Pictured above: Marlene (right) and Randi, her Personal Support Worker.
“No matter what is going on in her life, Marlene will greet you with a smile and make you feel as though you are part of her family.” — Angela Dionne
Over the last 20 years, Marlene has realized many of her dreams including marriage to the love of her life and a rewarding career. Long-time ISN staff who have worked with Marlene through the years are inspired by all that she has accomplished. CCS Adult Services Director Angela Dionne was Marlene’s first Personal Agent (PA) and remembers attending her wedding.
“Marlene was one of ISN’s first customers back in 2002 Angela. “The thing that struck me about Marlene when I first met her was that she is so full of life and good cheer. No matter what is going on in her life, she will greet you with a smile and make you feel as though you are part of her family every time you visit her.” Marlene was determined to get married, get a new apartment and a new job; all within the first year that she and Ang began working together. “She met each one of those goals. I was honored to be her first Personal Agent with ISN and very fortunate to be able to continue to watch her world expand over the years as I moved on in other positions within ISN. She is truly an inspiration to me,” says Angela.
“I remember working with Angela Dionne on my goals and having meetings at the ISN office,” says Marlene. “She helped get Randi, my former foster parent, set up as a Personal Support Worker (PSW) and Randi has been with me for the last 20 years.
Marlene also needed help in her job search. “I wanted to get a job since I was newly married and had bills to pay to be in my new apartment,” she says, recounting how, as her PA, Angela was able to help her get set up with Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Mid Valley Advancements who, in turn, helped her get a job. “I had a job with JC Penny for almost 18 years with their help,” says Marlene. However, in 2020, Marlene was one of the many people who lost their jobs, “My job of 18 years at JC Penny ended because of Covid, and I needed help.”
Jessie Roberts, Marlene’s current personal was able to help secure a new job for Marlene during the pandemic. “Jessie helped me with my goals and plans. She provided choice counseling around employment agencies and connected me with someone new, and I now love my new job. Jessie has helped me over the last 4 years with my goals.”
Marlene was able to put skills she had learned as a custodian at JC Penny to work in her new position as part of the custodial staff at a church in McMinnville, and the new job was a great fit. “Marlene is always a joy to work with,” says Jessie. “She is always high energy and has a great attitude, so monitoring calls and meetings are always a highlight during my !”
Crafting, beach trips, bingo and shopping are all among Marlene’s favorite things to do in her free time, along with celebrating anniversaries and birthdays with friends and family.
Apart from providing job support, goal planning, and case management, ISN also provides services that allow adults who experience disabilities to grow personally and create a sense of community.
Marlene has many happy memories with her ISN community through the years including going to Friendship Connections events and seeing and meeting friends.
“I always get about other places I can go for case and I always say I am staying with ISN!” says Marlene.