Parkville, Maryland—Stephanie Stein has never been one to back down from a challenge.
As a 21-year old starting her first full-time job, Stephanie began her career at Oak Crest as a restaurant associate in the continuing care neighborhood then known as Renaissance Gardens.
Overcoming a few nerves, natural to beginning a new chapter in life, she learned the ropes, worked hard and advanced to become a prep cook for Windows (now the newly re-opened McHenry's) in the Town Center independent living neighborhood.
Stephanie enjoys making a positive difference at the Erickson Living retirement community, where she will celebrate her 20-year employment anniversary in January.
"Seeing the smiles on the faces of residents and co-workers, especially during dinnertime, makes it all worth it," described Stephanie, a graduate of Towson High School. "I like the creativity that goes into preparing delicious meals."
Her success comes as no surprise to Frank Miller, an Executive Chef at Oak Crest.
"Steph's personality and sense of humor bring a feeling of friendship to those she meets," said Chef Miller. "She is always willing to help anyway she can. For instance, she will do produce orders when we need an extra hand and works the carving stations in the restaurant."
In turn, Stephanie's team members at McHenry's gave her a boost, noted Chef Miller.
"It's hard to believe that Steph had a timid side, but with the encouragement of our team, she has morphed into a confident, outgoing culinary professional who accepts new opportunities and succeeds," said Chef Miller.
Outside of Oak Crest, Stephanie keeps busy, cooking for friends and family, for example. "My specialty is chicken cacciatore," she says with a smile. Five years ago, she embraced a new life challenge: competing in events coordinated by Special Olympics Maryland.
Her enthusiasm as an athlete has known no bounds. Stephanie has qualified and competed in bowling, bocce and swimming as an individual and with teams. At future events, she is planning to try soccer, skiing, snowshoeing and cheerleading.
Along the way, she not only embraced these endeavors, but also excelled. Stephanie has won gold medals in bocce (singles in 2016) and swimming (25-meter freestyle in 2017 & team relay in 2018) along with numerous fourth place ribbons.
The opportunities have allowed her to travel across Maryland to qualify for and compete in the state games, from Towson University to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
"I love staying active," said Stephanie. "Special Olympics Maryland has been a fun source of motivation for me. Friends from Oak Crest, like Tina Kummelman (Human Resources Director), have cheered me on, and I have a goal to volunteer at the games to do the same for others."
Recently, she purchased her father's house near Oak Crest. "I take pride in trying something new and overcoming my fears," concluded Stephanie.
Further information about career opportunities at Oak Crest can be found at https://jobs.ericksonliving.com. Visitors can register for email alerts about job postings by field of expertise and location within the Erickson Living network of communities.