ARRM Care Nomination: Chelsea Speed
Chelsea is the person behind the camera wanting to showcase everyone else and their successes. But what Chelsea may not realize is that she is the reason for the smiles on the other side of that lens.
These smiles belong to the ladies in the home that Chelsea works. Chelsea is the last person the ladies see when they go to bed at night and the first person they see in the morning. The second these ladies get up in the morning they are greeted by a day maker that is singing and flying around the house spreading joy, even at 6:30 in the morning! The ladies are excited to get out of bed and into the positive atmosphere that Chelsea has already been so busy creating. Chelsea provides a feeling of family and inclusion that is truly unique at this particular home. These friends, Tricia, Erin, Rachel and Karissa absolutely adore Chelsea and the feeling is mutual. She has had an incredible impact on all four individuals but this story is going to focus on Tricia.
When Tricia first came to CCRI, she stated she wanted to learn how to read and write. This became a formal goal for Tricia that she works on every day. When Chelsea is around, it is not just writing words and sounding out letters, Tricia is writing phrases like “I am strong, I am beautiful, I am fearless, I am enough!” While writing these phrases, Tricia is beaming from ear to ear as Chelsea is not only helping her to write these words but ensuring she believes them.
After these positive affirmations, Tricia is pumped up to get her workout gear on to head to the gym, which is another one of her personal goals. Not only does Chelsea help strengthen Tricia’s emotional state but strives to improve her physical state as well. Chelsea recognized how mundane it was for Tricia to walk on a treadmill in the basement day after day so spearheaded Tricia obtaining a membership to a local gym. This has given Tricia more motivation as she now has one on one time with her biggest cheerleader working out alongside her.
Not only does Chelsea help motivate Tricia to achieve her goals, she also instills her passion in her coworkers to form what Chelsea refers to as the “A-team”. She is a natural leader who leads by example and empowers her coworkers. The focus is always on the long-term goal and remaining positive on the way to get there. If Chelsea cannot be the one to work on Tricia’s goals with her, she wants to make sure the other members of the “A-team” have the proper tools to remain engaged and inspire Tricia to keep moving forward.
Chelsea would not want her story told because she wants to remain behind the camera but a gem like Chelsea needs to be captured and put on display.
Chelsea was one of 150 Minnesota DSPs nominated for a 2017 ARRM Cares Award for his work at CCRI. The ARRM Cares Award program began in 1996 to recognize professional caregivers who provide exemplary service to people with disabilities. Recipients of this award have demonstrated they are committed to providing innovative, professional services to people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. Each year, six outstanding Minnesotans are selected for this award.