Liberty ARC Sisters Making a Difference Upcounty
For sisters, Melissa Jonker and Meghan Cortright, working at Liberty ARC isn’t just a job – it’s a huge part of who they are.
“I always knew I wanted to work here,” Meghan said. “I grew up around Liberty ARC ever since I was six years old and would visit the residences to see my older sister at work – Liberty ARC has always been a part of my life.”
Meghan has been working at Liberty ARC for the last two years as a Relief Residential Direct Support Professional (DSP) in the “upcounty” region (western Montgomery County.) She started
working at the agency right after graduating high school.
“Before I even started working here, Liberty ARC was a prominent part of my life,” Meghan said. “I was a pen pal to an individual when I was 10 years old; I would go to the residences every prom or formal dance to have my photos taken with the individuals. I knew after graduation I would be working here.”
Meghan is currently in nursing school and manages to work fulltime hours around classes.
“Working at Liberty ARC gives me the flexibility to go to school and work, which is really hard to find,” she said.
Meghan’s older sister, Melissa, has been with Liberty ARC, working upcounty for the past 15 years. She started as a DSP, with the intention of working for the agency temporarily, but fell in love with her job. She advanced her career at Liberty ARC by becoming an assistant manager and then a manager of one of the upcounty residences.
She’s a hard worker who loves her job, and it shows; she received Liberty ARC’s Manager of the Year Award in 2016 shortly after joining the management team.
“I get to experience things with the individuals that they’ve never gotten to do before,” Melissa said. “I love that; I love seeing the joy they get. For example, one time a group of us staff and individuals went to Graceland for five days. It was amazing.”
Melissa also said the relationships her family has formed with the individuals she supports is very dear to her heart.
“I like to bring individuals who don’t have family members in this area to my family’s gatherings for holidays,” she said. “One individual in particular comes to every holiday gathering we have – he plans ahead. He’ll talk about what we’re doing on Christmas when we’re eating Thanksgiving dinner. The relationships our whole family has with the people we support is very special to me – I’m very lucky to be a part of the Liberty ARC family.”