Monday, January 14, 2019

Imagine! Leadership Development Group Update

Today, members of Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group (LDG) talk about their experiences in the first few months of the program.

Imagine!'s 2018-19 Leadership Development Group. Left to right: Paula McCormick, Emily Walsh, Victoria Thorne, Gabbie Norton, and Jessie Michaud

Gabbie: Participating in LDG for the past two months has been an eye opening and challenging experience for me, in all of the right ways. Soon after I joined LDG, my position switched to a supervisor role, so everything that I am learning has been immediately applicable and beneficial to my new job. Most recently, we read the book "Lean In" and attended a five week course on leadership. Both the book and the class helped me realize that I have a tendency to back away from challenges when I feel uncomfortable or as though I do not have enough to contribute. I am learning how important it is to share thoughts, feedback, and ideas with others, as it is the only way we grow personally and professionally together. I am so thankful to have these opportunities during such an ideal time in my career!

Jessie: Work has been an adventure these past few months. Currently CORE/Labor Source (CLS) is going through a restructure in which I am creating and stepping into a new role, and the Longmont site moved to a new location (we are still trying to settle into the new space). Work has been busier for me than ever before. Adding the additional work of LDG can seem daunting at times; additional meetings, books to read, a 5-week Leadership class series in Denver, conferences, and then writing about it all to share with you. And yet it is also helping to guide me through all the change and the unknown. Our leadership course has helped drive my ideas as I take on new responsibilities. It has also forced me to practice my communication skills and focus on what kind of leader I want to become. Even though it has been additional work each week, it is helping me move forward with clearer intention and has provided me with new friends from other departments who can help me broaden my view as I try new things.

Victoria: LDG has helped me become more aware of and strengthened my leadership and communication abilities. It has created a positive impact on my work and encourages me to think about the impact I have at Imagine!. I have learned to tap deeper into active listening, reflection, and collaboration to better achieve tasks, goals, and personal growth. "Lean In" has had a substantial impact on my professional growth and outlook as a future leader. Most notably is the challenge of how to be successful in the workplace as a woman. I have discovered that I can create barriers for myself that impede my success. The book and my mentors have inspired me to take hold of those fears and challenge them to create my own success. I am beginning to realize that being a leader is more than just accomplishing tasks and goals. Good leaders juggle a vast amount of responsibilities while encouraging themselves and their team to grow.

Paula: I have found being a part if the LDG challenging in the sense of learning new things, time commitments/management, and balancing my job responsibilities with LDG duties. It has presented me with a chance to learn new skills and enhance ones I already had. The Leadership Series of classes that we have been attending has provided me with those skills and enhancements. I count myself fortunate, I have several individuals helping support my involvement in this process. If it were not for the support of Santa Fe’s staff, my peers, my supervisor, my mentors and my fellow LDG’ers, I truly do not feel that I would be able to do this. Thank you all for your support, it is much appreciated.

Emily: LDG has had a significant impact on me. Most notably with my time management. With the added responsibility of LDG I have had to improve my ability to delegate tasks and use my time more wisely. One of the things that we have gotten to do is complete the Leadership Series of classes. While this added a big time commitment for the last 5 weeks it also really helped me see areas of leadership that I would like to improve upon. Another impact on me has been the other LDG members. Because we all come from different parts of the company I am able to gain greater insight as to what is happening at different sites and I am able to share what challenges my team is facing. I have also gained a sounding board of four great women to share ideas, insight and support which has been really beneficial for me.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Imagine! Employees Pass RBT Exam

Tyler Buchholz
Imagine! employees Rachel Bowles and Tyler Buchholz recently passed their Registered Behavior
Technician (RBT) exams. Their current roles as Behavioral Line Staff at Imagine!'s adult day program in Longmont will benefit greatly from this extra training and education, providing thoughtful support to their coworkers and the individuals in the program.

“It’s been cool for both of us to have someone to go through this with,” commented Rachel on having Tyler as a test buddy. They completed the 85 question exam with a 90 minute time limit at a testing center in Broomfield.

Rachel Bowles
The RBT credential is a stepping stone toward being a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst), all within the ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) field. Rachel and Tyler are now registered in a national database where their contact info is listed for networking purposes.

Dr. Jeff Kupfer, a licensed psychologist and consultant for Imagine!, and Jonny Brennan, BCBA at Imagine!, both work closely with Rachel and Tyler. “They have been super helpful throughout this whole thing,” said Rachel. In March, Rachel and Tyler will present at a conference titled Four Corners ABA in Santa Fe, NM, thanks to a connection through Dr. Kupfer.

“It’s rewarding to have coworkers approach us for advice and having trust in us,” said Rachel. “Which is something I now feel comfortable responding to after completing the exam.” Congrats to Rachel and Tyler for this accomplishment! The Imagine! community is stronger for Rachel and Tyler’s brand-new credentials, benefiting from their education and experience.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Vote Imagine! For Lucky’s Market South Boulder Bags for Change!

Imagine! has been nominated for Lucky’s Market South Boulder Quarter 1 Bags for Change partnership, and you can help by voting for us! 

Here’s how it works: voting runs from January 7th through January 14th. The three organizations with the most votes at the end of the voting period will receive Lucky’s Bags for Change donations for the upcoming quarter.

The vote will exist in the form of a SurveyMonkey survey. Be sure to choose "South Boulder" for the market you frequent when prompted.

Here is the link to vote!

During the voting period, please feel free to share the link above on your social media channels as much as you’d like. Increased visibility and awareness of the post is incredibly helpful in gathering votes, which in turn will help us create a world of opportunity for all abilities.


