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Imagine!'s Early Intervention Rockstar: Daniel Reizenstein

Published: July 13, 2018

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 Daniel Reizenstein as this month’s Rockstar.

Daniel is a great asset to the Early Intervention department. He is passionate about working with families and is willing to go the extra mile to support them in any way possible. Daniel has been extremely helpful in supporting new service coordinators. He brings a positive vibe to the team and is always willing to lend a helping hand when needed.


Make Your Voice Heard

Published: July 9, 2018


Looking for ways to make your voice heard? Below are a couple of opportunities.

The Office of Community Access and Independence within the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is currently recruiting members to serve on the Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities. They are looking for members from all areas of the state with a diverse background, but all applicants are encouraged to apply. The Council is comprised of seven voting members and three nonvoting members who are appointed by the Governor and the Executive Director of CDHS. Three voting members must be either a person with a disability or a family member of a person with a disability. The three nonvoting members must represent three separate types of organizations that provide services to the disability community. More info: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs-boards-committees-collaboration/article/recruiting-colorado-advisory-council-persons-disabilities 

And ...

The Boulder County Local Coordinating Council (BCLCC) is looking for a caregiver of a child with a disability to serve on an Inclusive Planning Steering Committee. The committee meets four times at various locations over the course of August-December and their input will go into a five-year Boulder County transportation plan. The BCLCC will pay for transportation and offer food at the meetings. Contact abond@bouldercounty.org for more details or if interested in participating, or learn more here: https://assets.bouldercounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/lcc-brochure.pdf


Imagine! CORE/Labor Source Longmont Employee Spotlight – Marrisca and Dani

Published: July 6, 2018


Simply stated, CORE/Labor Source (CLS) Longmont would not function without Marrisca Juvan and Dani Smelcer. For the majority of the week, these two are the first to come to work and the last to leave. Not only do they do their specific job roles with diligence and perfection (liaison and communication between CLS and Host Home Providers, scheduling of staff and clients, transportation schedule, new staff training, documentation, community outreach), but they then go above and beyond to make sure our staff feel supported and comfortable in their roles. Each day Marrisca and Dani schedule themselves in classes, provide transportation, and/or assist with lunch and bathrooms. They model relaxed, strong, and confident staff members and in times of crisis clients look to them for support and are immediately safer because of their presence. Thank you to both for being the epitome of a good team-member and compassionate CLS employee.


Tina Fisbeck - July Imagine! Excellence Customer Service Award Recipient

Published: July 2, 2018

Congratulations are in order for Tina Fisbeck, part of our Human Resources team, who was selected as the July 2018 recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.


Tina has an extremely demanding job - often without a great deal of reward. She supports every level of the organization in meeting their staffing needs even through challenges in the applicant pools or other variables out of her control. She represents the organization phenomenally, both internally and out in the community. She is always looking for additional opportunities to continue to make Imagine! an employer of choice. We are fortunate to have Tina out there working hard on Imagine!'s behalf to find us even more great employees always, but especially now, when the job market is so competitive.


I Am Iron Woman!

Published: June 28, 2018

The IRONMAN triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. “No way” is a common response when talking about this race. Or, “why?” Why put your body through that for 15 straight hours, let alone all the training leading up to it? These are valid questions given the toll it takes on the body. Heather Forsyth, Imagine! employee of the Early Intervention department, has a valid answer.

“When I turned 40, I was not in good health. I was not eating well and exhausted all the time,” said
Heather. “I thought about my daughter, who has a developmental disability and was in high school at the time, and realized I needed to take better care of myself so I can be around to take care of her.” Heather started going to the gym and joined local exercise groups. She raced her first triathlon (sprint) in 2010. “It rekindled my love for running and being outside.” She kept it going and joined another fitness group in Boulder, whose members participated in longer races, and found herself doing the same: half marathons, marathons, and then the half Ironman.

