Member Stories
Farewell Kristen

Farewell Kristen

The Academy has a big door in and an even bigger door out.

The dining room was full of emotion today as we celebrated young adult member Kristen Disler, recounting her contributions to the Academy. In Culinary Arts, she made a mean soup from scratch, and her hummus had us drooling! She was also instrumental in the Arts team, especially on Fridays when we were under deadline to get the weekly newsletter published. Always cool under pressure, she edited and formatted until it was right. Time and time again, Kristen stepped out of her comfort zone to take on new challenges. Today is no different. As she leaves for South Dakota, we know that she will rise to new challenges and continue to grow. 

It is bittersweet when we have to say goodbye to one of our own. Whether it’s a member or staff, the Academy culture supports and celebrates when someone is ready to move on, even when it leaves a hole in our community. The very nature of our program is to provide opportunities for growth and increased autonomy, so when someone leaves our community for a bigger better life, we count that as a win. 

We can’t wait to hear about Kristen’s job as a dietary aide, and her brave new independent life in South Dakota! We are all grateful for the time she spent with us. Near or far, we will always be her community.

Thank you Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation for funding our young adult initiative.

Pictured are some of the members and staff celebrating with Kristen (seated). (left to right) William McKeever, Nicole Pendelton, Ian Churchill, Kevin Luckner, Patty Haltinner, Kevin Geyer, Chanaka Weerasinghe, Ben Burnside and Idanes Paredes.

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