She is described by some as “feisty on the outside and soft on the inside.” She takes command of any situation with her no-nonsense, common sense approach, and everyone knows they’re in good hands with Staci Patterson-Green. Staci arrived at Gateway 24 years ago by bus, so-to-speak. She was a bus driver transporting the 3–21 aged students to and from Gateway. Three years later, she was invited to join the staff as a development trainer.
Today, Staci supervises and trains participants in the preparation of specials, sides, and desserts for the GTL Lunch Program. Her training philosophy is about giving participants control over their performance. She treats them as decision-makers – the highest form of empowerment. Her work pays off when a parent tells her that their child never could perform a certain task and that now he or she can. Her style is not without a tender touch. As she puts it, “Once they come through that door, they’re mine!”
Her dedication to the Gateway’s mission is expressed through additional roles, which she has voluntarily taken on over the years. For Staci, she is a nurse, the morning greeter as she receives participants into the building, an instructor of learning and recreational activities, and an errand runner. Whatever is needed in the moment, she is there to procure it or volunteer for it.
To quote Staci: “Many people work at jobs they don’t care about. I love my job because I’m helping these individuals do something different, something that at one time was not seen as possible for them. I’m so proud of the GTL participants.”
Gateway to Learning Special Education and Training Center
4925 N. Lincoln Avenue Chicago, IL 60625-2609
P. 773-784-3200 F. 773-784-3299
Dorothy's Can Do Cafe
4925 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625-2609
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