Trudy Widmer hopes to make a difference in someone's life through her work.
Co-owner of Hopewell Clinical and an active community volunteer, Widmer plays a role in helping people turn their lives around.
Watching her parents lend a hand to others, coupled with seeing needs in the community inspired Widmer to get involved. Work in retail helped cement an interest in people, and volunteer work in college spurred a change in her major to social work, and, eventually, a business counseling single mothers, adolescents and others in need.
Widmer stresses the importance of giving back to her daughters and other youngsters involved in the Little Miss Quincy program.
"It is a scholarship program, but the idea behind it especially for little ones is to volunteer in our community and how important it is to be a volunteer, to take time for others."
Family: Significant other, Mike; two daughters, Morgan, 9, and Aubree, 6.
Education: Bachelor of science in social work from Quincy University
Community involvement: Member at Madison Park Christian Church; Sunday School teacher at MPCC; Regional Summit on Violence committee member; volunteer at Berrian Elementary School. One of the most important things I do in the community is I am the director of the Little Miss Quincy Scholarship Pageant. I also volunteer for the Miss Quincy organization, and I judge at local and county fair pageants.
What is your job, what do you do and what do you like best about it? I am an outpatient substance abuse counselor/co-owner at Hopewell Clinical. I specialize in working with women, adolescents and DUI offenders. The best part of my job is seeing lives change right in front of me. A client comes in struggling with the chains of addiction, and I get to be a part of watching them break free of it.
What is a typical workweek like? There is no typical week in my career. I have a plan for the week, but so far, in my 13 years of experience, no week has gone as planned.
What was your first job, and what do you remember about it? My first job was at the Maid Rite on Broadway. I was 15 years old, and my high school was offering a trip to Europe. I really wanted to go, and my parents agreed to pay for the trip as long as I got a job for my spending money. The best part about Maid Rite is, of course, a good juicy Maid Rite. Who can pass those up? Honestly, the best part was learning responsibility at a young age and building great friendships that I still have today.
How do you balance everything? That is a good question. Luckily, I have an awesome family and Mike in my life. I'm a single mom, work full-time, and my daughters are involved in several extracurricular activities, so it can be trying at times. One thing that I make sure of is my work stays at work, so I can enjoy my children in the evening and give them 100 percent attention.
Which person has influenced you the most and why? I can't say one person has influenced me because I have an amazing mom and dad. They have molded me and shaped me into the successful person I am today. They have taught me morals and values, plus having a relationship with Jesus Christ is first and foremost.
Have you ever failed at something? How did you recover? Of course I have failed at numerous things. The good news is that we are forgiven for our mistakes and we can be made new daily; we just have to ask for it.
What does success mean to you? If I have made a difference in someone's life, that is success. If at the end of the day, my girls are smiling, that is success. If I have done all that I can do and have no regrets about my day, that is success.
What was your proudest professional moment? There are several moments in my professional career that made me proud. The one that stands out in particular is a young women who came into my office -- a broken, drug-addicted single mom with nothing. She was ready for help but was very untrusting of someone wanting to help her. As time passed, trust began to build, she started living a clean and healthy lifestyle. She was working, going to college and taking care of her child. She was in a positive/healthy relationship that later evolved into marriage, she was attending church and was baptized. I see this person on a regular basis, and she is someone I now look up to and admire. It wasn't just a moment, but it's situations like hers that keep me doing what I do.
What is your favorite stress-buster/leisure time diversion? There are a few things that I love … the first being shopping! I also love a good massage and a pedicure. Those three things can turn a stressful day into a great day!
What is the biggest need in your community? There are a lot of needs here in our community. What I see is the biggest need is the lack of compassion for others. Everyone struggles at some point in his or her life, and when we are judgmental of someone's situation, it results in the lack of compassion for people. Another need in our community is breaking the cycle of addiction. Children are living in homes with drugs, alcohol and violence. When parents are doing these things, children are watching and will be trying the same thing most likely at younger ages. This cycle can be broken once parents step up and become a parent.
What gives you reason for optimism in your community? There are so many services a person can get involved in here in our community. It's OK to ask for help when you need it. It's hard to ask sometimes, but it will be worth it in the end.
If you could go back in time and give advice to yourself when you were in high school, what would it be? I would tell myself not to wish it away so quickly. I couldn't wait to get out of high school and start living the "adult" life. I wish I could go back now!
If you weren't working for Hopewell Clinical, what would you be doing? I can't imagine doing anything else because I believe God has put me where he wants me for right now, but as I was thinking about a career in high school I always wanted to be a court reporter.
If you could add a few more hours to the day, how would you spend them? With my children, of course. I don't get enough time with them as it is, so I would love to have a few more hours with them.
Do you live by any mantra or saying? We cannot start over, but we can begin now and make a new ending.
Career aspirations aside, name one thing you definitely want to accomplish in your lifetime. I want to watch my daughters grow up to be successful, strong women, have a personal relationship with Jesus and be happy with what they are doing in their life. I also want to continue to make a difference in people's lives so that when I leave this world I know I did my best.