44 Years (and counting!) with Carol Stauffer
Carol Stauffer began working at VisionCorps in the summer of 1973 and is heading into her 44th year with the organization! She started in the Enterprise Group, served in VisionCorp’s previously-offered computer recycling program, and is now an Order Entry and Customer Service Representative.
1. What is your favorite part/aspect of your job here at VisionCorps?
Constantly being forced to learn. With accounting programs, constant learning is necessary, because the programs change all the time.
2. How did you find out about VisionCorps?
In 1973 I spent two months walking around Lancaster, putting in 30-to-40 applications per day, only to find out that at that time, Lancaster City, being a very conservative town, did not hire the handicap. Fortunately, I graduated from Penn Manor High School and didn’t know I was handicap. I was just the kid in school who needed glasses. After canvassing the city and searching for other places to apply, I found a place called “The Blind Center”, today called VisionCorps. I submitted an application and was hired right away.
3. What do you wish other people knew about VisionCorps?
A lot of people associate VisionCorps with sheltered workshops. I don’t think people know what we do. We have jobs here; we have warehouse jobs and office jobs. If people knew more of what was available through VisionCorps, it wouldn’t feel like coming into a blind center. I’m shocked when I talk to people and they say “I always wondered what that building was,” and we’ve been here for 90 years. They live right here in Lancaster, see VisionCorps every day, but they don’t know what it is.
4. What is your personal philosophy?
Life is too short, so go for whatever you can. You have to believe in yourself. And that’s a hard one. It’s really hard if you’ve been shut down because of your handicap all your life. Most individuals who are vision-impaired, or individuals who are handicapped, have very low self-esteem because that’s how they grew up. They were made fun of before the word “bullying” existed. You have to believe in yourself.
5. If you could have one Superpower what would it be and why?
To help teenagers realize that suicide is not the way out.
6. Favorite movie?
I don’t have any single favorite movie. I like animal stories that are based on true stories – “Secretariat”, “Max”, and “Eight Below”.
7. If you could do another job for one day what would it be?
A nurse or a counselor. I’m more of a helper –I’m a grandmother at heart.
8. Quick: you throw a spontaneous dinner party with 5 of your friends – what do you make?
My favorite thing to throw together is chicken, broccoli, and noodles with Alfredo sauce. My son and I cook this all the time! It’s a one-pot meal and it’s very fast!
9. What is your most treasured possession?
My three boys and my grandchildren. After that, I have a family bible that belonged to my great-grandmother. The inside of the family bible has “1887” on it.
10. Do you prefer long road trips or flying in an airplane?
Long road trips. I’ve done it many times. My boys love to drive, we love to ride. We drove from Lancaster to Texas, and from Lancaster to Florida more than once. We drive everywhere! Texas is the farthest we’ve gone. We’ve gone to San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. We were out there quite a few times, as my son went to school out there for a while.