“Then I said to myself, ‘you know what?’ Yeah, I want to do an Ironman.’”

She completed her first Ironman in summer of 2015. “It was my dream race and everything went as planned. I finished and was smiling ear to ear the entire time.”

Heather’s next two Ironmans did not have the same fairytale storyline. In 2016, she was injured during the swim, accidentally kicked by another swimmer, which made for a painful race. “I barely finished.”

In 2018, training season became tough as Heather’s life turned upside down. Her mother was back and forth in the hospital over the course of a year, and sadly passed away last November. To start the New Year, her daughter Meredith experienced a group of seizures in late January. And to top things off, in April, the main sewer line backed up into their condo and flooded the unit, completely damaging the tile, carpet, and bathroom fixtures.

“I thought about dropping out of the race.”

Heather approached her coaches, unsure of the race, and had a serious look on her face. One of her coaches suggested that it could still be done if she just tries to have fun. “You’re doing this for fun, right?” her coach asked.

“That’s when I realized I was letting everything in my life make the race NOT fun, but I do these races to help my life.” In refocusing her attitude, Heather began having fun again and committed to the June 10 race.

Race day arrived. The swim was peaceful and beautiful. She enjoyed the calm water and cool temperatures to start the day. On the bike, conditions were not so favorable. The temperature reached a high of 101 degrees and there was an 18% dropout rate for bikers being defeated by the dry climate.

“It was total carnage, people on the side of the road, barfing, being picked up by medics. You had to play it safe and ride at a slower pace.” Heather drank over 300 ounces of fluids on the bike thanks to her Camelback and the water stations. She also dumped a bottle of water over her head at every station. “It was that hot.” Along with the heat, Heather blistered her hand trying to stay upright in the wind, which also slowed her down.

Having entered the run later than she hoped, it became a race against the cutoff time. Because she had to ramp up her training in the last two months, her knee and ankle were sore and her pace per mile dragged.

“Packing in all that training took a toll on my cranky ankle,” she laughs. More than halfway into the run, Heather arrived at a checkpoint past the cutoff time.

With the option to sign a waiver and keep going, she recalled something her mother had once said,
“Always remember, I know you love doing this, but make sure you can always do it another day.” With both her knee and ankle in pain, she decided to call it quits at mile 15.5 and said to herself, “I’ll be back.”

“I’m never going to be fast enough to be on a podium. I’m competing against myself and trying to better myself. It’s not always about time.”

With another Ironman in the books, Heather answers the inevitable question, “why?”

“It gives me time to think through things and work out the rest of my life.”
Heather lets out a laugh, “When I have a race on calendar, our family’s life is so much more organized. No race, not so organized. Training brings me a sense of peace and calm that I can’t get anywhere else. It makes me a better person, a better mom, better wife, better worker.”

Heather admits that prior to joining fitness and exercise groups back in 2010, she and her husband isolated themselves socially and did not have many friends. “I met this whole group of people through training that created a social outlet that I haven’t had for about 15 years.”  Outside of training, their families get together for camping trips and other gatherings. Heather’s friends now go out of their way to hang out with Meredith so that Heather can get a training or race in. “It’s been a wonderful thing.”

Why do something so challenging and time consuming? Heather asked herself the same question several years ago and in turn, found her sweet spot. “I’m in phenomenal shape, I feel better, I have more energy. There are so many pluses.” Not to mention lifelong friends and the infinite supply of life lessons. In a way, the Ironman race ended up being the answer to all that she hoped for.


Save The Dates!

Published: June 26, 2018

Two fun Imagine! events are coming up soon, and we encourage you to join us!


On Saturday, August 18, from 11am to 3pm, Imagine!'s Out & About program is hosting its 4th annual Bike Block Party at Erie Community Park (450 Powers St. in Erie) This event raises awareness for the importance of adaptive and therapeutic recreation. We will showcase a variety of adaptive bikes to learn about and even test drive! Music, games, a food truck, all on a sunny Saturday afternoon, so come on out!


