Jane Wick’s friend at the Berkshire County Arc repeatedly told her to apply for a job at the agency. “I had never worked with the disabilities population, I was nervous to get involved,” she told him. “Now I realize I should have done it a long time ago.”

Today, more than a year later, she refers to one of the individuals she serves as more than a friend.

“We hang out like sisters. Every Thursday night we go out to dinner. When I return from a day off, or vacation, her face lights up like no one else I know, and she shouts, ‘You’re back!’”

“This is rewarding work and I feel like I missed my calling doing other kind of work over the years.”

Before joining BCARc, Jane spent 17 years as a purchasing agent at Canyon Ranch, where she tracked and bought items for the resort like towels and shampoo.

When she made the transition to human services, she was surprised how quickly the work became comfortable. “The individuals we serve are so open to you, have such positive attitudes—there’s no judgment from them.”

Along with cooking, shopping outings, food shopping, and attending church, she occasionally takes one of her individuals to see blues bands at local bars. “He likes his guitarists,” she said, laughing.

Jane’s program serves those with brain injuries caused by a variety of factors, such as an auto accidents and a stroke. Jane explained that the four people in her program function at different levels, like all of us. “Some remember everything, some are very articulate, some volunteer in the community on their own and can do a lot independently. They also all need help, and for me, it feels right to help them. They deserve to be happy and make decisions. I feel lucky to help them. I go home feeling real good about myself and the job I’m doing.”

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