Shannon Philpott

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching

Edwardsville Woman Has Drive to Help Others

Published in the 1/7/11 issue of the Suburban Journals

Edwardsville Woman Has Drive to Help Others

Shawn McCue, of Edwardsville, is always on the move.

As a supported employment specialist for MERS/Goodwill, she’s in charge of finding jobs for people in need. That means McCue is on the road a lot — driving from employer to employer looking for job leads, taking clients to training or finding them business attire for interviews.

For all the hard work, McCue recently received the Local Hero Award, the nonprofit’s honor for employees who go beyond the norm.

“It just comes from the heart to do what we do,” McCue said. “It’s in my nature to help suffering people out there who cannot help themselves.”

Jennifer Fuller, nonprofit’s placement services coordinator, said McCue’s positive attitude makes all the difference.

“One of Shawn’s strengths is that she sees the positive in everybody and boosts their self-esteem,” she said. “She is really good at being a cheerleader for our clients.”

McCue’s position handles the primary mission of MERS/Goodwill: to assist people who are disabled or are having trouble finding a job. Clients range from ex-offenders to veterans and people with autism.

The work is supported through donations and funding from Goodwill stores.

McCue is charged with finding open positions, coordinating suitable jobs, helping with background checks and even laying out bus routes. Boosting self-esteem is key.

“My clients need to feel like they are worth something — something positive,” she said.

Her work to help others extends beyond her job.

In March 2008, she was at a Crestwood, Mo., Starbucks when a customer trying to catch a man who stole a tip jar was run over in the parking lot. McCue gave the victim CPR at the scene. The man, Roger Kreutz, later died. The incident made national news.

“I was at the right place at the right time, but unfortunately the man didn’t make it,” McCue said. “My intention was to try and save his life — I want to help people — it’s in my nature and in my heart to help.”

(The man who took the jar eventually spent nine months in prison.)

Fuller said McCue’s actions ‘speak to the kind of person she is.”

“She is very willing to help people and put others first,” Fuller said.

That extends to her job, Fuller said. McCue is always willing to go the extra mile.

“It’s tough to get a job,” she said. “When you’re working with people who have barriers to employment, it can be challenging.”

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January 7, 2011 - Posted by | Newspaper Writing, Sample Work | , , , , ,

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