In 100 years, Easterseals has had the honor of having some remarkable people pass through our doors. As we prepare for the Easterseals Century Ball we are taking the time to reflect on past Ambassadors. Read on to see what one of our past Ambassadors is up to now!
Jessica can do remarkable things thanks to her hard work at Easterseals and the way that emphasis was always placed on what she could do, rather than what she couldn’t. For Jessica, empowerment stems from having the fortitude and courage to live a satisfying life while contributing to society. She has felt empowerment many times and in many ways, from being able to walk at 2-and-a-half years old to winning golf medals in Special Olympics. Now she puts that empowerment into action.
For the last 13 years Jessica has been a full time employee at Peoria Production Shop in north Peoria. She has worked in several areas around the shop including packaging, labeling, staging and assembly.
When we caught up with her at work, she was working on one of the new auto-bag machines. “I like it over here,” she said, as she demonstrated the machine. Her supervisor, Patrick Stark, said she has been successful in every job she has taken on in the shop. He describes her as kind and hardworking. “She is always upbeat,” he said, “She walks laps during break and picks up pieces of wood to give to the maintenance guys who build stuff with them — she is very thoughtful like that”.
Kindness and a strong work ethic are two very important things to the team at Peoria Production Shop, whose mission is to be the premiere employer of individuals with disabilities. For more than 75 years they have been providing comprehensive packaging, manufacturing, assembly and custom labor solutions, and they do it well. The Peoria Production Shop was recently awarded Caterpillar’s Supplier Quality Excellence Process Gold Certification, which requires a proven track record of excellence in quality, delivery and cost, and is only awarded to those who demonstrate this level of performance on an ongoing basis. They manage to achieve this level of excellence while providing a sense of family and community amongst their 184 employees.
In addition to helping her team at Peoria Production Shop, Jessica finds time to give back. She works tirelessly each and every year to support the Easterseals Telethon. So far she has raised nearly $43,000 for Easterseals Central Illinois since 2005, with no signs of stopping.
Thank you, Jessica!