Meet Melissa Selhorst, SSA
Melissa Selhorst has been employed as a Service and Support Associate (SSA) for the Allen County Board of DD for almost 3 years. As an SSA, Melissa provides assessment, planning, coordination and ongoing review of services. Melissa takes great pride in her job and thoroughly enjoys working with the individuals on her caseload. When asked what is her favorite part of working here Melissa says, “getting to see people make their own choices and watching them make progress on the things they want to achieve”.
Melissa has been around people with disabilities her whole life. She said this is what made her decide to go into the DD field. “My family led me to this job. My uncle, who has Down Syndrome, lived with us most of my life growing up. This had a huge impact on me and I wanted to help people. My brother has Spina bifida and I watched his struggles and also watched all those who helped him through the years. I wanted to be like them.”
Melissa explained that being an SSA, although rewarding, is a challenging job. “In one day I have assisted with a nursing home admission for someone, assisted with hospice and medical needs for someone else, and followed up on a letter from a lawyer about a home foreclosure on yet another person…..and all of this was not on my schedule for the day!” Melissa would not change any of it though and is glad she can help others live better lives.
Melissa, like so many other staff at the Board, goes above and beyond her regular job duties. She sends birthday cards to every person she works with, recognizing their special day. In a time of much transition, Melissa offered to share an office with 3 new staff to be of help and support to them. Her acts of kindness go on and on. She is a ray of sunshine to all those she meets!
When Melissa isn’t working, she is busy planning a wedding for this October. She also enjoys spending time with her family, dog walks, fishing, 4-wheeling, crafts, and going to concerts. Her favorite quote is this: There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love if you could read their story. Melissa lives this out every day. She said, “It is difficult to put into words, but once you get to really know someone, you want the best for them. It’s people’s lives and having your heart in it.” Melissa’s heart is in it for sure!