The story of a woman who is giving back

March 5, 2009 10:09:03 AM PST
A DuPage County woman with cerebral palsy cannot do enough for the people who have given her independence. Twenty-five-year-old Amy Liss started at DuPage Easter Seals in 2001 as a volunteer after spending her life getting services from them. Recently her role has expanded. She is a new employee at the organization.

"I love reading the kids books and seeing how they react to me, and I love hearing them call me Ms. Amy," Liss said.

DuPage Easter Seals is Amy's home away from home. She started at Easter Seals when she was 5 months old. Because of her success, she only wanted to give back.

"Amy is a fantastic worker, it's not only like working with a volunteer it's like working with one of my best friends," said Melissa Jimenez.

Jimenez is the lead inclusion preschool teacher at Easter Seals. Her class has children with and without disabilities from ages 2 1/2 to 4 years old.

"I think being an inclusive classroom, number one, helps because they get to see children with a disability, but they get to see what it's like when an adult has a disability," said Jimenez.

When not volunteering in the classroom, Amy goes to her paying job.

"I work about 15 hours a week in the fundraising department, and I've researched donors on the computer and do a lot of public speaking the community," said Liss.

Amy's relationship with Easter Seals got her twin sister Kelly to get involved.

"You know, it's really nice to get to work with Amy on a daily basis and just to be in an environment where you can see the direct effects on your work right in front of you," said Kelly.

"Me working here as long as they take me and hopefully I'll be able to touch a lot more people and kids' lives," said Jimenez.

To learn more about DuPage Easter Seals and Amy's work, go to the Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region web site.