ProAct, Inc.



ProAct, 3195 Neil Armstrong Boulevard,  Eagan, Minnesota  55121

Enhancing Lives ... Exploring Opportunities  ... News from ProAct, Inc.  
March 2014
In This Issue
Transport help
All in the family
Experience counts
ProAct, Walgreens partner with disabilities program
Walgreens pharmacy has been a leading employer for people with disabilities, and a new relationship between the company and ProAct is emerging.

The company's Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative (REDI) uses an in-store training program to help gain retailing and customer service skills.

ProAct is just one of two service providers participating in the REDI program in the Twin Cities.  Watch for more information in the next issue of ProAct's People Achieving newsletter. 
Eagan Foundation provides $1,500 for transportation
Needed funds to assist with ProAct's transportation came by way of the Eagan Foundation, which awarded a $1,500 toward the purchase of a wheelchair equipped bus.

ProAct was one of 10 recipients, which together received $8,600 in grant funds. 
Field showing at chamber
Artwork by consumer Kathryn Field received a public showing at the Dakota County Regional Chamber office with the help of vocational specialist Anthony Moe and contacts with Eagan Art House. 
In the news
Check out these stories from area media outlets.  And, be sure to visit ProAct's web and Facebook sites for the latest news.

Learn about MnCHOICES during SAGES seminar 
A new tool from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to assess the needs of people who need long term services and supports is the subject of the next SAGES seminar on May 2 in Bloomington.  Learn more and register by April 29.  The cost is $15 at the door. 
United Way logo
Programs funded in part by the United Way
Charities Review Council certified

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Friendly hostess transitions from Minn. to Wis.

Applebee's worker in Hudson excels in active role      

Alicia Nesse, right, has worked at Applebee's restaurants for nine years and thrives in the social role of hostess.
  Her sister Katrina, left, is her job coach.

Alicia Nesse has a sense of humor, a great memory and enjoys the money and experience provided by her work as a hostess at Applebee's in Hudson, Wis.

Though her eyesight has suffered in recent years, her charm has not.  "It's like it's her uncle's restaurant.  She always tells all the kids they're really cute," said Nesse's sister, Katrina, who serves as her job coach.  

The ProAct consumer has been with the major chain for nine years, and transferred to the Hudson location
this year from Cottage Grove.  When she's not greeting and chatting with diners in front, visitors may find her rolling kids' menus, prepping silverware or cleaning windows.

"She is funny, smart and a good verbal communicator," said interim Hudson site coordinator LeeAnn Mergens. Some customers are surprised to see Nesse use a cane when she ends her shift and eats lunch.  They didn't realize she was blind, Katrina explains.  

Sit down at a nearby booth, ask Alicia what number it is.  She knows.  She's also committed the menu to memory and often upsells customers, letting them know about good things to order.

Nesse spent almost a decade at ProAct's Red Wing location before transferring to Hudson.
Learn more about her in the next issue of ProAct's People Achieving newsletter.
Tight family connection with ProAct
The Lien Family talks about how Amanda, their oldest, has benefited from her 11-year participation with ProAct.
Longtime Eagan consumer Amanda Lien, second from right, with her family at ProAct.

Living in her own apartment with care attendants, Amanda attends the Eagan program daily. The experience provides two things Amanda loves, a dependable schedule and a place to socialize. "It is a great place," said Kris Lien, her mother. "She has blossomed ... she loves the staff."  
   Amanda's sisters, Sheena and Melinda, both work at ProAct and her brother is Amanda's personal care attendant in the evening.  Get the full story soon in ProAct's People Achieving newsletter.

Veteran staff member centers on relationships
The dedication and commitment of long-term employees is
Case Manager Gloria Bechel,
Red Wing
something that doesn't go unnoticed at ProAct, and Case Manager Gloria Bechel with the Day Training and Habilitation program in Red Wing is just one example of the value they bring to the organization.

Bechel leads ProAct's Crisis Intervention Training, which has given her a different perspective on her day to day interactions with consumers.  "They have issues, physical, emotional, cognitive.  They are still people, with wants and needs," she said.  "They want to be cared for, want to feel a purpose in life and they want to contribute."
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What is ProAct?
With facilities in Eagan, Red Wing, Zumbrota and Hudson, Wis., ProAct, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation which has served the needs of people with disabilities and other challenges for more than 40 years.