Jamesetta Jackson, 9 Years with ACT


Jamesetta Jackson started working at ACT on the advice of her husband Steve Jackson, who also works at ACT, and cousin Angel Lawson. They both thought the job would be a perfect fit for her.

Jackson started in 2007 working the overnight shift in three different houses in Community Living. She has also worked in the Day Program and Career Services.

“My Favorite part of the job is having a positive role in the lives of others,” Jackson says. “I come to work as a Direct Support Professional (DSP), but by the end of the day I have operated as a counselor, friend, inspirational life coach, and prayer partner.”

Jackson is grateful for her career – “This job was a blessing to me the day I was hired in June of 2007 and it is still a blessing to me today in June of 2016,” Jackson says.

ACT is grateful for her nine years of dedication.

Don Lafferty, 24 Years with ACT

Don Lafferty

Don Lafferty started with ACT 24 years ago in 1992.

He is now Director of Community Living.

Don brings knowledge and expertise to his position.  His passion for people with disabilities comes to work with him everyday.

Kalynn Ramsey, Eight Years with ACT

292620_10150829100438015_1940296540_nKalynn Ramsey was in hot pursuit for a career after entering the “real world” fresh from graduating from Illinois State Universtiy in 2008.

Ramsey saw an ad for a Supervisor position in the Day Program and went for it. While in the interview, then Director Michelle Saunders thought Ramsey would be a better fit for the Activities Coordinator, a position that had not been created yet.

Now, Ramsey handles Communications for ACT and is loving it! “I’m in my second role at ACT where I had to start from scratch and I’m having a blast! I get to go out into the community to brag about ACT…our programs, services, and amazing employees.”

Marsha Schafer, 14 Years With ACT

IMG_6701Marsh Schafer first started working at ACT part time in 1999 after looking for services for her stepdaughter in the program formerly known as ACT Works.

Schafer excelled in working with people with disabilities – in a short amount of time she was working full time and then offered a Supervisor position.

She left ACT for a brief time in 2001 only to come back a year later to work as a Direct Support Professional in the Day Program, where she is now a mentor.

“I love being a mentor to staff. If they truly are interested in working here at ACT and are willing to be mentored by me then we both learn a lot,” Schafer says.

Marsha brings enormous value and energy to ACT. Her passion is evident and we are lucky to have her.

Tara Shade, Nine Years with ACT

Tara Shade

Tara Shade

Tara Shade started working at ACT while she is college as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) in college.  After graduating she moved away to St. Louis then Colorado where she worked in similar fields.

She came back to Columbia 12 years later in 2007 and returned to ACT as a Behavior Consultant.

In this time, she helped develop Behavior Development Services and In-Home Services (IHS). In 2012 she was named Program Manager for IHS.

Shade is a tireless, dedicated employee.  Her years at ACT have resulted in the closing of a gap in services for many individuals with disabilities.