During the second half of her working career, Vickie Jose has gone to work each day as a teacher, advocate, counselor and friend,
finding her true calling and passion working with individuals with developmental disabilities. After 21 years at Community Opportunities, Vickie will retire on March 31, 2014.
After a two decade career in retail and the food service industry, she was looking for a new job, and after becoming familiar with several individuals who receive support from Community Opportunities, Vickie decided that would be the next step in her career. She recalls she immediately loved how her new friends enjoyed the simple things in life such as camping and playing yard darts. “I knew that when I was with these individuals I could be me,” said Vickie.
She quickly found a home away from home at Community Opportunities and was a natural at providing supports to others. Three years later, Vickie was promoted to manager, utilizing not only her people skills, but also her keen sense of organization and leadership. Vickie worked closely with many new support staff, leading by example each day how to not only support individuals with their daily needs, but to really listen to their preferences, get to know individuals, and most importantly, treat everyone with dignity and respect.
“Vickie has always been a rock and very solid in her quiet leadership, not only in the residential department, but throughout the entire agency. She gets everything done and we like to tease her about her multitude of sticky notes. She will be greatly missed,” said Mary Sullivan-Thomas, executive director.
Seeing individuals become more independent, moving into new apartments with friends and witnessing long-time clients giving back to the community by volunteering hours of their time has been some of the highlights of her career.
“My years with Community Opportunities have been very rewarding. Being part of the lives of the people I have provided services for has given me a feeling of worth, as I hope I have done for them. I really feel we, staff and clients, are part of an extended family. I will truly miss being part of this family,” said Vickie.
Upon retirement Vickie plans to spend more time with her already retired husband, Tim, help her daughter finalize plans for her upcoming wedding and keep busy with many projects. Retirement will not leave her with idle time on her hands.
Community Opportunities provides residential supports to 31 individuals from Lincoln County in a variety of setting throughout Troy. As well as residential supports, Community Opportunities also provides Targeted Case Management, and Community and Employment Services. For more information call 636-462-7695.