Monday, January 7, 2019

Emma Goodenow - Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award Recipient

Congratulations are in order for Emma Goodenow, recently selected as an Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award recipient.


Emma gives her heart and soul to her job. When we talk about being an ambassador for Imagine!, Emma shines. Even more importantly, she is an ambassador for each and every individual we provide services to. They always come first for her.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Get To Know This Year’s Imagine! Leadership Development Group

Today, members of Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group introduce themselves.

Imagine!'s 2018-19 Leadership Development Group. Left to right: Paula McCormick, Emily Walsh, Victoria Thorne, Gabbie Norton, and Jessie Michaud

Paula McCormick: I started with Innovations four years ago as a Primary Residential Counselor, then as Assistance Residential Site Supervisor, and now as Site Supervisor at Santa Fe. Day one, I knew this was for me. I wanted to make things better for those we serve. I fell naturally into a leadership role in my positions. I love being here for the consumers. I value the relationships and trust we have. Santa Fe’s staff provides structure and stability to create a word of opportunity for people of all abilities. I wanted to be part of LDG to learn more about Innovations and Imagine!. I want to increase my abilities. To understand why we do things the way we do them. I strive to make things better for the individuals we serve and for Santa Fe’s Staff. I feel LDG will provide me with added knowledge and skills to do just that.

Victoria Thorne: Being part of Imagine! since 2014 has been a wonderful experience for me both professionally and personally. When I became part of the Imagine! team, I realized that my personal beliefs about all individuals really aligned with the mission, values and principles that Imagine! holds. My current position within the company has allowed me to support families and teams by creating fulfilling opportunities for growth. Being selected for the LDG came as a bit of a surprise, but I have discovered I have great mentors and a broader view of what we do here at Imagine! after getting to know the group. The LDG curriculum is straightforward and introspective which is what makes it challenging and at the same time rewarding. I am looking forward to incorporating all the mentoring and learnings of leadership into my professional development.

Jessie Michaud: I have worked for Imagine! in CORE/Labor Source for 5.5 years. I started as a Direct Support Professional, moved into the lead position, moved into the coordinator position, and am now the Supported Employment Program Supervisor. I work for Imagine! because it is important to me to be able to participate in making our community accessible for all. Being in Longmont for the last five and a half years has been wonderful, but at times it has been a little isolating from the greater Imagine! community as a whole. I joined LDG for opportunities to meet and work with more people across Imagine!, to learn about other departments and the services Imagine! offers, and to get support around establishing this new role.

Gabbie Norton: I am a Children's Case Management Supervisor here at Imagine!. When I first heard about Imagine!, I had no idea what a case manager did, let alone all of the impactful services and opportunities out there for our clients. As I have grown in my role at Imagine!, I have learned that there is still so much that I do not know, which is a valuable lesson. I have a desire to discover more so that I can do my job as well as possible. Leadership Development Group could not be a better opportunity to achieve this growth. My favorite part of working at Imagine! is being able to effectively help families access resources & services to ensure that they receive the necessary services. I am here because I believe in the mission that Imagine! works toward daily as an organization and look forward to learning more about that as I participate in LDG!

Emily Walsh: I have worked at Imagine! for four years. I started as a service coordinator in Early Intervention, then moved into the supervisor role in EI and am now the EI provider program manager and oversee the Dayspring department. I love working at Imagine because I think that work that we do is important to the bigger picture of our community. There are so many opportunities for me to engage with others about things that I am passionate about. One of the most important things to me about working at Imagine! is the relationships that I have built with my coworkers. Having a group of people who also believe in the mission and are supportive of one and other is vital to the work that I do. I am excited to join LDG to learn more about other programs at Imagine! and engage with others with different people and their perspectives.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Imagine! - The Year In Review

Today seems like a perfect day to recap the last year at Imagine!.

About The People We Served 

Click on the image to make it larger

How We Served Our Community

In the past year,

Imagine!’s Care Coordination team … 

Provided information and referral to 2,346 families providing at-home care for an individual with intellectual disabilities.

Distributed $1,144,502 to help 459 families with the extraordinary costs of raising a child with autism or other special needs.

Distributed $143,359 in emergency funds to 104 individuals and families facing crisis situations requiring immediate financial intervention.

Imagine!’s Early Intervention Team …

Coordinated services for 1,126 babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. 

Helped 333 babies and toddlers with developmental delays improve their communication, motor, and/or social skills through early intervention therapies.

Hosted 138 community-based activities designed for children to meet their goals in a fun and playful environment.

Imagine!’s School Age Services

Assisted 80 children with developmental disabilities in developing life-long skills through summer camp, after school, and community activities.

Imagine!’s Adult Services … 

Supported 496 adults with intellectual disabilities through enriching and therapeutic programs and classes.

Imagine!’s Employment Services

Provided job training and placement for 144 adults with intellectual disabilities.

Imagine!’s Residential Services

Provided a variety of residential options for 165 adults with intellectual disabilities.

Imagine! also … 

Provided mental health services and behavioral health services to 365 individuals with intellectual disability diagnoses.

Supported 232 family recruited employees.

How Our Community Served Imagine!

In the past year,

412 Imagine! volunteers served 12,311 hours of their time.

At last year’s Imagine! Celebration, 499 guests raised $430,000 to help Imagine! meet its mission of creating a world of opportunity for all abilities.

Click here to see a list of all Imagine! donors from last year.

Wow! That was a pretty impressive year. But don't worry, we aren’t resting on our laurels – we’re already working to make 2019 even better!