Our ‘Why’: Hopebridge Heroes Share What Draws Them to Autism Therapy
October 14, 2022
October 14, 2022
What’s your “why” for doing the job you do? From siblings and “firsts” to advocacy and education, the “why” for working in autism therapy often runs the gamut, but often comes down to one key theme: caring for others.
We love to learn what drives our Hopebridge Heroes in their roles each day. It’s the blend of their inspiration and motivation that has enabled us to advance clinical excellence for children with autism for nearly two decades.
Here is a peek into the “purpose” behind the work for some of our team members:
“Some of our kids need so much love, but their intelligence and potential may go unnoticed without it. Watching them flourish into these incredible humans – without them losing their unique spirit in the process – is so important to me. I never want to hinder that. I want them to be themselves. That’s why we love them and why their families love them. They are all so wonderful and brilliant and I wish more of the world could see them.”
Hopebridge Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Michelle Beliveau-Miner
“When it comes to working in this space, there is no judgment, no qualms about personal history. We’re all here for the same reason and we’re all buds. I want everyone to have that experience. We’re here to serve our kids, families and the community around us. We also need to remember that these ‘babies’ of ours grow up. It’s our hope that as they get older, our impact translates into who they are as adults. It’s a huge honor and responsibility.”
Hopebridge Center Manager Allison McGarry
I was personally a late bloomer and developed speech when I was closer to 4 years old. Speech developed at a slow rate, both in English and my native language, Spanish. No one shared with mom how to obtain a developmental evaluation, much less how to access a variety of services like speech, physical, occupational or ABA services. At the end of my senior year in high school, I wanted to help individuals to overcome developmental challenges so they, too, would flourish over time. My “why” is to be influential in children’s lives so they can develop to their fullest potential and have a fulfilling, enriching and growing experience. I want this for them not only at Hopebridge, but across all settings, from their home, to their community, and into their schools.
Adriana Morales, PsyD, BCBA-D, LBA
My favorite thing about children is the curiosity and enthusiasm they have for life. Children know how to find joy in the little things, and I love to see that little sparkle in their eyes. I think people can learn a lot from children about finding happiness and appreciating life. It’s really special to play a role in making such a big difference in someone’s life and I don’t take that lightly.
Hopebridge BCBA Rebecca McCormick
“Back when we started noticing some of my son’s challenges, applied behavior analysis was not readily available and centers like Hopebridge didn’t exist. I remember being given his diagnosis without receiving any follow-up resources or therapy options. I feel the purpose of my job is to make sure our Hopebridge kiddos and their parents never have the same problem.”
Angie Graff, Insurance and Credentialing Manager
“I love moving around and appreciate AIM and Hopebridge giving me the opportunity and flexibility to do it. I like to go where the children and autism population need us, rather than having them come to me. My goal is to move around and expand my reach to more children by training more members of our staff. This is what reinforces me, over and over. One person in one place can reach a few people, but if I can get the people I train to hold onto these ideas, we can pass them along to future generations of behavior analysts and the families they serve.”
Hopebridge BCBA Alex Peters
“I’m an advocate for the autism population; especially my clients. I do this not only to help children on the spectrum, but also to teach their families how to better interact with their children. It’s such a special part of the job.”
Hopebridge BCBA Abby Trotz
“Heroes work at Hopebridge! Our staff works tirelessly to help children receive the care they need. I want them to know how important their jobs are in the lives of our kiddos and to make sure they know how much they mean to us! By advocating for their experience and making them feel seen when they start, I believe I can make sure they recognize their value to our organization. It’s also inspiring being able to showcase the diversity Hopebridge has cultivated in the workplace. We really strive to make sure that we have different perspectives and viewpoints in not only our corporate office, but also with our kiddos. Lots of people talk about working to eliminate barriers and championing diversity, but Hopebridge makes it a priority! They’ve given me so many opportunities to learn and grow within the organization and it’s amazing to be able to show our new hires that they can be offered the same opportunities.”
Hopebridge Onboarding Specialist Dani Lopez-Roque
“There is no better feeling in the world than when we get to celebrate the little wins. I love being able to help others experience those same feelings. I also enjoy serving as a support system for my fellow RBTs.”
ABA Trainer Jasmine Payne
“My older brother has autism and I saw how therapy changed his life. Now, as a BCBA, I enjoy the Hopebridge atmosphere and my connections with the amazing therapists around me, but I think the kids are the best part. It’s such an exciting time for them at this age. Work is never boring; there is something different every day and those experiences have created valuable relationships for all of us involved.”
Hopebridge BCBA Katie Johnson
“I loved the idea of being part of something new and getting to help grow options new areas for children with autism. It was exciting to see these states evolve and have a role in it all. It was emotional to see how thrilled families were after waiting so long for services for their children.”
Hopebridge Clinical Director Leigh Zucker
As a behavior analyst, I enjoy being able to see the difference we make – not only in the children’s lives – but in the overall well-being of entire families.
Hopebridge BCBA Kim Hayward
Now it’s your turn to tell us your “why.” If you are ready to put your “why” into action and continue your career in a job that makes a difference, check out our open positions in locations across the country.
*Informed consent was obtained from the participants in this article. This information should not be captured and reused without express permission from Hopebridge, LLC.