Thursday, June 14, 2018

Out & About Summer Programs Underway

Imagine!’s Out & About Summer Camp and Summer Catalog 2018 has officially begun. We have a record breaking 42 qualified instructors and five interns ready and excited to go! To make sure the new staff members got started on the right foot, Out & About hosted a multi-day training and orientation, including a “Trust Run,” which, as the video below demonstrates, generated many smiles and much laughter.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Imagine!'s Early Intervention Rockstar: Heather Forsyth

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize Heather Forsyth as this month’s Rockstar.

“Heather exceeds expectations in her role as the Early Intervention Intake Service Coordinator. Heather manages all new Early Intervention referrals to Imagine!, while going beyond the requirements of the job assignments to ensure that our families understand the process and that our data is superb. Heather spends a lot of her time offering outreach to our community and is a part of various different networks to strengthen our partnerships. Heather is dependable, loyal and dedicated to her job and strives to provide excellent customer service to all she works with. Heather effectively adapts to change, and demonstrates exceptional professionalism and consistency in the quality of her work. Heather is detailed oriented, which is important in her role and to the Early Intervention department. Heather is truly a Rockstar and Early Intervention is so lucky to have her!”

Friday, June 8, 2018

Eagle Scout Project

David Park is entering his senior year at Monarch High School, and also on the verge of receiving his Eagle Scout Rank through the Boy Scouts of America. To achieve this rank, every Scout must complete a service project, and David chose to partner with Imagine! for his project.

David’s sister, Gina, has been receiving services from Imagine! for over a decade. “Imagine! has given so much to Gina and our family that I wanted to give back,” said David. “They provided a platform to help Gina and that really struck a chord with me. She learned how to express her emotions better, helping us understand her needs.”

Imagine! provided Gina and her family a platform, and in turn, David literally provided Imagine! a platform by way of a refurbished second level deck at the Boulder CORE/Labor Source (CLS) site. After several meetings and a year of collaboration, David felt this was his best way of giving back.

“My Scout Master suggested that this project would be too big and he recommended I pick something else. But I saw how badly it needed repair and felt that it would have the biggest impact on services at Imagine!.” David recruited a total of 20 boy scouts and parents to help out.

“It was a labor of love on David’s part,” said Jeff Rodarti, CLS Coordinator.

David and his crew stripped the old and rusted baseboards and fencing, then CLS staff members gutted the mud and junk that was resting underneath the boards. The next three weekends involved all the construction and assembly. One weekend, David and his dad built and installed the railing on their own.

After four full weekends of hard work, David and his volunteers finished a job that was predicted to be too big of a task. David and Jeff Rodarti were determined to see this project through, putting in countless hours of preparation and labor.

“We are very grateful to David for his time and effort,” said Rodarti. “Not only was the old deck an eyesore, but it was slowly becoming a safety risk.” The counselors have already taken advantage of the new space, using it to complete documentation or make phone calls. The coordinators plan to schedule staff development activities on the new deck as well.

"If feels great to see the project finished," said David. "I learned how to be more flexible and that not everything will work out as planned." David has only a few merit badges to go before receiving his Eagle Scout Rank. "The hard part is over." The endless hours of planning and constructing are in the books, and Imagine! is grateful for his service.    

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Kirsten Wineke - June 2018 Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Recipient

Congratulations are in order for Kirsten Wineke, part of our CORE/Labor Source team, who was selected as the June 2018 recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Kirsten cares for clients and staff throughout each day with a friendly attitude. Kirsten is aware of many details of what is going on each particular day. Kirsten thinks ahead and tackles unexpected problems when they arise. Kirsten also puts together of creative, thoughtful, and fun activities for the classed which she is assigned to lead. Kirsten cares about both clients and staff and engages people in a way that makes them feel valuable.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero – Julie Locke

Congratulations to Julie Locke on being selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero!

