By Regan McGowan, Program Manager

When I went to college, I started and ended with the same question – what do I want to do after school? I earned a degree in business, yet I hadn’t come up with an answer. Hammer has always been a part of my life. My mom has worked for this organization for over 25 years. I had worked here part time on the weekends during my last year of school. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I was beginning to find my answer.

jan thanksgiving

Regan (in black nad pink) volunteering at Hammer Thanksgiving in 2006

I write this now, post-college as a Program Manager for one of Hammer’s group homes. Everyone has always said that once you start at Hammer, you get pulled in, and now I see why. As its mission, Hammer Residences provides individuals with disabilities opportunities to live life to its fullest. In my role, I get to support four very special ladies as they each pursue living their lives to the fullest. Like any other job, there challenges; for example, not losing your composure when trying to “keep the peace” amongst everyone. Even so, I continue to find that the joys and rewards far outweigh any of the challenges.

Regan and Rockford

During my short time at Hammer, I quickly have learned that the only true disability in life is having a bad attitude. These women I support are four of the sweetest people you will ever meet. They are just like you and me, and I am humbled every time I go to work. The individuals who I am honored to serve may look a bit different than you and I, or have a different thought process, but these women are the most AUTHENTIC people I have ever met. When these ladies are angry or upset, you know it. That said, they are quick to forgive and move forward. On the flip side, when these gals are happy, they radiate joy. The laughter, smiles and jokes that fill my work days make every minute worth it.

Regan and Rockford 2We shouldn’t try to complicate life too much; it should be simple! No two days are the same at our house and the giggles keep coming. We can learn from every single person we meet. Today my question is no longer “what do I want to do after school?” but “who knew that a job didn’t have to feel like work?”