There is a theme in Angie Shultz’s life. A longtime community activist, she started her career working with youth at risk and then worked as a counselor for 14 years coaching people with mental illness. In 2013, she became a Mentor with REM Iowa. Her son and his wife became Mentors soon after.
“No matter where Angie is in her career she has felt the calling to help others,” said Danielle Smith, program director at REM Iowa and Angie’s nominator. “But rather than just stop there, Angie put her years of training to use by helping someone on a deeper, more personal level. When Angie heard about the Host Home program she said she knew immediately it was for her.”
Whether it’s helping to socialize without anxiety, get a job, become one’s own guardian, or simply enjoying a passionate interest or hobby with someone else, Angie is the catalyst and cheerleader for the two adults she supports in her home. Over the last few years, both of them have reached goals they never thought possible. They have become part of a community—enjoying barbeques with family and friends, volunteering for neighborhood clean ups, and picking fresh fruits and vegetables in the community garden.
When talking with Angie about her success as a Mentor, she says it’s all about the importance of instilling confidence. That, and the love and comfort that comes from knowing someone truly cares, make all the difference, she says.
“They already possessed the ability to accomplish their dreams. I just helped them gain the confidence to believe for themselves,” said Angie.