Yasmine with her family.

Our DSP this week is Yasmine. She has been with Living Well for seven years now and works at our Poppler house. She has a tender heart, and her love of people is obvious when you meet her. She is a busy mom to three boys who thoroughly and thoughtfully dedicates her career to caring for others and is an exemplary employee and top-notch human.

Yasmine with Joey.

Alex Buslee, Program Manager, says, “Yasmine is the glue that holds the entire house together. She works so hard, is so thoughtful, and always takes the time to ask questions. And she actually cares about the answers. She loves us as if we were her family.”

Poppler and Paul’s Place at a friend raising event at CUB. Yasmine and Keith at right.

Yasmine works the day shift and helps people get ready for their days. Together with the team they get everyone up, showered, and serve breakfast, all before the day has even started for some of us. She takes the time to make sure the people at Poppler have what they need to be successful every day and goes the extra mile to bring a smile to work. She has incredible relationships with everyone at the home, including the people who live there and their families, as well as the staff. She considers everyone family and loves it so much could never imagine leaving the job. It is this kind of love for the job, and the people, that makes it both joyful and at times hard. When Keith recently died, the loss was felt deeply. But the love and lessons continue. Yasmine smiles when she thinks about him, his ever-present happiness and zest for life, and the way her whole family enjoyed getting to be a part of his life.

Yasmine and Rodney in Florida.

That kind of love is what makes employees like Yasmine impossible to duplicate, you either have it, or you don’t. And thankfully, Living Well has a legion of employees like her, who are dedicated to making the lives of others better. There are not many jobs where you will work with so much joy yet risk the sadness that comes with loss. But they do it anyway, because their hearts are made better for it.

Yasmine, we appreciate you and the way you make others feel seen and supported. Your kindness, empathy and work ethic are amazing. Thank you for all you do!






Number of years/months with Living Well: 7 years 1 month

Hobbies/Interests: I love history books, especially world history. And I love cleaning and keeping things tidy. I like people and working with people. And learning about their lives—a sitting job is not for me. If I didn’t love people, I don’t think I’d make it in this career. I also travel a lot and enjoy exploring different countries, like Somalia, Dubai, Tunesia.

Education: I graduated High School back in Somalia. When I came to the US I took college courses for a year, then had a baby, and stopped. My hope is to go back when my kids graduate (they are currently 17, 15 and 9).

Job Experience/History: I have spent 17 years in this field. When I came to this country, I worked at a KFC for a year, then I started at a nursing home. I left that job to work in Dubai when my husband’s job took him there. I then started at a Hy-Vee upon our return, and soon after that landed here at Living Well.

Favorite part of the job: My favorite thing is that when I go home, I feel like I both helped someone and learned from someone—every day. My kids know the people here and grew up knowing what I do for work. When Keith died my whole family was sad. My kids knew him, and they felt my grief. They would chat with him when they picked me up from work. It was a loss we all felt. I often think, “What would Keith do?” He could not move and relied on us at the house every day, but he never once gave up, and communicated his needs beautifully. He lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed every day. Never once said he was sad. He was always looking for tomorrow and finding new goals, and it was a beautiful thing to be a part of. He reminded me there is no reason for any of us to complain. The work can be hard, and the people here can push me, but when I feel down, I remember their strength and know I can do it, too.

Favorite work story: This makes me think of Joey. He doesn’t talk but he is very smart and reads emotions. I think he knows what is in your heart, if you are happy he will be smiling. If you are not happy, or trying to be happy, he will avoid you for the day. I loved learning that about him, he reads emotions very well, and it is a real gift. He can tell when someone is not having the best day and he can almost change it with his amazing smile.

What is your motivation for coming to work: My motivation is my program manager, Alex, and the people here at work. The job can be hard and is not always easy, but she understands all of us and treats us like family, supporting us always. She is very close to all of us, and it makes a huge difference in the work. She knows I do not like to drive in the snow and accommodates me. This place this is a family, like a second home.

What made you apply: My husband made me apply. I was working at a nursing home because they require less driving. But he met Alex at a job fair and he encouraged me to apply. Once I met Alex I was hooked, It is very hard to find someone who cares as much as she does.

What makes you stay: It goes back to the people here, both who live here and staff. I truly love them all. They have all become another family. I got attached, I cannot move on.

What would you tell people interested in joining the team: I would tell them give it two weeks, if you stay for two weeks you will see there is more to the job than the hard stuff. Once you start to build relationships, then you will never leave. People will struggle for a bit, but once you stick around you will find your place.

When not at work what do you like to do for fun: With three boys I don’t have a lot of quiet time. We like to cook together, play games and travel. And when I need alone time, I will read.

Do you volunteer in your community or school: I taught Sunday school for a long time.





Want to nominate a DSP? Please email jessica.maurer@livingwell.org to nominate a Living Well DSP. Special thanks to Miles and Cheri Cohen for their support of DSP of Week. Want to join them in underwriting our DSP Shoutout Program? Please contact Devan Heinsen for sponsorship opportunities.