Post By Jan Leibhan

Here’s what every good parent knows: To raise strong, confident children with the drive and ambition to succeed, you have to lead by example.  That’s a given.  If you’re a single mom working full-time with school-age children, you juggle a lot every single day and work extra hard at keeping all the balls up in the air.  If you’re fortunate, you have family nearby to help you shoulder some of the weight.

When I initially met Annette Disjardin years ago, we were working together in court on a regular basis.  Annette is a social worker and case manager with the Kenosha County Division of Children and Family Services.   Social workers carry tremendously heavy caseloads.  They oversee a multitude of services provided to families in need in our community and look for solutions to challenges that seem, at times, insurmountable.  It takes a special person to be a social worker to say the least.

☼ ☼ ☼

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One evening a few years ago, I ran into Annette at Starbucks.  She was sitting alone at a table with her laptop open and a large stack of books in front of her.  And I do mean large.  It looked like it was about to topple over.  I remember thinking I should help her move her 80-pound stack of books to a larger table but there were none available.  Social workers prepare a lot of long, detailed reports as part of their duties and I just assumed she was writing a report.  Wrong.  While we were chatting, Annette was telling me that she was working on her master’s degree and needed a little quiet time to get some studying done.  I asked about the kids and her family, and we spoke about the recent painful loss of her dad and how grateful she was to have her mom’s help because with a full-time job, school-age children and a master’s degree program in the works, things can get pretty hectic, especially for a single mom.  But what struck me most and spoke volumes about Annette was that in talking about the loss of her dad, who she was very close to, she was most concerned about her mom and her children and their well-being.  She was glad that her children and her mom were able to spend a little extra time together and that her mom was able to put some of her energies into helping with the grandchildren.  Annette was putting everyone’s needs ahead of her own, and I was touched by her compassion and love for her family.  And it’s easy to see where she gets her sunny disposition from because her mom, Cindy, is just as adorable as the day is long.  Cindy works at DCFS as well, and when I stop there and see her at the front desk, guess what we talk about ~ her grandchildren!  They’re the light of her life, as is her daughter.

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Annette received her master’s degree in social work from Cardinal Stritch University in 2016.  Planning is everything and Annette is a Type A planner.  Her favorite go-to oil when she needs a boost:  doTERRA Motivate, the Encouraging Blend. Go from gloomy and weary to motivated, encouraged and energized. Motivate can be diffused into the air or applied directly to your skin or with a rollerball topped off with fractionated coconut oil.

Here’s what I know firsthand about Annette:  She has the ambition of an olympic athlete, a heart of gold and the face of an angel.  And here’s what every good parent knows:  Motivation is everything because a goal without a plan is just a wish.

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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  Howard Thurman