Our core lies in the legacy of one woman who wanted to make a difference. Debbie Adams learned at a young age about the gift of giving back from her father. They would load up the car on Christmas Eve and drive around leaving shiny new bicycles on porches for unsuspecting children to find on Christmas morning. This was one of Debbie’s favorite memories of her father who passed away her senior year of high school. Losing her father didn’t stop Debbie from pursuing her dreams. She grew up in Oakdale, Louisiana, the youngest of five and the first in her family to go to college. She attended Lamar University on a golf scholarship, graduating with a Bachelors in Education. She was the first woman to coach men’s golf at Hardin-Simmons University.
After touring with the LPGA for seven years, Debbie began what would be her life long career in Health and Human Services. She started out working for the State of Texas in Sherman Texas at Texoma Community Center as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional. From there she went to work for a Private Provider, then known as EduCare, as their Regional Director for Southern Texas, offices in San Antonio. In 1992, Debbie started South Texas Community Living . By 2010, it grew to serve over 250 people in Abilene, Beaumont, McAllen, Harlingen, North Houston, and San Antonio. Debbie never lost sight of the reason she got into the business. In her words, it was all about “working together to make a difference.”
Debbie was well respected by her colleagues and fellow providers. She was often found on the Senate floor and meeting with Legislators fighting for the rights of people with special needs. She was a member of the Private Providers Association of Texas (PPAT) and helped start Providers Alliance for Community Services of Texas (PACSTX) , receiving the Visionary Award in 2011 for her significant contributions on behalf of persons with IDD. If asked what her greatest reward was, she would say, “Seeing the smiles on the faces of those I serve.”
Debbie passed away in 2011, leaving her inspiring legacy to her nephew and employee of South Texas Community Living, Lonnie Welch, and her children, Kaelynn Adams Haack and Cooper Adams Haack.