Nashville, Tennessee has always been my home. I went to college here at Lipscomb University for my bachelor’s degree in elementary education and got a master’s degree in special education at Vanderbilt University. Before joining the staff of Engaging Disability, I worked at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital, and in public education all to serve people living with disability.
I’ve been involved in special needs ministry at Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) for more than fifteen years. It is truly a privilege to walk alongside and serve families, whether it is as a child’s buddy, leading a Sunday School class for adults with disabilities, training volunteers for special needs VBS, or developing a child’s behavior plans so families can attend church together.
I have always been passionate about disability ministry, but that passion deepened through my own experiences with a disability. In my first year of teaching, I was attacked by a student and sustained a significant physical injury. The experience also resulted in a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Lord has provided Ripley, a certified service dog, to help with the most challenging symptoms of PTSD.
My compassion has grown to help others who suffer the profound effects of trauma. I am able now to help equip church communities to know how to better understand the dramatic impact of trauma and how to care for people through long, weary journeys toward healing.
Through my own journey, I am constantly reminded that the Lord is faithful and darkness cannot thwart his plans. I am very grateful to be able to use my education, skills, and personal experiences to show others how we all need the body of Christ and the Church needs all of us.