“I never really had a road map for where I wanted my life to go.”
Scott Kelly has traveled a long and winding road before coming to work for Laura Baker Services. Before being hired at LBSA, Scott had worked in a warehouse, worked as an expeditor for a defense contractor, delivered pizza, worked in a library, worked as a silk screener, worked for Target, run a painting business and worked for the Star Tribune for nearly 20 years. Often, he worked multiple jobs at the same time. Somewhere along the way he also found time to help raise three children.
Today, Scott is a direct support professional at LBSA’s North Oak cottage. Scott’s primary responsibility is to provide one on one support to one of the residents in North Oak Cottage, Glen. Glen has lived at LBSA since he was a young boy. Scott has worked with Glen for almost his entire five years at LBSA. In addition to providing direct support, Scott provides work assistance for Glen who delivers mail and health supplies on the LBSA campus. Scott enjoys taking Glen out to movies, going for walks and visiting various places around the community and believes it is important for Glen’s well-being to spend time engaging with others and staying active. Because of the amount of time Scott spends with Glen, they have developed a bond. Scott adds with a smile, “My wife says I’ve got another son.” Scott and Glen have also developed a unique way of communicating over the years. Although Glen can’t always communicate his feelings, Scott understands Glen well and is able to assist him through challenges that arise throughout the day with a simple hug or some hand gestures.
Scott’s motivation for service at LBSA is inspired by his younger brother who had cerebral palsy and passed away at age 5 while in a state institution. He was Scott’s only sibling and even as a young boy, Scott recalls that people in their community weren’t enlightened about individuals with disabilities. He recalls people talking about his brother in a negative light. “I don’t like seeing anybody get picked on.” Working at LBSA provides Scott with a sense of purpose. “I want to give better care than what my brother got.” Scott adds, “It’s a chance to do good and knowing I’m making someone’s life better.”
Oak Street Services Director, Nicole Laudont appreciates Scott’s dedication to his work and to Glen. “He genuinely cares about the clients that he works with and goes out of his way to give the clients, especially Glen, a high quality of life. She adds, “We are happy to have him here at LBSA!”
Working at LBSA is not without its challenges. According to Scott the biggest challenge working at LBSA continues to be staffing and turnover which results in existing staff having to cover extra shifts and training in new staff. Like most full time LBSA staff, Scott works plenty of extra hours, typically working 50-55 hours a week. In addition, Scott has had to work through his own personal challenges while working at LBSA. In 2015, Scott was diagnosed with cancer. Within a two-year period, Scott endured five cancer surgeries. If that wasn’t enough, Scott’s father passed away between his second and third surgeries. Through all that Scott continued to work in between his treatments and has now been cancer free for three years!
When Scott isn’t working he enjoys playing guitar, swimming, walking and he adds, “I like computer games more than I should”. Scott is also a dog lover; he and his wife adopt senior rescue dogs.
So, what is Scott’s next career move?
Scott doesn’t hesitate. “This is my last job before I retire.”