DSP Spotlight: Hayley Haertel

I've worked at 509 for the last 2 and a half years and it has been absolute life changer for me. The people supported at 509 have taught me so much and impacted me in a way I will never forget. The fact that I have been here since I began working for ADVANCE has allowed me to generate some really meaningful and unique relationships with each of the people that live here. 509 is such a fun and joyful community and I feel so blessed to get to be a part of the family we have, because no person is the same! Every day I come to work it is something different and I genuinely love every part of my job, the highs and the lows because I have the privilege of being a special part of each of these guy's lives. Whether it's going to movies, playing board games at the kitchen table, going on walks at the nature park or just messing around, everyone including the staff, has impacted me in such a positive way and it's always so much fun. The way that all of the people supported at 509 find joy in every activity they take part in really taught me how special life is and much better my life is with each of them in it!

My heart has been so changed and I know that no matter where life takes me, each person I've come into contact through ADVANCE will forever have a special place in it. I've made lifelong friendships and know that because of this job I will be much better in my future profession. The lessons and memories will be with me forever and I'm also so excited to continue making even more with my time at 509.

DSP Spotlight: Nicole Hoepner

I have been supporting people to live their lives to the fullest for almost 2.5 years now! I can't believe it has already been that long! Time flies when you're having fun :) When I began working at ADVANCE I did not know what an impact it would have on my life. As a freshman in college I needed a job and ADVANCE came in and talked during my first year seminar class. It peaked my interest so I applied. Quickly, I realized that it was not only a job but an life changing experience. I changed my major to nursing because I realized I loved caring for people. When I started nursing school ADVANCE had already allowed me to master a lot of the beginning skills in nursing. I also realized that I am meant to be an advocate and speak up for others which has really helped me discover myself as I went from a quieter person to talking all the time!!

Everyday I walk into the door of ADVANCE I never know what to except. Its always so different which makes working so fun. I consider work "an escape" from all the stress of being a nursing students and all my other involvements with school because its just so fun! At the beginning of each shift I am always greeted with smiles, cuddles and happiness even if I had just worked the day before. I don't even feel like I am working because I love what I do. The main thing that ADVANCE has helped me discover is the depth that word "care" has. ADVANCE has changed my life in so many different ways that I could talk forever about and that I will forever be grateful for.

I am so grateful for this company, but most importantly that people supported. :)

This nomination came in last month and after reading it the Rec Committee wanted to make sure everyone saw this. We felt that it was a very genuine nomination and hopefully helps us all remember that we ALL make ADVANCE a great place!

I think EVERYONE should get a Thank you and Great Job because there are so many wonderful people that put so much into Advance that sometimes don't get recognized. If it weren't for every single person that has a role here at ADVANCE including Bata we would not be what we are today! Every single person plays a huge role here and I think its only fair to say "THANK YOU to EVERYONE!" Sometimes a Thank you goes along way and we should not forget. So with that I want to say THANK YOU to everyone that makes ADVANCE the place it is today and all the work each and everyone of you play because if it weren't for ALL OF YOU we couldn't make this place possible!

DSP Spotlight: Jessica Neiswonger

I have worked at ADVANCE for a grand total of 4 years now and every year gets better and better. For the first time in my life, I have a job that I truly love and enjoy going to each day.

I started my career in day services, moved to the vocational floor, and eventually became the Young Adult Transitions instructor. That is where I found my true passion in life. Helping others find their place in this world, has also helped me find mine. Working alongside the YAT students has taught me more about myself than any other profession I have attempted. It has taught me compassion, patience, commitment, resourcefulness, humility, and a host of other qualities.

I love working at ADVANCE and look forward to expanding the YAT program and growing as a DSP!!!

Vocational Services had a wonderful visitor today! Katelynn Norgaard was so kind to come in and visit with all of us about her career with Canine Country Club. Katelynn is a Certified Dog Trainer and an expert groomer. She talked to everyone about how she got started in this field, what her hours are like, what kind of training was needed, what she loves most about her job, and what are the most important qualities a person should have when pursuing this kind of career. And she did great at answering our many questions! The best part was when Katelynn brought in her own pup Lilyia to visit with everyone. We all practiced a calm approach, that Katelynn said should be used with all dogs. Everyone loved her and she did not mind the treats, pats, and belly rubs!

We all learned so much and there might even be some budding animal groomers in the group we had today! Thanks to Katelynn for sharing her wealth of knowledge with us!

By: Amanda Hemmestad

DSP Spotlight: Jennifer Wernisch

I have worked at Advance for two and a half years now. I started working at 905 day service and moved to Franklin when it opened. The first time I heard about Advance was when they were marching in the HOBO day parade, and I looked up the company when I got home that evening. I felt like it would be a good job for me, and I was right. I love feeling like I really make a difference! There is no better feeling than someone running up to you to give you a big hug because they missed you so much. I love going on fun special outings with people and seeing their face light up with pure happiness. It really is an amazing job where you can make a world of difference!!

Doug and Amber recently took a trip to Los Angeles! They went to a Chargers vs Broncos game, a Ducks game, toured Dodger Stadium, and explored the city. While all of that was fun, the best part was enjoying the warm weather. It was a trip to excite any sports fan! Be sure to ask Doug about it when you see him next!

By: Emily Petracek