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  • Danny Barrett

What Goes Around Comes Around

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

At Innovative Services NW, one of our core values is to build a community where we can embrace our differences and welcome one and all in a safe, trusting place. Our community is strengthened by resilience, inclusivity, and compassion. Our values of resilience and inclusivity made it possible for three former clients to come work with us and give back to our programs and community.

Top left shows a picture of a baby connected to several tubes and medical devices. The bottom left shows the mother holding the newborn in the hospital. The baby still has lots of medical tubes hooked up. The right side of the collage shows the baby grown up and smiling at a birthday party. She is about 5 years old in the picture.
Deyjah has grown up healthy and happy! Sami holds newborn Deyjah on the bottom left.

Sami brought Deyjah, who was born with a congenital heart defect, to Innovative’s Early Intervention program when she was only 3 months old. Innovative provided resources to Sami including 2 years of in-home sessions conducted by Emily – their Early Intervention Specialist who is now the Director of Pediatric Therapy. Sami recalls the feelings of relief she got when Deyjah started receiving services, ‘Besides the program being developmentally excellent for Deyjah, I remember how helpful and friendly Emily was, which made all of the difference. As well as making sense of all the instructions we were sent home with, Emily gave me and Deyjah a safe place to talk. [Deyjah] would get so excited when Emily would come to our house for sessions…she became family.’ Now, 5 years later, Sami is an FRC (family resource coordinator) that helps families access the programs and resources here at Innovative. With her unique perspective as a parent who has accessed Innovative’s resources, Sami is an excellent advocate.

A young woman does the peace signs with her hands; she is open mouth smiling
Penelipe poses for the camera and smiles!

Penelipe remembers attending Innovative as a child in the school-age program with her two younger siblings. Perseverance through adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) would describe Penelipe’s upbringing.  She lived in five different homes in the Vancouver area and was denied access to every early learning program because her brother was assessed as having high needs. That was until they found Innovative. Penelipe remembers how friendly the staff was and how much fun the art projects were, but laughs at how weird it is (“in a good way!”) to have your former teacher become your boss. Penelipe is referring to Melody who is now the Director of Education and Employment Services. In fact, Melody shares similar sentiments, recalling the times that she spent as a teacher with Penelipe and how she “LOVED playing tag outdoors and assisting the class like a future teacher would…We are so excited to work with Penelipe and see what her future has in store for her.”

An older woman sits on top of a large, colorful looking caterpillar and smiles; her face resting between the ears. IN between its legs on the ground, a younger woman who is her daughter, poses underneath with her hands under her chin and smiles.
Jenica poses on the floor while her mom, Holly, sits on a classroom toy.

Jenica has worked at Innovative for two years and was recently promoted to pediatric therapy office supervisor. But before working here, Jenica attended Innovative in 1993 as a 3-year-old ‘peer model.’ Jenica’s mom, Holly, was a Special Education Preschool teacher for Battle Ground School District who was invited to bring Jenica to sit in blended classrooms twice a week for 5-6 months. Her manager describes her as an organized go-getter who “works hard to help make small improvements to the department without needing to be asked.”

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