home.

Mike resides in a nice home with supports provided by Ruth Jensen Village (RJV). With assistance from his RJV support staff, Mike is actively engaged in the greater Bowling Green community, and enjoys going out to eat and attending church at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Mike is also on the Special Olympics bowling team, and once bowled a 150!

Mike’s dream is to one day travel to Hawaii. This blog writer would like to be the first to volunteer to personally accompany Mike on this trip should it happen.

When asked what he is most proud of, Mike says this is being employed at PCC for the past 12 years.

When it’s all said and done, Mike has a lot going for him… he is employed in a job that he likes making a good wage; he lives in a very nice home; he is actively engaged in the greater community; he has a network of valued friends; and he has hopes and dreams like anyone else. In short, you could say that Mike is a success story by anyone’s standards…

That’s right!

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