She serves Kwik Trip guests in Southeast Minnesota

Ability Building Center - Kwik Trip


Kate was diagnosed at an early age with ADD, ADHD and a mild intellectual disability.

Before coming to Ability Building Center in 1998, she had problems staying focused on everyday tasks. Being able to hold down a competitive job seemed like a distant dream.

With the help of ABC’s Supported Employment Program at Woodland Industries in Caledonia, Kate proudly works full-time for Kwik Trip in that city. “I don’t know what I would have done without ABC,” Kate says. “I hate to think— I might have been homeless, or in prison, even. My work and supervisors provide the structure I need to succeed every day.”

Alta Lampert, Kate’s guardian, said Kate earns a good wage and works independently most of the time. The Kwik Trip employee preps food in the kitchen, introduces new products in the atrium, cleans and performs other functions.

She’s also been called on to work every other Saturday at a Kwik Trip store in LaCrescent, near La Crosse, Wis., Lampert explains.Kate at work at Kwik Trip

For her second job, Kate was recognized by ABC Woodland as “Most Improved Employee” for the quarter. She also sews and works with animals.

Kate studied kitchen preparation at Western Wisconsin Technical College, where she learned knife and food handling skills, her guardian explained. She receives transportation from ABC.

Lampert and Kate’s mother are co-guardians for Kate, who came to live with Lampert when she was 15. She now lives in an ABLE house group home in LaCrescent.

Ability Building Center contributed to this story.