In our most recent Spotlight, we caught up with Stephanie Ward, NCHPAD Community Health Educator. We chatted with Stephanie about what it’s like to lead Coffee Club, her favorite NCHPAD resources, and her favorite hobbies and foods.
When she’s not leading a fun or informative Coffee Club discussion, you may find her out and about promoting NCHPAD Connect, our online portal connecting people with mobility disabilities to personalized resources and programs.
How long have you been with NCHPAD?
Eight and a half years.
Tell us about your background & education. What brought you to NCHPAD?
My background is in the medical field. I have a medical assistant diploma, Child Development Associate (CDA) credentials and a certification as a Certified Patient Account Representative (CPAR). In addition to these credentials, I also have training in early childhood education and a bachelor’s in business.
I came to NCHPAD when I took an administrative position at UAB and then transitioned to the research side as a Community Health Educator.
What program or programs do you work with?
I work with NCHPAD CONNECT, MENTOR and I am the lead for NCHPAD Coffee Club. I also do a lot of community engagement events promoting NCHPAD.
What talents or expertise do you bring to NCHPAD or Coffee Club?
I would have to say my skill is connecting with people. I love being out in public meeting people and talking about all of the great programs and resources that we offer.
What is your favorite thing about NCHPAD or Coffee Club?
The fact that the program provides resources about physical activity and wellness specifically for people living with disabilities.
What’s your favorite NCHPAD resource or video series?
I love our Mindful Meditations.
What are you most looking forward to in Coffee Club?
Seeing people that I have engaged with take advantage of the benefits that a program has to offer. I love to watch participants in our programs thrive.
Share a success story. Tell us about a time when you really saw Coffee Club working in the life of a participant.
It makes my heart smile when I receive emails from participants telling me they enjoy a Coffee Club class that I led.
What hobbies do you have outside of work?
Shopping, thrifting and traveling.
What’s your favorite food, favorite thing to cook or favorite recipe?
My favorite food is seafood – especially crab legs, fish and shrimp.
What’s your favorite music, movies or tv shows?
R&B and Gospel are my favorite types of music. I love drama, romance and comedy movies and tv shows.
What’s the last book you read?
It’s OK That You’re Not Okay by Megan Devine. It was good – very comforting when going through grief, which I am, since the unexpected loss of my son Tommie on May 8, 2022.
Who or what inspires you?
Positive feedback. Especially when a participate comes back to tell me he or she appreciates the work that I am doing to make Coffee Club a success.
What’s your favorite quote?
“I’m living the dream.”
If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose?
President of the United States.
What’s one thing (not related to your job) that you could teach someone else how to do?
I love making yeast rolls, and I could show someone how to make those.