What is Community Engagement?
Community engagement is a key program offered at Covey in Oshkosh and Appleton, Wisconsin. Through community engagement programs, individuals create relationships within the greater community and learn how to become contributing members of society. Community engagement is especially important for adults with disabilities because it breaks down barriers and gives them opportunities to progress toward life enrichment.
Community Engagement Examples
- Volunteerism at N.E.W. PAWSibilities
- Art classes at Fire Escape
- Attending baseball games
Our community engagement program allows our clients to interact and create lasting friendships with one another and the greater Oshkosh and Appleton community.
With community engagement being such a major focus for us at Covey, we are excited to introduce Beth, our Program Assistant in Community Engagement. Beth takes special care to plan fun events for Covey clients that are virtual, in-person, and out in the Fox Valley community!
Hi, Beth! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi there! I started with Covey in August, 2020, and have been working with adults with disabilities for six years. Having previously provided in-home care at group homes, as a Program Assistant at Covey, I now plan and run the Community Engagement program.
What inspired you to apply at Covey?
Covey was an opportunity to do more of what I love—caring for adults with disabilities—while also starting a new adventure.
What does a day in the life of a Community Engagement Program Assistant look like at Covey?
Every day is different. Some days I have webinar trainings, other days I shop for supplies or prep projects for our clients to participate in. I spend a lot of time thinking and planning new events and have had the opportunity to secure a few donations for Covey which has been very rewarding.
Community engagement is so important for our mission. Therefore, where is your favorite place to take Covey clients and why?
Oh boy! I love to go to Fire Escape because from what I’ve seen it seems to be our clients’ favorite place. I love to see the excitement on their faces when they get to see their finished projects. I also love going to N.E.W. PAWSibilities because you can truly see the animal therapy working. Some clients cuddle with puppies for fifteen minutes or so, while others giggle and smile the entire time. I love animals, too, so I’m always happy to be there.
What gets you excited to come into work every day?
I look forward to simply being able to work with our clients every day because in a way, they become my friends. I’ve known a lot of them for years and truly care about them. Because of my close connection with our clients, I can plan events I know they will sincerely enjoy. It’s great to see how excited they get to attend the events I planned especially for them.
Covey Connects is a new virtual offering added last year. What value does this program provide to clients?
Covey Connects has been very fun and interesting. I believe it’s a testament to Covey’s flexibility in response to COVID—adjusting our services to meet the needs of our clients during unprecedented times. We’ve done all kinds of activities from science experiments to fitness, which always feels good for me to get a workout in, too! Online activities can be a challenge to get our clients up and going, but it’s well worth it. When clients are happy and able to explore an interest or a new passion, I know I’ve done my job.
At Covey, we aim to teach our clients and expand their horizons. Conversely, have Covey clients helped you expand your horizons? What have you learned since working here?
I’ve learned a lot in regards to helping others come out of their shell, finding balance between breaking down barriers with clients and backing off to give them their space. The big picture goal is happiness for our clients, and I feel confident in my abilities to make individuals’ lives happier.
Thank you, Beth! In light of the nice weather, Beth would also like to encourage anyone interested in Covey to come out and volunteer with us! Discover volunteer opportunities when you connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.