“I had requested an important form for a client, and the form had been lost by the provider three times. Several months later I had exhausted all my options, and still didn’t have the form, when Julie offered to use her connections to help me obtain the completed form. I had the completed and signed form within two days. I’m not sure what supernatural powers Julie invoked to accomplish the seemingly impossible, but I am VERY thankful for her help and support.”

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Remembering Clara

In late April, we said goodbye to a dear friend who lived at Imagine!’s Foothills Group Home.

Clara Genner, 94, died peacefully in her sleep, and her roommates and care givers at Foothills put together some thoughts to reflect on Clara’s well lived life.

Tavio (roommate): I miss her. She’ll be good up in heaven with God. She is up there with the angels and probably thinking about us. 

Aneta (roommate): I miss her. She always seemed to care about everybody else.

Barbara (roommate): She was a very good person. 

Sarah (care giver): It was truly amazing for me to see all of the people who cared about and loved Clara come together at the end of her life to support and honor her. She impacted so many lives. One of my favorite memories of Clara was when she told me about peeling potatoes at the restaurant she used to work at. I’d never heard her talk about this before. She was the first person with a disability to be hired by a Longmont employer, which is written on an old newspaper clipping in her bedroom. What an inspiration! I miss her curiosity about others. She always asked me about my living situation and my family by saying: “do you live by yourself?” and “do you have a mommy and daddy?”. She warmed my heart when she would call me “honey” and tell me that she loved me. She had such a big heart and so much love to share with this world. She was always so strong and stayed that way all the way to the end. She will be dearly missed. Rest in peace Clara “Darling Rose” Genner.

Chelsea (care giver): She was loved by all seven of her roommates. She’s been with Imagine! for a long time. She loved dogs. She loved asking people about their dogs, kittens, and children. Her favorite color was pink. She was really active in her church, she believed in God and Jesus. She was a lovely human, feisty, genuine. She was just so deeply cared about, and she so deeply cared about other people.

We gathered as a house for a "Celebration of Clara’s Life." We shared fond memories from the most joyous to hard times as well. We shared what Clara has taught us about life. We all laughed when we remembered how thoroughly she enjoyed her gummy fruit snacks. All staff agreed that Clara has taught us about patience. She taught us the importance of speaking your mind and saying exactly what it is that you want/need. She was a teacher to us all.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero - LeAnne Woodward

Congratulations to LeAnne Woodward on being selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero!

LeAnne has been with Imagine! for 13 years. Supervisors and managers have the following to say about her:

“LeAnne cares about those living on their own who have significant difficulties, and especially advocates well for those clients.”

“Imagine! Case Management has benefitted for having LeAnne for many years now.”

“Around the holidays last year, LeAnne posted a really uplifting blurb on Facebook about why she is a Case Manager and how much it made her day to drive around and drop Holiday Giving gifts off to her families. It was inspiring and it gave readers a look into the life of a Case Manager.” 

Way to go, LeAnne!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Innovations Super Hero of the Month - Chris Black

Every month, Imagine!’s Innovations department presents the “Super Hero of the Month” award to the employee or provider who has best demonstrated excellence in one or more of our Innovations Quality Standards:

  • Health, Safety, and Wellbeing 
  • Effective and Efficient 
  • Respect and Dignity 
  • Opportunities 
  • Integrity 
  • Care 
This month, the award was presented to Chris Black, who is a Residential Counselor at the Foothills Group Home.

Chris was nominated by his supervisor and assistant supervisor, who wrote:

We’d like to nominate Chris Black for the Super Hero of the Month. He’s our newest staff member, and a stellar addition to the team. Throughout the training process he’s been diligent in letting me know his training hours, and keeping me updated on where he is with all of the required training. He stepped in right off the bat with a person-centered approach, and a clear compassion for serving people. He has asked brilliant questions throughout the training process, and continues to bring details most people don’t mention, as well as suggestions to my and the assistant supervisor's attention. We are so lucky to have him here as part of our team, and I feel like he will make a huge impact on the quality of life of the residents, the flow of the house, and even the administrative side of it all. I’d really like him to be aware of our appreciation of his hard work so far and be recognized for it. 

