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Becky’s Jewels, Inc. was incorporated in March, 2003. The original eight members of the microboard had all been members of an informal circle of support formed during Becky’s high school years to begin planning for her future beyond high school. The circle of support helped Becky attend prom, find her first jobs and problem solve when difficulties arose at school. All the current members of Becky’s Jewels were founding members of the microboard; all have known Becky since high school or longer, and include both family and friends. Over the years, the microboard has continued to meet regularly to identify goals and develop and implement plans to reach those goals.

Becky has lived for several years now with sponsored residential support funded through a Medicaid waiver. Becky and Bayley moved into an apartment together six years ago, and Bayley either provides or manages all of Becky’s support. Two years ago, Bayley married Jon, and Becky has continued to live with Bayley, now in a home Bayley and Jon purchased together. Microboard members meet frequently with Becky’s paid support providers and problem solve when concerns or needs arise.

After working for many years at a large university dining hall, Becky was ready for a job change. She and her microboard members spent a lot of time identifying the strengths and interests which could create a great job match for Becky. After lots of time and effort, Becky’s “dream” job was found, and she now works in the laundry room of a Hilton Garden Inn. She receives long-term supported employment services and is successful because she has fabulous natural supports on the job.

Becky lived with her foster family from the age of six, but once she became an adult, continuing to provide the decision-making assistance she needs became more complex. Because her microboard wanted to ensure Becky’s voice would always be honored in any decisions affecting her life, the members decided to seek guardianship as an entity, rather than having one or two members named as her guardian, and Becky’s Jewels, Inc. successfully petitioned to become Becky’s guardian. The microboard was represented by attorney Ann Green, who wrote a description of that process, “Microboards and Guardianship.”

Most importantly, all the members of Becky’s microboard have deep, close relationships with her. Becky and her “Jewels” get together socially to celebrate special occasions and enjoy meals and fun together. Becky will need support across her lifetime to ensure she has a great life. Though microboard members will come and go over time, Becky’s Jewels will always ensure she has that great life.

– Mac McArthur-Fox & Charlie Fox