Grow – February 2022

A job growing to the size of her heart

Wranglers are not the only people who grow at New Danville; so do team members. For program coordinator, Nicole Martinez, her professional growth here enabled her to find a role equal to the size of her heart.

“I have always had the heart,” she said, “and this role enabled me to grow into it. This is what I should have done all my life. I know that I would have appreciated life more if I could have found a way to work in this field sooner.”

She started at New Danville several years ago as a part-time assistant who worked the phones at the front desk in the Classroom Building. Her heart drove her interest which inspired her curiosity; the rest is, as they say, history.

“I watched the Wranglers and our Direct Support Professionals. I wanted to be more involved so I offered to help with classes. My boss gave me a chance to help as a substitute art teacher.  I’m no artist, but the class and I had a great time.”

Nicole became curious about the various guidelines and processes required to operate an agency for special needs.  She researched files, notes and anything else she could find.  Her knowledge grew as did her commitment to the clients. “I wanted to know more about the Wranglers and their stories.”

Then-new president and CEO, Eva Aguirre, offered her a new position as program coordinator. “I realized I had the skills and the knowledge to help,” Nicole said, “but I was afraid.  I did not want to screw up and let the clients down. The world is mean enough. They didn’t deserve someone dropping the ball.”

Instead, Nicole ran with the ball and has been instrumental in developing a variety of new classes and programs. Not only has Nicole grown, but so has New Danville’s ability to empower Wranglers to live, learn, work and grow.

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