 Additionally, he works hard and is able to prioritize tasks efficiently at Foothills. There is a lot to learn and he is definitely a fast learner! I’m impressed by his skills at working with challenging behaviors. He is naturally person-centered, positive, curious, and a great employee. I enjoy working with him, and I hope he sticks around for a long time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Happy Feet!

Participants of Imagine!’s Out & About adult program set a goal to walk a 5k, and spent all spring training for it. Every Thursday morning, the activity was catered to training and preparing for the race.

On the final Thursday before race day, they dedicated the activity to hosting a car wash and raising funds to pay for the registration fees. Bringing in over $350, their fundraising efforts paid for nearly the full cost.

Race day was a blast! It was a rainy and muddy morning, but everyone accomplished their goal. The event was full of smiles, hard work, rain jackets, pizza, slimy mud, and lots of fun! Congratulations to all the racers for crossing the finish line!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Imagine! Artists' Work on Display at ArtWalk Longmont

You are invited to join talented artists from Imagine!'s CORE/Labor Source program on Saturday, May 19, during ArtWalk Longmont, a free arts festival in downtown Longmont. Join them if you can!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Imagine! Leadership Development Group Update

Submitted by Britt McWilliams

Recently, Imagine!’s LDG members had the opportunity to attend the WILD Summit, along with the Human Resources Department and a few other Imagine! employees. Here, we heard from several keynote speakers and panelists about how women can break through (two words) barriers and perceptions that prevent them from moving into leadership roles in organizations.

Among the afternoon speakers was Vernice “Flygirl” Armour; America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot. Vernice’s inspiring and action packed speech emboldened her audience to reframe our thoughts about obstacles in our personal and professional lives. She noted that when she asks elementary-school-aged children if they thought they could perform a task well, nearly all hands would shoot up. This is not the case with adults that she presents to. She then asked the audience, “When did not knowing how become a game stopper?”

Elaborating on earlier presenters’ key points, Vernice declared that everything we’ve experienced in the past has an application in the present. “The detour is the path”. Obstacles are going to happen. It’s how we navigate them that matters.

Vernice encouraged her audience to stop asking ourselves “what if?” and instead “get gutsy” by making bold moves outside of our comfort zones. She later tested whether we were listening by offering up one copy of her book, From Zero to Breakthrough. When asked if we wanted a copy, nearly everyone in the audience raised their hands. Some people even stood up out of their chairs, but the one person who walked up to the stage and grabbed the book was the grand prize winner.

So, ask yourselves what Vernice asked her audience. What is your why? Why are you here? What is your personal incentive, your “million dollars”? What gutsy moves can you make in order to overcome your own obstacles?

Imagine! employees getting gutsy with Vernice “Flygirl” Armour

Food for thought: 

  • Women in the United States earn almost 60% of undergraduate degrees and 60% of Master’s degrees. 
  • Women earn 38% of MBAs and 48% of specialized Master’s degrees 
  • Women account for 47% of the U.S. labor force and 49% of the college-educated workforce
  • Women hold almost 52% of professional level jobs 
Yet, despite these numbers: 

  • Women make up only 25% of executive level and senior-level officials and managers, hold only 20% of board seats, and are less than 6% of CEOs.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

CU Students Support Imagine!

Thanks to University of Colorado Leadership Studies Minor students Mackenzie Arena, Soren Fuchs, Lindsey Allen, Brooke Bower, and Jonah Yaden for their hard work on a Leadership Challenge Project to help support Imagine!’s Out & About department in their efforts to promote active community involvement for people who experience cognitive and developmental disabilities. The presented to the Out & About team last Friday, and their fresh insight and thoughtful suggestions were very well received.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Imagine! Early Intervention Rockstar

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize So Rosenblum as this month’s Rockstar.

