I am the Assistant Director of the Transitions Program at Stanbridge. In conjunction with Mary Hurlbut, I will be developing and promoting the program while cultivating community partnerships that will benefit the students. Primarily, however, I will be working directly with students supporting them in off-campus community integration opportunities. I will guide them in developing semiprofessional skills and identifying the educational and vocational opportunities that fit their unique interests and aspirations.
• What are your goals for the Transitions Program?
To support students in making a smooth transition into adult life, whether it be college or a vocation of their choice. The program will provide students with opportunities that help hone their social, and independent living skills. Students who complete this course will be confident and realistically positive about embracing the next steps of their journey.
• What is your background? What led you here?
I first began working with people with intellectual differences in high school when my mother worked as an administrative staffer at a day program. After studying education in college, I joined as a full-time counselor at her work development program and later assumed various rolls including supporting a group home and a behavior modification program. Family and work opportunities led me abroad to Ireland and later to Kentucky where I managed thoroughbred farms. Longing to return to this meaningful work with a neurodiverse population, I re-engaged with a residential program and moved to California. Having built a strong network over the past many years and most recently working as a case manager for a large day programs, I recognize the vital importance of engaging and supporting individuals with intellectual differences at a young age.
• Why Stanbridge?
Everyone is focused on the common goal of supporting the students to develop and realize their potential. It seems to be a supportive community environment that engages students who are motivated. The school is at a crossroads. As one of the few life skills programs connected with a private high school in the Bay Area, the Transitions Program at Stanbridge will help our students launch and develop to fullest extent of their abilities.
• What is one fun fact about yourself?
I am a dual citizen of Ireland and America.
• Is there anything else you'd like to add that I haven't asked you about?
My passion is helping people. I think neurodiverse and differently abled individuals have so much to share; although the challenges can be great, when offered opportunities that accommodate for their needs, the results and rewards—to the individual and the community—are extraordinary.