Happy March! Spring is just around the corner! With a new month beginning, MRI has chosen a new employee of the month.
Congratulations to Heike Owens, MRI’s March Employee of the Month. Heike is a member of our Community Day Services department.
Heike was nominated by several people in her department for all of her outstanding work. She was nominated because “she is always friendly to everyone and is very helpful in all areas that she is needed.”
Congratulations again, Heike! We are happy to have you a part of the MRI team!
Thank you Prairie Melody Birdseed for providing work opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities at MRI!
This past fall 2019, MRI had the opportunity to partner with Prairie Melody Birdseed and packaged 40,000 units for Prairie Melody’s new 99 Cents Only stores launch. Prairie Melody gave 16 of our individuals served a great job opportunity!
Click here to watch the video MRI made on the partnership between the two organizations.
Are you interested in partnering with MRI to provide work opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities? Please contact our Director of Sales and Production, Brad Auten, at 217.875.8810 or email@example.com
Are you interested in having your child attend a camp during the day this summer?
Join MRI Kids Connection on Wednesday, March 4 from 4:30 – 6:30PM to get more information about our Summer Camps we will be offering.
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) – Daily 90 minute sessions with a trained tech, assessments, plans and goals by a BCBA. For children ages 2 – 8. Parents must attend or contact Blaine Smith before this meeting to make other arrangements.
Autism Social Skills Camp – 6 weeks of 3 hour intensive camp focused on individual goals to improve social skills. For children ages 10 – 16
Camp Earth – 6 weeks of summer camp focused on giving your child a chance to learn job skills and team work. For children ages 14 -21
Summer Speech – A chance for your child to have a continuation of speech during the school summer break.
We look forward to meeting you!
If you have any questions before the Summer Camp Open House, please call MRI Kids Connection at 217.429.105
This month we have welcomed not one, not two, but 22 different classes in our Community Day Service program! We are so excited to be able to offer these weekly programs to help our individuals be able to try “out of the ordinary” extracurricular programs.
Shakespeare Corrected with Millikin University
Hair & Makeup
Beginner Reading Group
Karli’s Music Jam
Advanced Reading Group
Swimming at the YMCA
Board Game Club
Line Dance Club
Intermediate Reading Group
Our individuals have loved participating and trying out all of the new classes that Community Day Service group leaders and case managers have created just for them! We cannot wait to see how their skills in all of these new programs grow in the next coming weeks.
Scroll down to see more pictures of our individuals participating in our new programs!
Persons served attending their very first class of creative writing.
Community Day Service Participant, Karen creating her first clay pot in Clay Workshop.
Persons served learning about Vincent van Gogh in their new class, Canvas Painting.
Persons served having a fun time playing Candy Land in Board Game Club.
Persons served learning numbers and every day works in their first class of Spanish Club.
This fall semester MRI has had the privilege of having 4 great interns work with our persons served and gain real-world experience.
Meet MRI’s Fall Human Resources Intern, Ethan Meyer!
Ethan is a senior at Millikin University and is wrapping up his Fall HR Internship with MRI. He will be graduating May 2020 and is excited to begin his career in HR.
MRI sat down with Ethan and asked him how his Fall internship experience was before he finished.
“MRI’s overall mission and community involvement really stood out to me. I’ve always been about helping people and I really admire the organization. When my internship coordinator at Millikin told me that there was an HR internship available at MRI, I was completely on board! I want to go into Human Resources when I graduate so this was a great opportunity for me.”
After Ethan graduates from Millikin he would love to work in Human Resources out in California. “I have family in California and it would be great to be close to them and experience all the opportunities California has to offer.”
As for what Ethan has learned during his time at MRI, he says he has learned so much! “I’ve enhanced my public speaking skills as well as how to conduct myself in a professional work space. I’ve also gained new friends and overall had a great experience and can’t thank MRI enough!”
Also meet MRI’s Music Interns- Emily Kouzios, Kaela Adams and Demetri Sepsis!
Just beginning their freshman year at Millikin University, Emily, Kaela and Demetri want to begin real-world experience. After meeting MRI’s recruiter at a Career Fair at Millikin and realizing MRI was looking for a music intern, the three friends got together to start planning out the idea for a music internship program at MRI.
Emily, Kaela and Demetri have loved their internship experience at MRI so far! “We’ve really enjoyed getting to know the individuals MRI serves and seeing how much fun they have singing the songs we bring them each week.”
We wish Ethan, Emily, Kaela and Demetri the best of luck with their finals and future endeavors!
If you are interested in learning more about the internships MRI offers, please contact Lyric Smith – MRI Recruiter/Generalist at 875.8802 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Dorothy, an MRI Community Day Services participant.
“MRI makes me feel like I can do and accomplish anything I want. I love it here!” ~ Dorothy
Dorothy has been attending MRI for over 22 years. Over that time, Dorothy has grown in her independence and confidence in herself and her abilities. Dorothy is so proud of the work she accomplishes every day at Macon Resources.
