Discipline: Child Development & Family Relations
Faculty Mentor: Alan Kurtz, M.Ed.
Directly out of high school I attended Bangor Community College where I obtained an Associate degree in Human Services. I first obtained employment at the United Cerebral Palsy Preschool and then later at a local school district. There I worked in the Regional Program. Children with disabilities were bussed in from nearby towns to attend this program. This was the beginning of mainstreaming. Prior to this, children with disabilities attended programs outside of the public school system. In this role, I was able to be a part of the move toward community inclusion. During that time I was a non-traditional student, attending the University of Maine at Orono and eventually earned a BS in Child Development and Family Relations. Since then, I have worked in several positions serving children with disabilities. I currently work as a targeted case manager at Catholic Charities of Maine. Because I work closely with children and their families, I have increased my awareness of what families need and how policy directly affects them. I have developed an understanding of their struggles with seeking to get their child’s needs met. In serving and advocating for them, I have increased empathy and have come to recognize the strength and determination inherent in everyone. I hope to continue to improve my skills and knowledge so that I can become a stronger advocate for them.