Lifeworks Mankato: Building Skills in the Community

CSB Mankato

From learning about what local businesses do to bringing food and a friendly smile to aging adults as a Meals on Wheels volunteer, the people served by Lifeworks Mankato are exploring interests, building skills, and giving back to their community.

Community Skill Building at Lifeworks Mankato is guided by the expertise of Jody Decker and Lindsey Schmitt. As Service Facilitators, they work together to coordinate experiences and encourage discussions while constantly innovating to ensure the voices of the people we serve are heard.

Lindsey explains, “Community Skill Building is a tailored service. It’s 100 percent person centered. To determine what the people we serve are looking for, we assess interests and needs quarterly and then develop a calendar based their identified topics.”

Success to me is the happiness of the people we serve.

– Lindsey Schmitt, Lifeworks Service Facilitator

On any given day, Lifeworks Mankato serves 10-15 people through Community Skill Building. Outings happen in the morning and then again after lunch. The community has been supportive and receptive to fostering inclusion. More than 60 businesses, including Amazon, Taylor Corporation, and Mankato State University have provided learning opportunities.

Along with actively engaging in the community, Lifeworks Mankato offers peer teaching, where participants research topics, create presentations, and share information with the group. Past topics include nutrition, mental health, coping skills, and more.

Teresa, a Lifeworks Mankato participant for over a year, thoughtfully asserts, “I like that we get out in the community. The history of this town is very interesting. When I first moved here it was hard and now I know where a lot of places are. And early on, I hardly talked to anyone, but I’ve grown. My social skills are a lot better.”