I am 31 years old and like to refer to myself as an aspiring local celebrity do-gooder. I graduated a few years ago with my Masters of Public Administration from UMKC. I have spent the past thirteen years building a career helping disabilities in a variety of capacities. I started out as a direct support professional (in lay men’s terms: paid caregiver), supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live independently in their homes to put myself through undergrad. Shortly after I started doing that, I also joined the ranks of millions of Americans who have served with AmeriCorps, a national service program that supports many vital social services and community programs across the country. During my AmeriCorps service, I started a youth program for underserved Latino youth with disabilities with the goal of building social and independent living skills, increasing community integration, and volunteering at a local Latino-serving community organization. The program is still there, ten years later.
After I earned my Bachelors, I had to get a ‘real job.’ I spent a year as a QDDP, a supervisor over the DSPs that work in people’s homes. I really loved that job but only stayed there for one year, when I received an offer I could not refuse to go to work at a department of my alma mater which is a statewide, federally supported powerhouse of research and training geared towards improving the social status, civil rights, and quality of life of people with disabilities. I have been there over seven years. When I started, my main role was helping the statewide self-advocacy organization by helping them coordinate and prepare for meetings and conferences, prepare informational products, and develop web tools for advocacy. I later transitioned to projects focused on providing and enhancing supports to families and my job functions changed to communications and design.
My passion is where social justice and technology meet. My specialty is making projects, programs, and organizations look good.
For the past few years, I have been taking care of my grandma as her primary caregiver. It has been quite the journey. Since that time, I’ve learned more than I ever want to know about what it’s like to grow old in today’s world. I have been chronicling my millenial caregiving adventures at takingcareofgrandma.com. I launched my caregiving blog in May of 2017. I have been working on becoming a Certified Caregiving Consultant through Caregiving.com after scouring the depths of the interwebs for resources to help me as a family caregiver.
I have another blog (GhettoSaraLee.com) where I have been trying to spread knowledge about how to live good when you don’t have a lot of money. I’m not too active on there though, probably because I haven’t quite perfected the art yet 😉
My personal interests and fascinations include animals, arts&crafts, astronomy, civil rights movements, cooking & baking, design, español, etiquette, history, kansas city, latin american culture, natural living, people watching, reading & writing, saving the environment, sign language, technology, the beat generation, traveling, and upgrading the home/diy.