West-Central Independent Living Solutions congratulates UCM Seniors, Katherine Kucera of Chesterfield and Alexis Butler of O’Fallon, on receiving the 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.


"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 physical 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.



This article contained information provided by Amy Jenkins, Director of Marketing for WILS.

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