Monday, February 4, 2013

An Independent Woman

Several months ago, I received an email from Mrs. Harvey that gets my award for “Susan’s Favorite Email of All Time.”

She had sent an email to one of our 2012 graduates, Melissa, and asked her to drop off a DVD. Melissa’s response had me grinning from ear to ear for the entire day:

“Hi Mrs. Harvey. Thanks for the email. I'm busy this week, so I wouldn't be able to come down there. Can we try for next week since I'm an independent woman now and trying to get things done.”

Even though Mrs. Harvey wanted that DVD, Melissa’s email was the best news we could have heard. Melissa was too busy to visit the college. She was an independent woman now. She was getting things done. Could a college for people with intellectual disabilities hear any sweeter words from their alumni?

Melissa wrote to us last week and her message will be our blog for today:

Hi. I just moved out from my parents and away from my roommate for a great new job in Pennsylvania. I will be working at the Busted Bean in PA. I found out about this job from my brother who is good friends with the guy who owns the place. I got this job by interning for the month of December and enjoyed working there.

Melissa cleaning up the kitchen at Busted Bean.
Melissa assisting with the making and delivering of the catering trays for Busted Bean.
One step I took to make this decision is to question my faith in God and how He works in my life. I was deeply moved by my roommate’s mother who told me to have God in my life everywhere I go.

I had other reasons to do this move - because my brother is a dad. My sister-in-law had a baby and I get to help her out.  

I’m so grateful to move even though I left friends and family, but it doesn’t mean I won’t see them again. I will always be around for them.

Traveling on my own is a little hard, but God is with me everywhere I go, and that is a good thing. I have traveled with my parents and now on my own.

In 5 years I would like to be on my own and out into the community. I would like to live in an apartment. I would like to live with a roommate who would be able to help me with things. I would like to be working 5 to 6 hours a day at my job. I would like to attend church. I used to live in PA, so I’m hoping to go to my old church called Zion Lutheran church. The church people are very nice. I have a friend - a boss - that goes to the same church as me. I would love to make new friends, because I’m a friendly person, and I meet friends everywhere I go. Friends are important because they help you and are willing to make things work. Good friends don’t leave each other. They stick by you no matter what. I can be more independent by showing my brother that I can do my own laundry, do the dishes, help with making supper and, more importantly, I can show my parents and my brother that I can take good care of myself.

I encourage all who would love to be independent to live up their dream.

God’s blessings,
Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at


  1. touched by Melissa's sincerity, beautiful smile, and her knowing God

  2. Now that's a girl, excuse me WOMAN, who knows what she wants in life! Good luck, Melissa!

  3. Beautiful...just beautiful.

  4. Congrats Melissa! You make UG proud!

  5. Congrats Melissa. We'll miss watching the Bears games with you but wish you all the best in PA! Rob and Diann


  7. Hip Hip Hooray! Your amazing and I am so happy to know you!
    Colleen Lois-former PAC House coach