Liberty ARC Stories

Discovering Dreams at Liberty ARC

Discovering Dreams at Liberty ARC

Tayler Motyl, an Assistant Habilitation Specialist 2 at Liberty ARC, said she’s always known she wanted to work in a field where she helped people. “I just love being given the opportunity to help people get through tough times and being someone to rely on,” Tayler said. Tayler’s been working at Liberty ARC for the past eight months while taking pre-requisite courses at Fulton Montgomery Community College for the Registered Nursing Program, which she’ll start in the fall. Tayler said she was able to keep her position at the agency while also going to all of her classes and maintaining a high grade point average, because of the flexibility the position offers.

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Liberty ARC: Just Do It

Liberty ARC: Just Do It

Cheryl Wagner’s advice for someone considering working at Liberty ARC is to “just do it.” “My favorite aspect of working at Liberty ARC is the relationships I’ve built,” Cheryl said. “There are people I’ve supported and worked with over the years who still remember my kids’ names and they remember certain things about me. It warms my heart.” Cheryl has been working at Liberty ARC since 1987. She works full-time as a special education teacher at Sacandaga Elementary School and also works full-time hours doing nights as a Direct Support Sleep-In for Liberty ARC. “I’ve always loved working here – I think it’s a great agency full of wonderful people and it’s got great benefits,” Cheryl said.

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Liberty ARC – Where it Feels Like Home

Liberty ARC – Where it Feels Like Home

Jaime Field says going to work at Liberty ARC doesn’t feel like work – it feels like visiting a friend’s home. “When I walk into a home that I’m going to be working at, I always feel so welcomed,” Jaime said. “We all say ‘hello’ to each other and talk about our day and get to know each other and it’s just so nice. It doesn’t feel like I’m working a shift, it’s like I’m hanging out with my friends.” Jaime works as a fourth grade teaching assistant at Northville Central School District and she also works as relief staff at Liberty ARC as an Assistant Habilitation Specialist 2. Jamie worked for the agency 20 years ago as a Direct Support Professional. Last year she decided she wanted a part-time position while school was out for the summer – the first place she thought of working at was Liberty ARC.

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Liberty ARC: Where Flexibility & Fulfillment Go Hand-in-Hand

Liberty ARC: Where Flexibility & Fulfillment Go Hand-in-Hand

Pat Wellman, a Direct Support Professional at Liberty ARC, will never forget the time when staff and individuals helped her out when she needed it most. “In 2011, we lost our home to a fire,” Pat said. “The outpouring of support my husband and I received was amazing. Staff and individuals showed so much love and compassion to us. They organized a spaghetti dinner at the Mohawk Day Hab. It was a wonderful thing they did for us and it’s something I will never forget.” Pat has been working for Liberty ARC since 2003. Her favorite aspect of her position is that it gives her the opportunity to help people and get to know them at the same time.

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Finally Back at Liberty ARC

Finally Back at Liberty ARC

Every time Sandra Moore – a live-in assistant manager at Liberty ARC – starts her seven-day shift, the individuals she supports always say “you’re back home!” “They greet me with hugs and tell me ‘welcome back,’” Sandra said. “And it really does feel like I’ve come back home – I love it.” Sandra has been working for the agency for nearly three years. She works seven days in a row as a live-in assistant manager, then she has the following seven days off. When she isn’t working at Liberty ARC, Sandra works as the secretary for her church, Crossroads Community Church in Amsterdam. She creates graphics for Sunday service, updates weekly bulletins, she organizes events and keeps a record of church members, amongst other tasks.

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Do What You Love & Love What You Do

Do What You Love & Love What You Do

Do you have a ‘big heart?’ If so, Stefanie Ackerknecht strongly suggests applying for a position at Liberty ARC! “If you think [that’s you] and you need a job that can work with your schedule and/or your family, then it’s definitely worth looking into Liberty ARC,” she said. Stefanie has been working as a Relief Direct Support Professional (DSP) for more than 17 years. She enjoys the flexibility the position provides her, especially since it allows her to run her own business.

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At Liberty ARC the Keyword is ‘Listen’

At Liberty ARC the Keyword is ‘Listen’

“Listen to people – just listen,” is the biggest piece of advice Andy Stegeland, Liberty ARC’s Quality Assurance Coordinator, can give to new employees. “In the 33 years that I’ve been working here that’s the most valuable advice I can give anyone starting out,” Andy said. “Once you start listening to the people you support and the people you work with then good things happen.” Andy started at Liberty ARC as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) in 1986. He thought he’d be at the agency briefly but his job turned into a fulfilling career. Aside from meeting the individuals he helped support, Andy’s favorite aspect when he began working as a DSP was the freedom the job offered.

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From DSP to Director – Liberty ARC provides Pathway for Advancement

From DSP to Director – Liberty ARC provides Pathway for Advancement

“It may be cliché, but when you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life,” is the advice from Erin Abele, Liberty ARC’s Director of Employment Services & Industrial Operations, to new employees at the agency. Erin will be celebrating 20 years at Liberty ARC this summer. She’s worked in many different roles, starting as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) while attending college fulltime. She worked as a relief DSP throughout the day, residential and family support services programs. The position allowed her the flexibility to go to her college classes and work simultaneously. “I loved working relief and being able to get to know people and provide support from the various aspects of their life whether it was enjoying a special trip or event, having a birthday party at their home and being introduced to their family or being a friendly, comforting, familiar face when a person was ill in the hospital,” she said.

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Liberty ARC- Where Inspiration Happens

Liberty ARC- Where Inspiration Happens

Associate Director Wendi Kirk loves what she does at Liberty ARC and it shows! During her 20 years working at the agency and all of the different roles she’s had during that time, there’s one particular moment that’s solidified why she continues to do what she does. “I was assisting with the partnership between FMCC and Liberty ARC,” she said, “and at that time, I was taking individuals to their classes at the college. They were nervous about going but it was important to them. They all passed their classes and did well and it was very meaningful to them. Watching them succeed in school encouraged me to go after my dream of going to school too.” Soon after, Wendi enrolled at Herkimer County Community College and took classes for a Human Services Degree. She has three more classes to complete, which she intends to do in the fall.

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It’s All About Making a Difference at Liberty ARC

It’s All About Making a Difference at Liberty ARC

Wendy Moore, Liberty ARC’s Incident Review Investigator, says her favorite aspect of working at the agency is the feeling she takes away from work every day. “There aren’t a lot of jobs where you can go home and say ‘I made a difference; I had a positive impact on somebody today,’” she said. “It makes you feel good. It makes each day feel so much more than just work.” Wendy has been working for the agency for 24 years. She originally decided to work as a part-time Direct Support Professional (DSP) while going to school. Less than a year after starting her DSP position she was promoted to charge staff, then a year later she was promoted to live-in assistant manager; not long after she became manager at the same home.

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