Greeley Team Spotlight: Making a Difference for Families in Colorado
April 28, 2021
April 28, 2021
To help you get to know the team, we caught up with four people in different roles who will be leading the all-star team at the Greeley, CO autism therapy center. Check it out:
What is your background and what drew you to working in ABA at Hopebridge? Growing up, I always wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I received my undergraduate degree in elementary education and early childhood education. I taught kindergarten and then 2nd grade, and while teaching second grade, I fell in love with a student with autism. Working with him sparked a new passion in me and I knew I wanted to work more with kids like him, and my searching led me to ABA. I worked as an RBT for about 2 ½ years in a center-based environment, primarily with young children. I completed a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University and received my BCBA certification in January 2021. I was drawn to Hopebridge for 2 reasons. First, I am passionate about early intervention and am excited to work with an organization that specializes in early intervention. I was also drawn to Hopebridge because it was clear to me from the very beginning that Hopebridge was a supportive environment that genuinely cares for the kids, families, and employees, and that is the type of team that I want to be a part of.
What do you like the most about working with kids or kids with autism? 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.
What is the best career lesson you have learned so far in ABA? The best career lesson I have learned in ABA is to value and celebrate the little wins and to see that the little wins really are big wins. 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.
What are you most looking forward to about your new role in Greeley, CO? I’m very excited to be starting at a brand-new center and to get to see that whole growth process from the ground up.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t working in ABA? If I weren’t working in ABA, I would want to be doing some type of work that helps make the outdoors more accessible to people with disabilities and their families. I love hiking, camping, and just about anything outdoors, and I believe everybody should be able to have those experiences.
What is a fun fact about you that many people may not know? I love finding fun and unique ways to explore the outdoors. I spend just about all of my weekends hiking, camping, or backpacking. I celebrated one of my recent birthdays by climbing five 14ers in two days. My most exciting adventure currently planned is a backpacking trip on paddleboards later this summer.
What is your background and what drew you to working in ABA at Hopebridge? I worked as a special education teacher with kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd-grade students for about 3 years. While teaching I finished up my master’s degree in early childhood special education with a certificate in autism. Soon after I graduated with my master’s degree I decided to go back to school for a certificate in ABA from the University of Colorado – Denver. I have worked in the field of applied behavior analysis for about three years and became a BCBA in September of 2020. I was drawn to Hopebridge because of the community it creates with both the coworkers and the families they work with. I have been searching for a group of people who have the same passion and drive to helping the clients and their families grow.
What do you like the most about working with kids or kids with autism? Working with children with autism is so much fun because every single day is different. My clients have taught me patience and the true meaning behind friendship. I love that I am able to come in and play with children each day and help make a difference in their lives without them ever even noticing that I made them work. Creating those bonds with my clients and their families so that they know that they have someone there to help them and support them is the best feeling.
What is the best career lesson you have learned so far in ABA? Not every intervention will work out the way you plan. Coming back to the drawing board and collaborating with others is key.
What are you most looking forward to about your new role in Greeley, CO? Being able to provide services to families who have not been able to access those services in the past or who have had to travel to get services.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t working in ABA? I would probably be a dog trainer or professional organizer. I have two dogs who are my pride and joy.
What is a fun fact about you that many people may not know? I love to clean and organize. If I have been known to get bored, take everything out of a closet, spend hours cleaning and organizing it into containers, and then putting it all back into the closet.
What is your background and what drew you to working in ABA at Hopebridge? I have enjoyed a career in service to others for almost 20 years, specifically, working with our Senior population, in a number of executive management roles. Much like our vulnerable Senior population, our young children who struggle with autism, need very specific social, emotional, psychological, medical and educational programs and services in order for each of them to have the best opportunity to thrive.
I have a dear nephew who struggles with autism and, although he was not diagnosed until his early teens, I have watched him blossom, with the right assistance and support. Hopebridge helps shed a light on autism, early in a child’s life, allowing for early diagnosis, intervention, treatment and positive outcomes.
The transition from working with Seniors to working with young children seems very natural to me and I consider it a privilege to be able to play a part in setting our Kiddos on the best path for success!
What part about working with kids or kids with autism are you most looking forward to? Having the honor and privilege of witnessing, first hand, a young child’s transformation after participating in Hopebridge’s program is something that I truly look forward to, not to mention celebrating such a transformation with a child’s parent(s) and other family members.
What is the best career lesson you have learned so far? To support and honor employees in such a manner that inspires them to do their very best work and help create a vision for them to pursue their own career passions.
What are you most looking forward to about your new role in Greeley, CO? It is very exciting to play a key role in opening a new Hopebridge center in Greeley. I am in a unique position to nurture and grow a new program, where we can become a place of hope for children with autism residing in Greeley/Loveland corridor, as well as, to be an employer of choice for individuals seeking opportunities in programs serving children with autism.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t working in ABA? I would have gone to college and pursue a career in horticulture, as I truly enjoy the science of plants.
What is a fun fact about you that many people may not know? When I was a young child, by legs required braces for two years to help straighten my knees. Even with those braces, I was still the fastest kid on the block and I went on to letter in Track, Cross Country and Soccer in my high school years!
What is your background and what drew you to working in ABA at Hopebridge? I began in the field of ABA in 2005 as a behavior specialist, working 1:1 with kiddos. ABA always felt natural to me, it just made sense. Up until I graduated with my Master’s in 2013, I continued to work as a behavior specialist in homes, communities and centers in Idaho and Colorado. I have worked with a variety of different family dynamics, including those families who were at high risk and children with dual diagnoses. After I received my BCBA certification in 2014, I began supervision ABA programs in home, school, and clinic settings. I found myself enjoying the consistency of center programming. I was drawn to HB initially because of our name, (‘Hope’ is a part of our name), the collaborative environment, and the support provided to all clinicians.
What do you like the most about working with kids or kids with autism? I love that each child is so unique and eager to learn. (I don’t really know how to put that into words). We take so much for granted every day, and our kids really help us remember to be thankful for the little things. Teaching a child to ask for mom and dad, to say ‘hi’ or ‘I love you’, these skills truly are meaningful, and teach me not to take anything for granted.
What is the best career lesson you have learned so far in ABA? The best career lesson I have learned in ABA so far, is that every family is unique and that to be supportive, I have to take the time to get to know families and understand what they have been through. I don’t like to dwell on the past, but understanding what a family has been through up to the point where there are walking through our doors, is really important to me.
What are you most looking forward to about your new role in Greeley, CO? I am looking forward to meeting our families and our kids!
What would you do for a career if you weren’t working in ABA? I would probably be a dog trainer or work with dogs, but with a coffee shop on the side. If that didn’t work out, a college professor.
What is a fun fact about you that many people may not know? As a kid, I lived in Germany. I was there for 4 years and was able to speak the language fluently.
Let Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers in Greeley, Colorado help you give your child the best possible chance at success. Greeley is now accepting new patients. To schedule a diagnostic appointment or a private tour of a Hopebridge center, please visit hopebridge.com/contact.
Do any of these roles in ABA therapy or diagnostics sound like a fit for you? How about a Hopebridge position in occupational therapy or speech therapy? Hopebridge is on a mission to help all children lead their best lives and needs more individuals ready to support that vision. View the open positions in Colorado and around the United States on the Hopebridge job site to get started.