From the Executive Director:
Dear Kishwaukee SRA Participants, Families and Friends;
I send a warm and happy “Hello” to all of you. I am Dawn Schaefer, the new Executive Director at our KSRA! It is a great honor to have been chosen to lead this wonderful organization. I am excited and look forward to the future that we will build together.
Allow me to share with you my time and experience in the field of Therapeutic Recreation (TR). I have been in this field for a little over 20 years. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Louis University and a Master’s degree in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation Administration from Aurora University. I am nationally certified as a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS). Much of my time in the field has been with other Special Recreation Associations in the Chicagoland and Champaign – Urbana areas. I have also been a Recreation Therapist with the Illinois Department of Corrections and, most recently, at an acute care behavioral health hospital for youth and teens in central Illinois. Throughout my career I have served on many statewide boards that work to improve and grow the services to community Parks and Recreation providers and Special Recreation Associations. I have held seats on the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) as the Central Illinois Representative along with serving as the Chair of the Illinois Therapeutic Recreation Section (ITRS). I have spoken at local, state, and national level conferences on topics that impact TR services. I have also served as an Adjunct Professor at Aurora University. While my career has allowed me many experiences, my passion for delivering TR programs and services has been strong and steadfast.
Once my relocation is complete, I look forward to learning about all the local restaurants and bakeries. I enjoy baking and cooking when I am at home and love to eat at great places. I am also looking forward to spending more time with my family. My move to the area will bring me closer to my family, whom reside in the Chicagoland suburbs.
In the coming months I will be hosting Open Houses within the five member agencies. I hope you will consider attending one or all of these events as it will be a chance for me to meet and chat with you to learn about what you want for the future of KSRA. I will post the dates and locations on our website and send invitations to the families that live within the specific community. If you are unable to attend the Open Houses, I always welcome communication via email or phone, or if you prefer, we can set a time to sit and chat in person. I have an open-door policy and enjoy hearing from people.
I am looking forward to our years together learning and growing while having fun along the way!
Dawn R. Schaefer, MS, CTRS
779-777-7284 (direct line)