Posted on : 03 May 2022 | No Comments
With a life-long dedication to teaching, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for serving the community, it is no surprise that Debbie Bayreuther, director of KANDU’s community employment program, has dedicated her talents to enriching the lives of people with disabilities.
Debbie realized soon after graduating from college and starting her career at Child Protective Services (CPS), “I was always interested in some form of teaching. I was always passionate about helping others learn and grow and become valued members of society.” Now in her position as the community employment program director, which includes managing all client work schedules and job instructor training and scheduling, Debbie also upholds professional and respectful relationships with managed care organizations, area school districts, and many community business partners. These partnerships increase opportunities for KANDU clients because when a client is successfully placed in a positive work environment, they oftentimes gain a whole new support system that feels like family. In the eleven years that she has managed the community employment program, Debbie has personally witnessed businesses becoming more open to differently-abled employees and more willing to find value in what KANDU clients have to offer.
Client Services Director Julie Smith said, “Debbie has really taken the community employment program to new heights. She has an awesome team and manages them extremely well. She’s the kind of employee you want on your team. She gives 110% every day. KANDU is lucky to have her.”
Ambitious team members like Debbie propel KANDU’s mission to increase services for the community. During COVID, she led the charge in developing guidelines and securing funding for the new Daily Living Skills program. After identifying a gap in services for adults with disabilities, Debbie started the program to teach independent living skills to people in their own homes, including mastering tasks like meal planning, cleaning routines, financial budgeting, and safety habits and procedures. As the program grows, she is focused on coming up with new tools to support clients on their individual paths to independence.
Interacting with clients is one of the highlights of her daily schedule, “I have learned more from our clients than they have ever learned from me. I have learned how to relate to so many different people, I have gained patience and compassion in so many ways, and I’ve learned to laugh at the small silly things and not take everything so seriously,” explained Debbie.
Currently, the community employment program supports 60+ clients in local jobs, with around ten instructors. Instructor’s jobs are often fulfilling and rewarding, but because of shifting schedules and odd hours, the positions can be hard to fill. If you are retired, home from college for the summer, looking for an internship, or otherwise have a flexible schedule and want to help others succeed, please browse our current openings on indeed.com or contact KANDU directly.