We are delighted to have Rebecca May joining our Bemidji division as Program Specialist!
May possesses a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work from Bemidji State University along with graduate work in counseling psychology. She has presented research completed on inclusive/exclusive communities in Croatia and has developed innovative approaches in the delivery of employment services to rural clients. She has also assisted area tribes in being able to autonomously provide supportive service programs to their communities.
“I was drawn to the ODC because this is an organization that has had a heart for helping people with disabilities develop the skills they need to be successful at a job,” said May. “One thing I could immediately tell about this organization is that the hearts of its employees are deeply committed to their program participants.”
With over 20 years experience in various social work and community support programs, May brings to ODC a passion and dedication to helping others with disabilities overcome the barriers they are facing and find their own pathway towards success.
As a parent of a child with a disability, May supported her daughter in her efforts to see past the limitations that others tried to impose on her.
“I was told my daughter would never learn to read beyond a 6th grade level … she is now in college at Concordia and carries a 19-credit class load.” said May. “I believe that all people deserve many chances to prove themselves … when we are given the tools and the opportunities to demonstrate our gifts, every single one of us can shine, in our own way.”
Having grown up in Bemidji, May was keen on relocating to the area “due to my love of the lakes, wildlife and distinct four seasons.” An aspiring visual artist specializing in soft pastel paintings, she noted the wonderful people and rich cultural history of the area—adding “I can honestly say, I have no shortage of inspiration for my paintings and artwork!”
“I look forward to the passion and creativity that Rebecca will bring to her team, and the people we serve in Bemidji,” said Tori Peterson, Vice President of Programs for ODC. “Rebecca is passionate about creating opportunities for others to achieve their goals and dreams. She has stated that one of the biggest ways we are able to do that is by assisting people with gaining some financial freedom, and a sense of personal pride in their ability to contribute to their work environment.”
May started her new position Sept. 3. Thrilled to be working with you, Rebecca!