I recently sat down with Moriah (Mo) Schroeder, Assistant Manager at our Metro location, to chat one last time before she moves out of state to be closer to family. Mo came to ABLE, Inc. ten months ago with a degree in social work and experience working with children, elderly, as well as prison and homeless populations. She was interested in supporting people with disabilities because it was an area of the human services field that she had not yet explored.
As we began talking, she laughed saying that from day one, she knew that this job was going to be a good fit for her. She described how only a few hours into her training, she and the Support Coordinator walked into a gentleman's apartment so she could get to know him. Within moments, he charged towards her, trying to pin her against the wall which was very unusual! As she quickly left the apartment, things settled down and they learned that Mo resembled someone from the WWE wrestling TV show. With a little convincing, the problem was resolved and Mo was able to build a wonderful relationship with him in the weeks that followed. She giggled, stating "every once in awhile we think back to that day and give each other our best flex (wrestling pose) and we just laugh. I love that this job kept me on my toes, each day is so different you never know what to expect."
There have been many moments that stand out as favorites in her time here, Mo shared. Dancing in Pat Renner's kitchen to Molly B's music brought back memories of her grandmother. "It was so special to feel like I was home even though I was miles and miles away from St. Cloud, Minnesota. Having that shared love for polka music brought comfort I never expected." On another occasion, she recalled sitting at the table in Wendy Obritsch's apartment when Wendy suddenly said Mo's name out loud, which was quite unusual. She looked up at Wendy, who laughed and in sign language, motioned for Mo to smile. "In moments like that," Mo said, "it was the people I was supporting who reminded me of what really matters in life. Those were powerful moments."
In her time here, Mo said she's learned to be more organized, how to better multitask, but more importantly, she's learned about relationships. "I never expected to build such strong relationships. I've become so close with people, especially my coworkers. Everyone has been like family, they've been there for me, reaching out to me when I've needed it most." She went on to say, "It's hard to leave a job where I am excited to go to work every day. It's been hurting me knowing that I'm leaving soon, it was a tough decison. It's been so humbling to work with people who have taught me to be a better person."
We will certainly miss Mo's passion for life and her gift of photography as she often honored people by taking beautiful photos of them for Christmas cards or to share with family. I asked Mo what advice she has for other DSPs who are just starting. She said, "It's stressful at first as you have so much to learn, all of the tips and tricks, (module) tests to do, but it gets easier. Eventually you get into the groove and things get easier every single day. I'm appreciative of all of it (training) because now I get to carry it with me for the future."