But Dorothy wasn’t always this thriving, amazing individual you see every day. When Dorothy started at MRI, she was very withdrawn, insecure and introverted. She didn’t want to work and she didn’t want to have friends. You do not see that personality today.
Over the years, the influence her supportive family, staff, and classmates she interacts with at MRI has changed her. MRI’s innovative programming that teaches Dorothy life skills, job skills, provides opportunities for creativity, and health and wellness has also benefited her and has allowed her to grow into a thriving productive and independent member of society.
Dorothy has a very busy schedule when she arrives at MRI. She holds several different jobs during the day, ranging from labeling license plates, assembling pack nuts, to taking birthday, anniversary or get well soon cards around for staff to sign and send. She loves any reason to celebrate!
Dorothy is also a gifted artist and enjoys spending time in Special Projects class creating art pieces for her friends and family.
While Dorothy faces many challenges, she does not let her disability define her. She always has a positive attitude and knows that with MRI’s help, she is going to be okay. Dorothy is going through nightly dialysis due to kidney failure, but you would never know that. She is on a waiting list and must lose 20 pounds before she can receive her new kidney. With the help of her case manager and family, she has found a healthy eating plan that works for her and is utilizing the exercise benefits of Meaningful Meadows every chance she gets.
“You wouldn’t know Dorothy has kidney failure,” said Leslie Pierce, Human Rights Manager at MRI. “She doesn’t miss a day of work, she’s active and she wants to lose the weight.”
Dorothy loves to walk the track with her friends and swing on the brand new swing set. She is also so excited to be able to use the splash pad when it gets hot outside next summer! Since it’s getting too cold to use Meaningful Meadows, she has moved her exercise routine indoors and enjoys walking laps in the gym and around the building to stay active.
“Meaningful Meadows is nice and pretty. I like walking with all my friends.”
Today, Dorothy is proud of herself. She is social and has many friends at MRI. She has found her value and confidence, and is working hard to lose weight so she can get her new kidney and continue living a happy and meaningful life.
We asked Dorothy if she would like to say anything to the people who took the time to read her story and she said “Yes! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” and “Go MRI!” –
October 28th – November 1st was the United Way Campaign Week. The week was designed to raise money for the United Way internally.
MRI had so many fun activities to help raise money for United Way, but also had fun activities that their individuals served were able to participate in.
Monday, October 28: MRI Spirit Day & Chili Cook-off
Tuesday, October 29: Pajama Day & Family Feud
Wednesday, October 30: Wacky Tacky Day & Dessert Cart
Thursday, October 31: Happy Halloween Trick-or-Treat & Dance
Friday, November 1: Fan Favorite Day & Talent Show
It was such a fun week spent with friends and so many new memories were made. United Way supports MRI throughout the entire year so it was amazing to see all the support MRI was giving back to United Way.
Happy November! With a new month beginning that means MRI has chosen a new employee of the month.
Congratulations to Doug Carlson, MRI’s November Employee of the Month. Doug is a member of our maintenance department at MRI.
Doug was nominated by several people in the Admin and Production department. He was nominated because “he is always willing to help others, no matter what the request. Doug has the best attitude and is extremely caring and has great relationships with the individuals we serve.”
Congratulations again, Doug! We are happy to call you MRI’s employee of the month!
Last week, MRI celebrated Production Week for all of their production staff. This covers a wide variety of employees that MRI has from janitorial and lawn care fields, packaging, maintenance and manufacturing license plates. The production division includes more than 30 workers!
“They are like the offensive linemen of the world,” said Brad Auten, director of sales and production. “They do a lot of the work, but the quarterback gets the interview.”
MRI spoiled their production team by surprising them with daily treats; doughnuts on Monday, bags of candy on Tuesday, cookies from Sunrise Bakery on Wednesday, specially designed MRI t-shirts on Thursday, stainless steel water bottles and a pizza party for the finale on Friday.
The packaging assembly division prepares materials used for packaging in local businesses. Fuyao Glass, Cim-Tek Filtration in Bement and Mueller Company have benefited from the production employees at MRI. The janitorial department manages five rest areas in Central Illinois. The employees clean, mow and perform other duties at the facilities. Janitorial work is also utilized at other state-managed buildings. The production facility also makes all the license plates for the State of Illinois.
Sixty percent of MRI’s employees have developmental disabilities. Employees gain work experience and a paycheck. “Ideally so they can find a way out on their own and lead a more independent life,” Auten said.
30 high school students from Mt. Zion High School visited MRI last Friday, September 27th to spend the day with individuals served at MRI. Individuals served like Wanda had the best time spending the day with the student she was paired with for the day.
There were multiple different activities happening in several areas at MRI. The individuals served were so excited to be able to show the Mt. Zion students Meaningful Meadows. They played games on the new basketball court, a round of mini golf course as well as walking around the track. Inside they were able to make a collaborative collage together in the Special Projects room and were so excited to play a competitive round of Wii Sports in the Big Activity Room towards the end of the day.
MRI can’t thank Mt. Zion High School enough for having some of your students spend the day at MRI.
Scroll below to see more pictures from the Mount Zion & MRI Field Day!