Serving Benton, Henry, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis and Saline County, Missouri.

West-Central Independent Living Solutions congratulates UCM Seniors, Katherine Kucera of Chesterfield and Alexis Butler of O’Fallon, on each receiving a $1500 Dave DeFrain Fellowship.

This fellowship is open to UCM seniors studying in a field of social work or human services.  The DeFrain Fellowship was established in 2016 and is named in honor of WILS past Board member and Board president Dave DeFrain, who is also a retired director of the Department for Academic Achievement at UCM.

Photo collage of two images. The left side is a college girl in a black top and jean skirt standing in front of the UCM football field. The right image is a close up of a college girl in a gray turtle neck tank top.
From left to right: Alexis Butler and Katherine Kucera.

“You can learn all your life but it is how you use that knowledge in the betterment of others that make the difference, at WILS I can start my journey toward that goal,” says Kucera.

WILS collaborates with UCM’s Department of Social Work to select candidates to participate in an interview and application process with WILS’ Associate Executive Director and program supervisors.  Once recipients are selected, they participate in a 480-hour practicum which includes case management, professional development, and other special projects with WILS staff.

Recipient Butler says, “I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a fellow for WILS during my last semester at UCMO. I hope to gain the knowledge and skills needed to further my Social Work career and empower people with disabilities to live independently.”

WILS is a consumer driven, non-residential, 501(c)3 nonprofit resource center that serves people with disabilities through its programs and services.  As a Center for Independent Living (CIL), WILS strives to remove barriers and prejudices and empowers persons with disabilities to live as independently as possible.