Nicole Martinez, Program Coordinator
I got married twice. On the same day. I did it because I wanted all my friends to be part of my special day, and my friends are the Wranglers of New Danville. My then-fiancé suggested we have two weddings because he could tell something about our wedding plans that was bothering me. Who would have thought that a receptionist job in a field that I had never been in before would affect me so? Not me, that’s for sure. But, it has.
Because of a forced career change, I sought the help of a temp agency to find a job. I received a call after my interview with the agency rep; she called me while I was still in the parking lot after the interview. She said that she felt I should check out a receptionist position at New Danville. “Look them up before you go,” she said. I did. I saw a photo of Seth, one of the Wranglers, and I was moved. I had never heard of New Danville and when I arrived for my interview, I thought “Is that a barn?” The environment here is wonderful.
I was turned down for the job, actually. The then-CEO thought the job would not challenge me enough. But before I made it back to my car…I decided. I returned and told her that I wanted the job and that I would do the best I could. My heart told me I wanted this job, and one of the pleasures of the job is having a team of people who have that heart, too. Together we provide a safe place where the Wranglers can be themselves.
I don’t just enjoy my work. I am “in joy” working here. It seems like everyone is. And that is why I had two weddings.
My friends, the Wranglers, knew about my wedding. They asked for invitations. I couldn’t not invite them, but the regular wedding would not provide them the specialness that they give me all the time. So, with my fiancé’s support, we held a wedding at New Danville. My makeup stylist agreed to do the bridesmaid’s makeup, everyone got invitations and learned how to RSVP, they got dressed up for the day, one Wrangler gave me away, Wranglers served as ushers and groomsmen and maids of honor…we even had our own version of “Say Yes to the Dress” when I took some of the girls with me to pick out the dress. I had so much support from vendors and services. My friends here do so much for me every day that I had to do something special for, and with them.
My wedding is a love story unlike most. Not only the love story of my husband and me, but also the love story of me and my New Danville friends.
Nicole Martinez joined New Danville in October 2016. She quickly gained new responsibilities and now leads our day programs, known as day habilitation.