After the retirement of a longtime Imagine! employee, So has really stepped up to the plate in taking over the position. She has done a great job at navigating the admin team and having this transition be as smooth as possible. Her calm demeanor sets an example for everyone. She has truly been a Rock Star!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Imagine! Leadership Development Group Update

Submitted by Jeff Rodarti

Last month, we attended the second class in the Great Leaders Series at the Mountain States Employers Council with Jan Baller. Jan introduced us to the DiSC assessment, which explores four distinct work styles: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness.

Dominance- direct, results-oriented, firm, strong-willed, forceful

Influence- outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, high-spirited, lively

Steadiness- even-tempered, accommodating, patient, humble, tactful

Conscientiousness- analytical, reserved, precise, private, systematic[1]

Each style is equally valuable, and many people’s work behaviors are a blend of the four styles. And different circumstances, such as life experiences and education can impact and influence one’s own work style. Essentially, DiSC is a tool that helps us to better understand our own work style as well as how we relate to the work styles of others. Prior to the class, we each took a survey regarding our behavior in the workplace and in team settings. Jan provided us each with our own personalized reports based on our survey responses, detailing our DiSC profiles.

My profile, according to the assessment, happens to be a blend of steadiness and influence (Si). Without publicly psychoanalyzing myself, I found that I resonated with much of the narrative behind the Si style and priorities: loyalty, working behind the scenes, sincerity, optimism, and teamwork. 

Moreover, the assessment included an analysis of the motivators and stressors for each of our work styles as well as how individuals with different styles tend to interact with one another. In my case, motivators include collaboration, making a positive difference in others’ lives, initiating change, and getting people involved. Stressors include saying no, dealing with angry folks, and moderating what is often a quick work pace. As a group, the LDG found that we represented each of the four styles. 

Team cohesion is, in part, defined by how well each team members works with one another. The DiSC assessment provides a language for understanding that dynamic. Of course, no assessment or tool can ever fully capture our individual behaviors and styles. Still, the DiSC is a useful tool, helping us to practice more awareness around our own behaviors and priorities, how our styles work with others, and where our limitations may be found.

[1] Everything DiSC Workplace, John Wiley, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Culture of Unity

Last month, Imagine! employee Chris Barker displayed a great example of compassion in the workplace. It was a Friday evening and he was walking to his car to check out for the weekend. Upon entering his vehicle, he noticed a friend of the Imagine! community, Jessie Irvin, struggling in her wheelchair. He left his car and walked over to her. Jessie’s wheel chair battery had suddenly lost power and she fell forward out of her chair. Chris entered the situation as she was hoisting herself back into the chair with a scraped hand and a wheelchair with no juice. “The main power source in the back on the battery came undone,” said Jesse.

Chris recruited help from Imagine!’s front desk and the Human Resources office, and then assisted Jesse into the Imagine! building. Dealing with no power, Chris shifted the chair settings to manual. “Chris was great. He helped and it took three people to push me back into the Imagine! building,” said Jessie.

“I’ve worked at a number of other organizations, and there is not the same sense of unity that there is here,” said Chris. “The reason of why we’re here and what we need to do to help people is in the culture.”

The admirable piece to this story is that Chris did not swoop in like Superman and force his helpful will onto Jessie. He listened to her needs and asked for her permission before operating her wheelchair. “When assisting someone, you need to make sure to not undermine that person’s independence at the same time,” said Chris.

This is the reason Chris was selected as the May 2018 Excellence in Customer Service Award winner. His compassion and service to others is what makes Imagine! stand out, and we salute his actions in fulfilling this standard.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Lisa Gaylord

We continue our quest of meeting new faces in the Imagine! community. Lisa Gaylord, Day Program
Counselor at Imagine!, teaches a handful of classes in the CORE/Labor Source (CLS) department. Earning her BFA degree at Adelphi University in Long Island, she brings her theater experience to her role as a teacher.

