Champion Jamie Farley’s creativity shines in Activity Coordinator role

Mar 18, 2024

Jamie Farley, Activity Coordinator at Rise Forest Lake, smiles in front of a beige background.

February Champion of the Month, Jamie Farley, joined Rise in October 2022 as an Activity Coordinator at our life enrichment program in Forest Lake. Jamie brings a unique set of experiences to her role; in college, she majored in studio art and psychology, spending her free time volunteering as a victim advocate for domestic violence survivors. Since graduating, Jamie has worked at a pet boarding kennel, at a tile production company, and as a behavior technician serving autistic children. All these experiences, she says, serve her well in her current role.

Despite some early hesitation about working with adults with disabilities, Jamie has come to love her job at Rise. “The culture of Rise is different than other companies I have worked for,” Jamie shares. “Because working at Rise means interacting with those we serve as well as the community, each day is different.” Jamie takes pride in making meaningful connections with everyone she encounters in her role, particularly when she gets to learn about their experiences, interests, ideas, and feelings. “I am also a big fan of advocacy,” she says. “I love helping our persons served learn to advocate for themselves and each other to make the world a better place for everyone.”

Jamie is known by her colleagues as someone who brings fun to every workday. She dedicates herself to bringing smiles to everyone at the Forest Lake program – team members and persons served alike. “Jamie adds fun to the workplace, in subtle ways,” a colleague shares. “For Halloween, she put a tiny skeleton on top of the hanging light in the employee bathroom. She doesn’t tell anyone and waits for co-workers’ reactions when they notice. When someone notices, it brings a smile to the person and creates a lighthearted atmosphere in the program. She just makes the day fun for all persons served as well as her co-workers.”

Jamie is also known to jump into action to help when the need arises, even beyond the usual scope of her role. One colleague shared a story of a time when a person served was having a hard time choosing their safety at work over their job duties. When Jamie got the call that staff at the job site were unable to calm this person down, she took immediate action. She drove to the job site to help deescalate the situation and got the person served to a safe area.

As the activity coordinator, Jamie has the unique opportunity to influence the overall experience of the program by catering to individual needs and planning activities that everyone enjoys. “I strive to make sure everyone is always doing something [fun],” Jamie says, “whether in the center or out in the community. I want everyone to enjoy coming to Rise and have something engaging to do during their day.” Everyone at Forest Lake appreciates this enthusiasm, including the people Jamie supports. According to a fellow team member, Jamie “is so creative and enthusiastic when persons served participate in an art project. She makes it fun for them and instills confidence in them when they complete the projects.” The persons served are often so proud of what they create each day, and love to show everyone at Rise and at home what they accomplish. The sense of purpose and pride displayed by the people Jamie supports is indicative of her dedication to Rise’s mission.

Outside of work, you can find Jamie pursuing a number of creative hobbies. She enjoys pottery, crochet, painting, and learning new crafts, as well as reading mystery and science fiction novels.