Our DSP Shoutout for this week is Katie. She is a phenomenal advocate to the Individuals at Cope, Lyndale and now East Emerson, who continuously exceeds expectations in her role as a DSP. She is very kind, energetic, knowledgeable, and extremely accommodating to all she works with. Katie is a nurturing and dedicated caretaker who is extremely hard working.

Katie came at the perfect time —just before Covid hit the states. She was on site when we needed caring and dedicated DSPs, committed to keeping people safe and comfortable. When Covid restrictions began loosening, and people were finally getting out more, she was able to plan and execute a group outing to Top Golf, plan multiple trips that connected people served with their out of state friends and relatives and a couple major recreational vacations. She helps people be actively involved, and helps people served live rich and full lives. She finds what people love and does just that.

With the Lyndale crew.

Katie is also great at turning moments throughout the day into natural learning opportunities. She can turn a trip to the store into an opportunity to practice counting change or an online purchase into an opportunity to practice typing out the home address and phone number. What really stands out is her commitment to community involvement. All of this showcases her understanding that connecting with others on a personal level makes the job richer while building trust and lasting relationships.

In her favorite role, mom.

Program Manager, Jenny Schwoch, says, “Katie is great. She is very bubbly, and has lots of energy.” Jenny can see that Katie truly cares and appreciates how everybody is different. And appreciates that she understands the person-centered approach and applies it in her work. Adding, “She has a young daughter and is a great mom, and I think that helps make her such a wonderful care provider.”

All of us at Living Well are super excited to have Katie on the team and are so grateful for her hard work and dedication. Recipients will be featured in a weekly email and on this blog and will receive a small gift card and certificate to show our appreciation. Kudos, Katie!



Name: Katelyn (Katie)

Number of years/months with Living Well: 3 years and almost 3 months

Hobbies/Interests: I like being around my daughter and exploring new areas. I also like to snowboard any chance I have. I go up the wild mountain and ride until they close. I also like to do art projects, puzzles, board games.

Education: I am attending Inver Hills Community College. This is my second year while doing it online as a part time student. I am trying to get my RN to become a NICU baby nurse.

Job Experience/History: I have been in this line of field for over 5 years now and love every minute. I used to work at Caribou Coffee, a restaurant Baker Square and other smaller jobs.

Favorite part of the job: My favorite part is seeing how I can make their day better. I love walking in and being greeted with excitement and joy. Being goofy and hanging around trying to get the individuals to laugh and smile.

Favorite work story: I went on the dog sledding trip one year and it was insane experience being pulled around by dogs and my resident had a hard time walking, resulting in us riding a snowmobile around the lake.

What is your motivation for coming to work: My motivation is my daughter. I want to make sure she has everything she needs in life and this job is what I need for the time for school and for me to be there for her due to the flexible hours.

What made you apply: I was taking care of my daughter’s dad’s grandma and it was time for a change. The other worker recommended to try Living Well and I have been here since!

What made you stay: How flexible working here is, your team works with you and what you have outside of work to find the right hours and house you need. Even though my life has changed a lot since I started, it was easy for me to change work with what was happening around me.

What would you tell people interested in joining the team: The job can be mentally tough but the people that live with the company and the workers make this your second home.

When not at work what do you like to do for fun: I either am running to get my daughter from daycare to enjoy the evening with her and explore the world or I run up north to be with my boyfriend to snowboard!


Want to nominate a DSP? Please email jessica.maurer@livingwell.org to nominate a Living Well Disability Service DSP. Thank you!

Want to underwrite our DSP Shoutout Program? Please contact Devan Heinsen at devan.heinsen@livingwell.org for sponsorship opportunities.