Lisa creates her curriculums to allow the participants to take control in the classes. “Listening to and understanding our clients can be one of the most challenging things about this job,” says Lisa. “But also the most rewarding, because you let them have their voice.”

Mark at Estes Park
during Explore CO class
Giving her students a say in the matter is exactly what she has done. When Lisa was given a new time slot to teach a class, she immediately surveyed the group. "We can do whatever you, go wherever you want," she told them, and so they spent a class period making a list of places to visit. The Denver Aquarium, Estes Park, and Molly Brown Museum are among the places they have explored. 

“They’ve been to so many places in Boulder time and time again that it’s cool they get to travel to Denver or Estes for the day," said Lisa. The class has been appropriately named Explore CO, while they engage in scavenger hunts to learn about the places they visit.

Lisa records Robert reciting a poem
Another project that empowers the students is the Podcast Class, where Lisa and other instructors assist the students in preparing written material and then sing, rap, or speak into a microphone.

Using her personal equipment, Lisa records their voices onto a laptop and edits their tracks into short clips. Click here to view some poetry the class has created.

Lisa spends her time teaching outside of Imagine! as well. Pursuing her passion in theater, she has partnered with Rocky Mountain Theater for Kids and instructs workshops for youth, ranging from five years old to middle school. “The goal is to teach a set of theater skills and then from there the kids implement it into a full on production,” says Lisa. They have performed the likes of Little Shop of Horrors, Winnie the Pooh, and Fiddler on the Roof. This instructional background came in handy when she helped direct Imagine!’s 2017 CLS Art Show at the Dairy Center in Boulder.

Moving forward, Lisa sees a potential for increasing theater opportunities for the clients: “There’s a professional theater company in Denver that prides themselves on only hiring actors with disabilities. Creating a mentor relationship between those actors and our clients would be very empowering.”

Both in and outside of Imagine!, Lisa has a knack for empowering others, directing her students to take the spotlight and use their own voice. The Imagine! community is grateful to Lisa for her work in creating a world of opportunity for all abilities. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Music To Support A Mission

Music lovers: catch a jazz concert and support Imagine! at the same time this coming Sunday at Long’s Peak United Methodist Church. The event is free, but donations will be accepted to support Imagine! and Longmont Meals on Wheels.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Collaborative Poetry

A collection of poetry from the "Podcast Class" of Imagine!'s Boulder CORE/Labor Source program. Each week, they work together to create rhymes, stories, and poems. Once in a a while, the teacher brings in recording equipment and students recite their written work into the microphone. Below are a few sample of their art!

**All poems are a collaborative effort, written by the Boulder CORE/Labor Source Podcast Class of Imagine!.

"I don't like to sing along with King Kong
King Kong sings every song wrong
King Kong would be better at the gong
Because he is so strong
He plays ping pong in Hong Kong
When he is wrong, they hit the gong
He sings his songs for far too long!"

    - Performed by Robert

"Please bring a keg for Easter egg
Easter is my favorite Holiday
Hip hip hooray!
Pam, did you steal my ham?
Now we'll have to eat lamb

    - Performed by Aneta

"April first, playing jokes on people
Rubber hammer for the workers at Home Depot
Fake calls from the repo-people
Driving buses into all the deep holes
Spiders in my room, I don't think so!
Tying doors together, oh no bro!
If the jokes get a little low
Don't have a cow man, it's all just for show!"

    - Performed by Jack

Imagine!'s Family Support Bulletin April/May 2018

The April-May edition of Imagine!'s Family Support Bulletin is available online.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Imagine! Innovations Super Hero of the Month: Matt Barnert

Every month, Imagine!’s Innovations department presents the “Super Hero of the Month” award to the employee or provider who has best demonstrated excellence in one or more of our Innovations Quality Standards:

  • Health, Safety, and Wellbeing 
  • Effective and Efficient 
  • Respect and Dignity 
  • Opportunities 
  • Integrity 
  • Care 
This month, the award was presented to Matt Barnert, who is the Systems Architect for Innovations. 

