Darlene is a single mother, who provides Shared Living Services to an individual with Intellectual disabilities. She has raised three of her own successful children and been a foster mother to 13 other children over the course of her years. She is a leader in the Disability Advocacy field. She has been through much in her life, such as the loss of her beloved husband but still wakes up with a purpose every day to make others smile and feel important. She is a true friend. She is a wonderful mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She is a leader, an advocate, and a role model in our field. When I think of optimism, I think of Darlene.
Darlene sees the best in everyone. If she ever complains, she then finds the positive and always ends a conversation with a hug or I love you. Darlene supports individuals with all different abilities to find and share their voice. She is the founder of Our Voices Count, a self advocacy group for individuals with developmental disabilities. She always sees good in others, even when it’s difficult to find. She inspires ME daily to be kinder, more generous and open minded.