The year 2019 is a milestone for Easterseals, marking 100 years of making the world more inclusive of people with disabilities, economic disadvantages, and veterans. For Deborah Stephens, it also marks 20 years of dedicated service to the organization here in Cincinnati.
Deborah, known as Dee Dee, started her career at Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati in the CAPT program, short for Children and Parents Together. It fostered a collaborative approach to helping those with special needs to move toward employment. Today, Dee Dee is still making an impact as a lead worksite coordinator with Community Link, a partnership with Easterseals, Talbert House, and Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services.
Community Link connects people applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) assistance to resources that will help remove barriers to future employment and self-sufficiency. Stephens draws on her two decades of experience to match her clients to the services that best fit their unique needs, such as the Prosperity for All program or Easterseals Packing and Fulfilment Centers.
Dee Dee reflects that over the years, she has worked with people from all walks of life, many different countries, and even refugees seeking to find a better life. “Meeting people from everywhere has opened my eyes to a lot of cultures and helps me appreciate what everybody brings,” Dee Dee said.
“I really embrace Easterseals beliefs and values,” Dee Dee said. “I try to always put ‘People First,’ and I have courage to speak up and make suggestions for the good of Easterseals and I value diversity.”
Her dedication and compassion have not gone unnoticed. Even her clients get a boost of confidence in themselves and gain an optimistic outlook for their futures. “One of my clients stated that he doesn’t know how anyone could fail working with me.” Dee Dee is also quick to share credit with her co-workers. “I really appreciate my team – I work with a team of seasoned professionals,” she said, noting that most of her colleagues also have more than a decade of experience.
Danielle Gentry-Barth, Vice President of Development and Marketing for Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati, echoes how Deborah makes an impact on multiple levels. “Dee Dee has been a great supporter of our employee giving campaign. A career in helping others is very fulfilling in its own right, but when employees are moved to give back to the mission, it tells a more powerful story about the good work the team is doing every day.”
Thank you to Dee Dee for her continued service to Easterseals!