Meet Jessi: Helping the community stay active & healthy

by Ona Lepard

  • Posted on September 14, 2016

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jessika-putnam

Jessi is a 21 year old young lady who graduated from Helena’s Capital High School in 2013.  When she was nine, she had a brain injury as the result of an illness:

“I had to relearn everything.”

She struggles with balance and memory issues.

Jessi came into Helena Industries’ placement services knowing that she wanted to work with the elderly population so her job coach, Ann, got to work. Ann contacted Nanette, the life enrichment coordinator, at Touchmark and they started brainstorming things that Jessi could do from her wheelchair.  Ann reports that:

“Nanette was totally on board.”

They came up with was an “activity assistant” position. Jessi tried this out for a while in a volunteer role and was then hired by Touchmark.

Jessi now works three days a week and, depending on the day, she stays for lunch and visits with the residents.

She leads a physical fitness class for residents in the memory care unit and a class downstairs in the parlor.  Using light hand weights, they do two rounds of 10 reps and the class lasts approximately 30-40 minutes, helping the elderly residents stay healthy. Jessi also calls bingo a couple times each week.

“It gets pretty competitive. We play for high stakes………candy!”

When she isn’t working, Jessi loves to read and she visits the pets at the Humane Society.

On the behalf of Helena Industries, congratulations, Jessi, on your job at Touchmark. Keep up the great work!

We are always looking to connect local employers with great employees. To learn more about our Community Placement programs, contact Ona Lepard by calling 442.8632 or email olepard@helenaindustries.org.


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Ona Lepard