May 2019- Callie Rademacher
Friends, Family, Work and Dreams
HI, I’m Callie Rademacher. I have Williams Syndrome, but I don’t see it as a disability, in fact I’m glad I have Williams Syndrome because it makes me so friendly and smiley which makes it easy for me to make friends. Although, I don’t like loud noises like crying babies, thunder or vacuum cleaners but who really enjoys those sounds?
I’m almost 25 years old and I live with my parents in Rosendale. Family and friends are extremely important to me. My brother, sister-in-law and nephew live down the street from us, so I get to spend time with them, and we go out for coffee almost every Saturday morning. When I was 3 years old, I met my best friend and we are still very close. Rosendale is so small that all the students know each other well. The school has a very accepting culture in general and these relationships from a young age helped me realize that I love having people in my life and without friends I would get bored quickly!
I love to sing and dance and I’m in a choir which has 2 concerts every year. I like to go shopping, out to the movies (suspenseful movies with twists) and bowling. I’m also very active in my local chapter of The Arc in Fond du Lac. Through The Arc I am on a bowling league and I love to go to the dances they host. I would like to do more things out on the town, but transportation is an issue. Because I don’t drive and live in a very rural area (Rosendale) it’s hard for me to get a ride for things that I enjoy. A taxi ride for fun things would cost $30 one way to get to Fond Du Lac or Ripon, which are the closest towns.
I have 2 jobs; I work at Kwik Trip and Diverse Options in Ripon. I love working at Kwik Trip as a Retail Associate, which means I help clean the coffee area, stock eggs, butter and other dairy. I also clean the windows and help in the kitchen sometimes. I have a great manager and my co-workers are nice. Most of all I love seeing the customers! There are customers who come in everyday just because I work there, and they love how friendly I am. Just the other night I went out to dinner with a family that I met through my job and we have become good friends. I work from 8-11 there and from 11:30-3:30 at Diverse Options (DO). I like working at DO too. I have learned a lot of job skills, made a lot of friends and have great supervisors.
I am interested in fashion and jewelry and I would try to work in the fashion industry but mostly I just like to look nice. My dream job would be to work at Disney World greeting people at the gates and working in customer service. After growing up in such a small area I would like to move to a bigger town which would work if I moved to Florida to work at Disney World. Before I move, I realize that I need to work on becoming more independent. Currently I am focused on learning to take care of my dog, doing laundry and general stuff around the house. Cooking has always been a struggle for me because the stove scares me or rather getting burned scares me. I’m working hard to overcome that fear so I can learn how to cook. I’m also learning about nutrition and exercise so I can keep myself healthy!
For the last year I have been an Employment First (EF) Ambassador through the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. Being an EF Ambassador means I help educate employers on why it’s important to hire people of all abilities. I am going to the Employment First conference in May to present on a panel as an EF Ambassador. Since becoming an Employment First Ambassador and getting involved with People First I am more confident. This has been a fun experience and I look forward to helping more people speak up!