20 Years of Service
Sara began her career with Village Northwest Unlimited on September 11, 1999, while still attending high school. Her first job was working as a Support Counselor in one of the campus homes. She continued to work at VNU while she attended Dordt College, in Sioux Center, Iowa. In May of 2005, she graduated from Dordt with a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree. Sara joined the Exercise and Sports Department (ESD) and became a Special Olympics coach in 2011. Today, Sara continues to work in ESD, serves as a Special Olympics coach and works in waiver homes as well as homes on campus.
Sara demonstrates the Village’s mission of purpose, privacy and dignity through her commitment to the individuals served and wanting them to experience success and have opportunities to do things they will enjoy. As a Special Olympics coach, Sara helps our individuals develop their athletic skills in various sports. Through the curriculums developed and written by Sara, our individuals are provided opportunities to experience community integration and attend many special events, such as Iowa Cubs baseball games, bonfires in the park or meeting the coaches and players of local college athletic teams.
When thinking of the Village, and our desire to provide purpose, privacy and dignity for all people, it is easy to see that Sara is a great asset to the Village. Sara has demonstrated the Village values in all her interactions with others. She works hard and is a huge part of the Village family
These comments of Sara's values are from his coworkers, who nominated him for this award:
Christian Atmosphere: She gives her time and self to others as Christ did. In essence, she lives out her Christian faith as a positive role model for the individuals served, her co-workers and community members.
Purpose for Everyone: Sara encourages others through her words, acts of kindness, appreciation and encouragement. She wants everyone to be the best version of themselves.
Respect: Sara is very quick to point out to other staff what they have done well. She is consistently appreciative of others’ efforts and courteous to everyone she meets. There is always a smile on her face that is contagious to all those around her.
Accountability: Sara does not ask someone to do anything she would not do herself. Sara is always prompt and each duty is executed far beyond expectations. She will come ready to always give her best.
Integrity: Sara is a person of utmost integrity. While on Special Olympic events, Sara is responsible for the money of the individuals served. She has the experience to show each of us how to treat people right.
Unity: Sara works well with her co-workers, communicates positively with ESD staff, other Center staff, House staff, Summit and ACT Center staff as well as individuals served. She promotes unity between all areas.
Excellence: Everything Sara does is done with excellence, not in a random or haphazard manner. She desires to get better every day.
Dedication: Sara gives up many weekends for Special Olympic events, even when they interfere with having her own fun. She has been with VNU for 20 years. She is an excellent role model for new employees as she demonstrates a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
When thinking of the Village, and our desire to provide purpose, privacy and dignity for all people, it is easy to see that Sara is a great asset to the Village. Sara has demonstrated the Village values in all her interactions with others. She works hard and is a huge part of the Village family!
Congratulations, Sara, on being named the Village Northwest Unlimited 2019 Outstanding Staff of the Year.