March 2021

He returns to to independent work after years, grows skills
Now in his mid-30s, Michael Zalesky had been on a work crew, but had not worked independently since graduating from transition school.

Then ProAct came along, and things changed.
After stopping in to inquire at Marshalls in Savage, an enterprising employment specialist, Cindy Besonnie, landed him a whole new opportunity, and things started falling into place.

On time, and always looking for extra things to do, the new merchandise associate is earning kudos, and growing his social skills. His mother, Jill, was super impressed with how quickly ProAct found the job for him. -Read full story-
Virtual music assists nonverbal man
Christopher O. cannot come out and say what he needs, but music is one tool used by his parents to help him communicate.

The virtual classes he's taking with ProAct are helping in multiple ways. the 29-year-old is near to a 2-year-old level developmentally and lives with his parents.

Watch video. View the extended version to learn more about this fascinating family.
Day at the Capitol, chance for input, camaraderie
Some participated in the online rally and others met with their legislators to share their concerns.

"We talked about funding, how it is important and how it hasn't kept up with costs," said Red Wing Case Coordinator Gloria Solsaa. Her group from ProAct met with Rep. Barb Haley (R-Red Wing) and each person shared their thoughts.

After introductions, more than one mentioned the boredom of staying home to avoid coronavirus risks and that they are glad to be back at ProAct. Digging deeper, a question came about when mask mandates would end. "She talked about the reduction in infection rates and increase in vaccinations so the light is at the end of the tunnel," said Solsaa. -more-

Shakopee employment effort grows, staff recognized
ProAct employment services are growing in Scott County, thanks in part to employment specialist Cindy Besonnie.

She and the service to Scott County residents are closing in on 18 months of operation and those at the state and county level are taking notice of her work. To help
cover the increasing load, a second employment specialist, Keri Breeggemann, was added in October to assist with job coaching. And, Besonnie is working on certification for Customized Employment services.

Besonnie is one of three ProAct staff named for a ProAct Outstanding Achievement Award for the fourth quarter of 2020. Other winners included virtual enrichment instructor Dannielle Mullins and direct service professional Teresa Ziegler.
Garden prep underway in Shakopee
Signs of spring are in the air and ProAct in Shakopee is prepping for a bountiful garden harvest with mini-greenhouses inside and plans for garden beds and the full outdoor greenhouse in April.

“It’s important to learn how to grow something and watch it bloom,” said direct service professional Lisa Svihel, who leads gardening activiites and the plant sale in May. The wide effort engages about three-quarters of ProAct’s onsite participants and three to four volunteers. -more-
Plant sales May 5-7 and 19-21
Mark you calendars for ProAct's plant sales in Shakopee from May 5 to 7 and May 19 to 21. Sales run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Shakopee location, 792 Canterbury Road, Suite 132. Thanks for your support.
In memoriam: ProAct acknowledges 19 participants who passed away
ProAct wishes to acknowledge the following program participants who passed away since March of 2020. Leaders and staff are thankful for the memories and for the opportunity to serve these individuals: Joan Alickson, Dale Arndt, Sherri Baker, Mike Blaha, John Bolin, Luanne Carlisle, Cory Clemens, Judy Dornack, Christine Fahey, Bob Kees, Ed Lane, Mary Marks, Steven McKinnon, Dennis O'Meara, James Peterka, Shannon Noll, Robert Turney, Glen Vance and Cindy Willard.
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Supporting ProAct easy as texting, ordering online

Amazon Smile is a portal that allows a percentage of your purchases to be directed to ProAct. Please sign up and then bookmark it for future use. A second convenient way to contribute starts with a text message to GivePlus (844-901-2850) indicating the amount you wish to donate. You'll receive a registration link to enter your contact and payment information. A verification is sent and then future contributions are as easy as texting amount to the same number.
ProAct, Inc. | 651-686-0405 |