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disability services

MRI & Millikin University Present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

MRI Drama Club & Millikin University students have been working hard to learn the ins and outs of show biz. Come check out their hard work as they present William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

WHO: The Superior Thespians of MRI
WHAT: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare
WHEN: Friday, May 4 @ 1:00 pm
WHERE: MRI Gymnasium, 2121 Hubbard Ave., Decatur, IL 62526
WHY: Come support the hard work of the Millikin students and MRI drama club in this amazing opening/closing night one-time spectacular show!
COST: FREE!

A note from our thespians: 
‘The MRI Drama Club and theatre students from Millikin University, will present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on May 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm. The students enrolled in a ‘Shakespeare Corrected” course elected to produce a dramatic presentation with our individuals served. Entertaining practices guarantee an interesting and comical production. Don’t miss this fantastic show!!”

CHECK OUT OUR ALL STAR CAST
Hermia: Amanda
Demetrius: Carl
Lysander: Joe
Helena: Shelly
Egeus: Andy
Theseus: Roger
Hippolyta: Wanda
Oberon: Robert “Stretch”
Titania: Tonya
Puck: Matt
Fairies: Chassidee, Judy, Roger J., Vicki
Servant: Tony
Quince: Chuck
Bottom: Damien
Flute: Dorothy
Starveling: Gregory
Snout: Michael D.
Snug: Candace
Other “Knuckleheads”: Ryan C, Joseph
Narrators: Lorraine, Caleb, Jason, and Tony

Meet Cameron

Get to know him

Cameron participates in the Discovery Depot child care center at Independence Pointe. At only two years old, he is a rambunctious ball of energy! When we went to visit Cameron to get a few photos for our Impact Story he was a bit shy. Granted, we arrived as he and his classmates were just waking up from their afternoon naps (Oops!). With the help of his teachers we were able to get him to crack a few smiles for the camera.

How has Discovery Depot helped?

When Cameron joined Discovery Depot, he was having both physical and developmental issues. Aside from the services provided by MRI he also visits a therapist to aid in developing his skills. After working with Cameron it was apparent that his poor vision was impacting his developmental abilities. Once he received his adorable glasses and began working in the classroom, he began to show great improvement.
In his classroom he and his classmates work on social and emotional learning. Some of the learning includes;

How is he doing now?

After speaking with his grandmother about Cameron’s progress, she had this to say, “Through Discovery Depot he has developed greatly.” She has noticed a big improvement in his social skills and his memory. When he enters the building at Independence Pointe he recognizes all of the staff and even knows everyone’s names!

 

Meet Angie

If you were to visit MRI (Macon Resources, inc.) out on Hubbard Avenue, there is a good chance you would be welcomed by a big smile from Angie. Angie has been with MRI for over 33 years, and has witnessed many changes throughout those years! She has held multiple employment positions around the building; however, working as an Agency Greeter is her most recent achievement!

Growing up, Angie faced bullying throughout school. It was difficult for her to find a place to fit in, and as a result she moved from school to school. As she progressed through school, the bullying intensified and all of the harassment took a toll on her. Eventually she shut herself off from everyone to avoid the negativity. At the age of 17 Angie was able to utilize the services provided by MRI and she finally found a place of belonging. She slowly began to open up and become the kind and caring person she is today.

“I want to be more independent. I want to try stuff on my own.” -Angie

We sat down with Angie one afternoon and had a wonderful time listening to her describe the events of her past that have led her to where she is now. Her early years with MRI were highly supervised. Angie received an escort to help her into, and throughout the building. Once she warmed up to the atmosphere and the people, Angie soon noticed she was receiving more attention from staff than she needed. One night Angie expressed to her mother, “I want to be more independent. I want to try stuff on my own.” and the next day Angie escorted herself into the building. This moment was the first step Angie had taken towards becoming more independent for herself!

As more time passed and confidence in herself grew, Angie wanted to push her sense of independence even further. She wanted to get a job and start earning money on her own. Angie recalls her first job at MRI as stuffing newspapers. During that job she learned valuable skills such as work ethic and money management. With the help of MRI’s employment staff, Angie has held multiple jobs both within MRI and in the community.

