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Hello, Friends of Kerr!

Happy New Year! The start of a new year always brings the opportunity for reflection and change. In a desire to learn something new, I decided to take ukulele lessons. It is a fun way to challenge myself and allows me to approach life with a fresh perspective. Here’s to new possibilities and discovering ways to reset, renew, and have fun. 

Oregon Legislature Begins 2023 Session
January is the start of a new Oregon Legislative session. One of the bills being introduced by State Representative Rob Nosse is crucial to the well-being of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, and the stability of disability services providers. HB 2457 will create critical long-term investments in Oregon’s Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). DSPs are the unsung heroes who provide essential support to individuals with I/DD. Unfortunately, they are often underpaid and undervalued. HB 2457 aims to change that by creating a sustainable funding stream for DSP compensation. We commend and thank Representative Nosse for introducing this bill. He is a true supporter of the disability community. We ask you to support this bill and urge your legislators to do the same. Click here to learn more.

Grant A Wish 
Thank you to everyone who fulfilled wishes for our clients with I/DD and mental health challenges through our Grant A Wish program. We are also grateful for the generosity of our Grant A Wish sponsors—KeyBank, Moda Health, and The Greenbrier Companies. Their contributions allowed us to create unforgettable memories for the youth and adults we serve that they will treasure forever. Check out all those smiles captured in the photos on your right!

Project SEARCH 
The City of Salem is partnering again with Albertina Kerr’s Project SEARCH internship program to provide job training opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Applications are open now for a March 6, 2023, start date for this nationally acclaimed nine-month internship program that provides employability training for individuals with I/DD to help them find meaningful employment in the community. To sign up or learn more about Project SEARCH, email [email protected].

A Bright Future
Albertina Kerr’s teams kicked off the year at our 2023 Bright Future Staff Luncheon. The room was packed with energy, and it was clear everyone was excited to come together in person. I am so grateful for our dedicated staff. 2023 is going to be a great year for Kerr. I hope it is also a great year for you!

Allison Stark
CEO, Albertina Kerr