From August 3-19, at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St in Boulder, Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source program is hosting an art exhibition. See original art in a variety of formats created by amazing Imagine! artists. There will be an opening reception on August 3, 5-7pm, with music and entertainment provided by individuals served by CORE/Labor Source. Hope to see you there!


Imagine!'s Dayspring Bulletin - July 2018

Published: June 25, 2018


Imagine!’s latest Dayspring Bulletin is available online.


Imagine! Hosting FREE Special Needs Planning Workshops in July

Published: June 19, 2018


Free Special Needs Planning Workshops 

Special Needs Planning is unlike traditional planning - It’s planning for two generations! 

Dates: 
Thursday, July 12, 2018 Time: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm 
and 
Monday, July 16, 2018 Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm 

Location: Imagine! 1665 Coal Creek Drive Lafayette, CO 80026 

Workshop Topics Include: 

  • Self-assessment of current and ideal goals for your family 
  • Understanding the costs of a disability 
  • Government Benefits - their role in helping to provide for your child and how to protect them - Medicaid, SSI vs. SSDI and preserving eligibility 
  • The importance of having a plan in place and how to put a plan together 
  • Letter of Intent/Last Wishes - creating comprehensive instructions for future caregivers 
  • Guardianship - the different types, how they function and what the process looks like 
  • Types of Special Needs Trusts - Individual, Third Party and Pooled Trusts 
  • How to properly fund a Special Needs Trust and protect benefits 
  • Case Study - reviewing the benefits of a plan 
About the Presenters: 

As a Branch Office Supervisor for over 16 years with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc., Erik Utzinger's goal is to help reduce clients' stress around financial matters and move comfortably into the next phase of their lives. He helps clients clarify, coordinate and manage multiple goals by providing comprehensive services tailored to their unique situations.

Andrea Turner is the mother of a lively daughter on the autism spectrum who has navigated many of the challenges unique to our community. Andrea also has an intellectually disabled and autistic sister and she fully understands how one member with a disability can affect the whole family. She learned early on that careful planning for the future is essential. With lessons learned through dedicated advocacy for her own daughter and as a Registered Representative with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. she guides families in appropriate planning for their unique situations.

Please RSVP to Andrea Turner by July 6, 2018 (301) 351-5795 andrea.turner@tfaconnect.com


Imagine!'s Family Support Bulletin May/June 2018

Published: June 18, 2018


Imagine!’s latest Family Support Bulletin is available online.


Out & About Summer Programs Underway

Published: June 14, 2018


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.

   


Imagine!'s Early Intervention Rockstar: Heather Forsyth

Published: June 11, 2018

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!”


Eagle Scout Project

Published: June 8, 2018


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.    





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

Published: June 6, 2018

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.


Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero – Julie Locke

Published: June 4, 2018

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.”


Remembering Clara

Published: May 31, 2018


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.




Imagine!'s Dayspring Bulletin - June 2018

Published: May 30, 2018


Imagine!’s latest Dayspring Bulletin is available online.


Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero - LeAnne Woodward

Published: May 29, 2018

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!


Innovations Super Hero of the Month - Chris Black

Published: May 23, 2018

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.


Happy Feet!

Published: May 22, 2018

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!














Imagine!'s Family Support Bulletin May/June 2018

Published: May 21, 2018


Imagine!’s latest Family Support Bulletin is available online.


Imagine! Artists' Work on Display at ArtWalk Longmont

Published: May 16, 2018

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!





Out & About’s Happy Feet Program Car Wash Set For Thursday

Published: May 15, 2018


Join us at 1665 Coal Creek Drive in Lafayette!


Imagine! Leadership Development Group Update

Published: May 14, 2018



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.


CU Students Support Imagine!

Published: May 9, 2018

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.



Imagine! Early Intervention Rockstar

Published: May 8, 2018

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!