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Morgan Herried laughs in repsonse to a question from MN Works! coordinator and Capitol internship program contact Diana Carrigan. Submitted Photo

Herried chosen for prestigious Capitol internship

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To say that Woodbury resident Morgan Herried was excited upon learning she had been hand-selected for the MN Works! Capitol Fellowship Program may be an understatement.

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"I started jumping up and down," she said, with a million-dollar smile on her face. "I yelled up the stairs, 'Mom, Mom! I got it.'"

Morgan is one of about a dozen individuals with disabilities statewide chosen for the program. She was nominated by staff members at East Suburban Resources, (ESR), a Washington County nonprofit agency that supports adults with developmental disabilities in finding and retaining jobs in the community.

In making the nomination, Pam Mund, sales director, and Patty Thurk, job developer, described Herried as "an exceptional young lady who is reliable, trustworthy and loves working with people while giving back to her community."

The nomination captured the attention of MN Works! program coordinator Diana Carrigan. "The first thing we noticed was all the activities Herried has been involved in," Carrigan said. "From volunteering, to her work with the Tree Trust program where she won a Governor's Award two years in a row, her work shows that she has a variety of skills and abilities. It also indicates that she is contributing in a very positive way to her community."

The Capitol Fellowship Program was designed to engage the Minnesota Senate in providing individuals with disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their capacity to participate in the work of the Legislature and others at the State Capitol. Program coordinators also seek to mentor participants on their career options while recognizing those who demonstrate their commitment to their jobs with exemplary performance.

Herried is working one a day a week at the Capitol during the 2010 Legislative Session, (February through April) for Sen. Larry Pogemiller of Minneapolis. She fills a variety of duties that include helping with mailings or running errands for the senator. Her days include lunches with various senators and their staff members, plus the opportunity to connect with other interns to share experiences.

In addition to volunteering at a nursing home, working with Tree Trust and ESR, Herried helped in her family's bakery as a kitchen assistant. When she is not working, she connects with friends through the Internet, plays computer games, takes advantage of technologies like Skype and goes shopping.

"I'm excited about this," Herried said, the smile still on her face. "I'll be the first person in my family to go inside the Capitol. I think it'll be fun."

East Suburban Resources supports 300 adults with developmental disabilities in finding and retaining employment in Washington County.

The agency supports the employment of individuals with disabilities by partnering with more than 150 east metro-area businesses to provide supported jobs for individuals, small crews and at one of its three program sites in the communities of Forest Lake, Cottage Grove and Stillwater. The agency's mission is to provide quality support to adults with developmental disabilities and other special needs, making access to employment and their community a reality.

Information provided by East Suburban Resources.

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