Aside from working, Angie also is involved with volunteering! A few years ago Angie was informed that McKinley Court Care Center had multiple opportunities for volunteers at their building in Decatur. Angie took it upon herself to find them in the phone book and give them a call to see where she could help. After receiving the Volunteer of the Year award for three years in a row at McKinley Court, Angie was offered a job there! Her duties consist of; participating in bingo with the residents, socializing and completing paperwork. 

Angie is very thankful for the services MRI provides and the skills she has learned along the way. She looks forward to what lies ahead of her and the places she will go.

August Employee of the Month

Mia Jarrett

August Employee of the Month

Another month, another employee of the month! In August, MRI’s Case Management Administrative Aid Mia Jarrett went above and beyond the normal call of duty. Mia was nominated because, “she was asked to devote three hours of her day doing something that was crucial in keeping our clients safe and she was happy and willing to help. She volunteered with the best attitude and a smile on her face. Her every day attitude makes me proud to work at the same place as her.

Mia’s nomination was unanimously chosen from a pool of over 50 nominations! Thanks for all your hard work, Mia. We appreciate all you do for MRI!

This month, we had nominations from employees, individuals and even parents! At least one person from each department was nominated. Thank you to everyone who went above and beyond this month AND a huge thank you to those who noticed!

 

July Employee of the Month

Pamela Cunningham

July Employee of the Month

MRI’s first employee of the month is Pamela Cunningham from our Community Living Services department. Pam works at one of our group homes and was chosen as the winner from a pool of over 40 nominations. Pam’s fellow employees saw her going above and beyond, nominated her for her hard work and then chose her as the winner.

The winning nomination read, “Pam was more than happy to participate in an activity that most employees had no interest in. She also expressed very positive feelings about MRI and the work that she does.”

Pam was surprised at work early Friday morning with a bouquet of candy, balloons and a Starbucks gift card. She also has a reserved parking spot at each of MRI’s three locations.  You can see her reaction in the photo gallery below.

Thanks to all the employees who had such wonderful things to say about the people they work with every day!

Meet Tony

Tony 2Meet Tony, a MRI Day Vocational Training participant. Tony may be blind, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing his passions, including music. Tony taught himself to play piano by ear at the age of five. However, his musical abilities don’t stop there! Tony can also play keyboard, auto harp and sing.

MRI clients and employees can hear Tony’s music around lunchtime. Monday – Friday from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Tony plays piano outside the cafeteria so those who are eating lunch can enjoy some smooth tunes. Tony enjoys playing the piano because other people enjoy it. One of his favorite things to do is make new friends and he feels he does this best through music.

Tony used to travel around to various nursing homes and libraries to play piano for the guests. He hopes to start doing that again soon so he can continue meeting new people. His current goal is to create a CD and hear himself on the radio.

When Tony is not playing one of the various instruments he enjoys, he can be found bowling with his friends, hanging out with his girlfriend or watching a classic Western film.

Tony 1

Meet Olivia

MRI’s Our Voice Through Art has allowed Olivia to gain confidence, make friends and think outside the box.  Through the class, she has been able to explore various materials, which has shown her how to look at the world differently.

Olivia’s communication skills have also improved as she becomes more comfortable asking for help, sharing materials and complimenting others’ work. She even carries on conversations with her peers as they complete their artwork.

But most importantly, her mom explains, “she feels a part of something. She feels important.”

 

MRI Announces New Leadership

The Board of Directors of Macon Resources, Inc. (MRI) announces the selection of Amy Bliefnick to succeed retiring Executive Director, Dreux Lewandowski. Ms Bliefnick is a Decatur native who has served as Director of the Illinois State Fair from 2004 – 2015, Board Chairman and Director of Richland Community College, Director of Development for St. Teresa High School, and Illinois State Special Olympic Board of Directors.

 

Mr. Lewandowski began his tenure at MRI in 2004 and has been working in disability services for 35 years. Under his direction MRI expanded services to both children and adults in the areas of childcare, early childhood prevention, community living and job training programs.