Matt was nominated by his coworkers, who wrote:

Matt is such a great resource to staff in so many areas. Recently, a supervisor asked him to do a cross QA on one of her residents to help prepare for survey. He obliged without hesitation. I’ve often come to him with questions that I’m unsure about pertaining to regulations and he always chats with me to flesh out the issue, find a resolution, and is so thorough to make sure that we’ve thought about the situation from every angle. He has such an upbeat attitude every day, and is always more than happy to help anyone in any way that he can. I can’t imagine this place without him! 

Matt’s support and expertise with Financials, Surveys, State status/info, Programmatic Documentation, MANE issues, Regulations, Policies/Procedures, etc. is more appreciated than I can say. It makes everyone in the office, sites, HHs and throughout Innovations feel supported and brings a comfort level to these areas that is essential to our success. We all feel in very good hands with Matt supporting these important areas of our program.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Innovations Celebrates Volunteers

This week is National Volunteer Week, and Imagine!’s Innovations team has two wonderful volunteers at their administrative building to thank!

Christina and Beth have committed their time and talents to Innovations over the past year and commit many hours per month to assisting them in so many ways! The Innovations staff wanted to recognize their hard work, and did so by throwing them a little shindig complete with cake, gifts, and a giant poster filled with well-deserved “thank yous.”

Imagine! appreciates all of our generous volunteers, and invites anyone else interested to sign up and volunteer themselves!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Celebrating National Volunteer Week

The week of April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week.

To celebrate, we’d like to share a short video featuring a family that has volunteered at Imagine!’s Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome for the past several years.

Interested in volunteering yourself? Click here to get started!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Imagine! Family Support Services Lifesaver: Marsha Thinnes

Imagine!’s Family Support Services Program (FSSP) hands out the “Life Saver” award to recognize and honor employees for their overall initiative, positive attitude, and diligent attention to job responsibilities.

This month's recipient is Marsha Thinnes.

Marsha is a dedicated employee of the Family Support Services team. She is a leader in data entry, an excel wizard and extremely organized with processes. Marsha works hard to support her team and the families we serve by constantly updating our resources, paperwork and communication around grant funding and timelines. We wouldn’t operate as smoothly as we do without her!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Wild Rumpus Begins Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow evening, Imagine!’s Out & About Centre Stage for Children is debuting “Let The Wild Rumpus Begin.” Details are below.

We hope you’ll be able to join us!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Imagine!'s Early Intervention Rockstar: Elysa Polovin

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize Elysa Polovin as this month’s Rockstar.

Elysa has been with Imagine! for three years. She is an eager learner and catches on fast. Elysa is a great team player. She ensures that her families are taken care of to the best of her ability, constantly providing resources to best support their needs. Elysa is heavily involved in Imagine!’s first “Share Your Idea” campaign. She has put in countless hours doing research into her idea, hoping to see it come to reality soon!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Imagine! Artists Showing Work Tonight at Rembrandt Yard

One of the many services Imagine! provides is the opportunity to learn to express oneself through arts of different mediums. We also believe in supporting those artists who wish to take their art to a professional level. The Imagine! artists have participated Lafayette’s Art on the Street, and have had their own show at the Dairy Center for the Arts. 'Art at Work' is a class that was developed where advanced artists are encouraged to create and share their art with their community and beyond.

Tonight Imagine! artists from the Art at Work class are loaning their art for a reception at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder. The art will be available for purchase. The event is FREE, and there will be music, refreshments, and tons of great art! The reception is from 6-9, and we hope to see you there.

If you can’t make it tonight but would still like to purchase an Imagine! artist’s work, check out our Etsy shop.