As 2019 begins to dwindle into a memory, I want to reflect on what a great year I have had; it was filled with many fun times and exciting opportunities.
My year kicked off by celebrating my dog, Tiny aka Moo Moo, first birthday. That’s my big 100-pound girl, so of course, her day was made special. Then, me and my favorite guy’s birthdays followed, and we had big fun!
I was fortunate to once again partake in one of my favorite things, emceeing the Ohio DD Awareness and Advocacy Day event at the statehouse. This is always an honor as well as a very empowering event.
This year was also the introduction of my new talk show, Mission Moments with Shari Cooper. I went around Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley’s campus and interviewed my co-workers about services and programs offered. I think Mission Moments was well received and brought awareness about our programs to the community.
The icing on the cake this year, I was nominated and won the very prestigious Goodwill Industries International Edgar J. Helms Award for Graduate Staff. I traveled to Pittsburgh to receive the award and my family joined me which made the experience even more special. Shortly after that, I attended the National Association of Councils for Developmental Disabilities Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was honored to be invited to sit on a panel and share how the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council mentored me and helped me become the leader I am today for Advocacy. The conference was great and the whole NOLA experience, especially the food, was amazing.
Other things that made this year good…..teaching a class for the Ohio State University Nisonger Center’s LEND program, presenting on sensitivity to a group of students at South Community, emceeing a session at the Synergy Conference, speaking at the Ohio Housing Conference, helping make changes and spread awareness by being a member on the Task Force for Advocacy and APSI Community Leadership Council, participating in the “That’s Medicaid” stories and being featured in the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities’ state awareness and etiquette video. I was also inducted into the Montgomery County Developmental Disabilities Hall of Fame for the second time, participated in Self Advocates Becoming Empowered Go Voter’s Project and am a board member on The Disability Foundation and The Gorman Hewitt-Ayers Fund as well as, a Community Contributor for Dayton Daily News.
WOW! I would say my year was busy, but exciting. It was filled with many wonderful opportunities. Next year, well, it is also starting off with a bang and maybe a little boom mixed in. I was selected as one of the twenty-five women in business to watch and will be honored at a big gala.
One of my important goals for next year is to try and pump up my walking game. I must admit, I’ve gotten lazy. Since my last reporting, I was up to sixteen feet of walking on my walker. I’m going to try and motivate myself to make it at least thirty feet by April; so, stay tuned!
I’ll miss you 2019 but I’m ready for anew. Bring on 2020!