Museum Receives Mayor’s Empower Award


Museum Receives Mayor’s Empower Award

December 16, 2021

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The Children’s Museum of South Dakota was recently honored with the 2021 Mayor’s Empower Award

The annual award program is designed to recognize outstanding commitment of a business in employing and empowering individuals with disabilities.

Brookings Mayor Ope Niemeyer presented the Empower Award, a recognition program of the Brookings Disability Awareness Committee, at the mayor’s awards event and holiday celebration on Thursday, Dec. 2.

Accepting the award on behalf of the museum were Executive Director Kate Treiber and Guest Experience Manager Charles Stuart.

Matthew Weiss, Kate Treiber, Charles Stuart and Mayor Ope Niemeyer pose for a photo during the awards ceremony.
Disability Awareness Committee Chair Matthew Weiss, Executive Director Kate Treiber, Guest Experience Manager Charles Stuart, and Mayor Ope Niemeyer pose for a photo during the awards ceremony.

Here is the nomination:

One of the children’s museum’s values is to embrace and welcome all. The museum works to cultivate a work environment where people can bring their diversity of thought, ability, and creativity offering a team of employees that reflects the guests who come to play.

The children’s museum has partnered with Project Skills, Project Search, and Advance offering their clients work experience, on-the-job training, and a safe, welcoming, and playful work environment.

Year after year the museum uses these programs as opportunities to make for a stronger organization, and the museum hopes that their success can be inspiring for others.

Sarah’s Dream Job

A recent story features Sarah, who started as a volunteer who served more than 830 hours. In June Sarah was hired as a play guide, a position she calls her “dream job.” Sarah was featured on Keloland News and in the Brookings Register. Her experience shines a light on offering people with disabilities a place to be themselves with space, empathy, and room to grow their professional development. But in return, the museum and its team grows as well.

Words From a Community Partner

Kristina A. Bishop, employment consultant with Career Advantage, shared the following comments:

The Children’s Museum is a business that embraces people with disabilities. Over the years the Children’s Museum has been an active participant in Project Skills. Project Skills is a high school work experience program. The program provides students with opportunities to develop vocational skills.

I personally worked with Charles and the entire team when they hired one of my former Project Skills students. The staff provided training and guidance that helped my client to become a successful play guide. They also worked closely with Career Advantage and ensured job coaching support.

The Children’s Museum provides a welcoming environment where each employee finds success and fulfillment.

Not only does the Children’s Museum empower people; they make a difference in the community.

The Children’s Museum creates an environment where every employee can contribute his or her best. The Children’s Museum helps build confidence, develop skills and widen friendships.

The Children’s Museum provides an inclusive environment where a person can thrive and become a productive employee in the workforce.

Honored to Accept This Award

The team from the Children’s Museum is honored to accept this award. The award is intended to motivate others to increase opportunities to hire individuals with disabilities and the museum welcomes conversations from those who want to work toward this goal.