On September 28, Didi Hirsch hosted their 16th annual Alive Walk 5k Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention. Visions had a team this year, and several staff and alumni walked in honor of suicide prevention and to raise awareness and erase the stigma of suicide. Many of us have had the misfortune of losing someone to suicide, and finding a way to honor the lives of those lost while raising awareness to prevent a similar loss is a big deal. It can be profoundly healing to be amidst those who have had similar experiences. Dr. Noelle Rodriguez, Jenny Werber, and Nick Riefner were among the staff that were there. I had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Noelle Rodriguez and Jenny Werber, and they were gracious enough to share their experiences with us:
“I’m so glad I participated in this 5k. I am recently grieving the loss of my dear friend who was 38, married, a father and a firefighter. He, like so many others, did not ask for help nor did he show obvious signs he was in despair.
Being a part of this while I am grieving was powerful, moving and profound. Many of the participants had a sign that read “In Memory Of” pinned to their shirts with the names of their loved ones–so many young lives gone, and gone way too soon. We were together in solidarity. We were sharing our sadness but in no way loving the person less for how they departed. We were simply showing others there may be hope for them.
I was struck by a team that wore matching shirts that read H.O.P.E., which stood for Hold on Pain Ends. I thought about so many who have given up maybe much to soon before they realized there was a solution. We are all affected by suicide, a topic no one talks about and when they do it’s treated like the plague. I felt a sense of compassion and acceptance like I never have before. I am not angry for the loss of my friend; just sad he would not reach out for help.
While we may never stop people from committing suicide, talking about it will hopefully help someone else who may be thinking it’s their only option.
I love Marcello, I always will.”
“It was personal to me, as my cousin Matt committed suicide 12 years ago at the age of 26. My Aunt and cousin (my late cousin’s mom and brother) walk each year in honor of Matt and in support of suicide prevention. I did not know they participated in this event until this year, and a team was formed in memory of Matt, where family and friends surprised my Aunt and cousin at the race’s starting line the morning of the race. It was a pleasure and honor to walk with them to honor Matt and support them.
I created a team for Visions staff and clients to join and participate to honor those they may have lost. Being there with my family and also with my Visions family was extremely touching. While you wish there was never a reason for any of us to be at such an event, I believe it is the hope for all of us there that our contributions aid to awareness and prevention for someone else and their family.”
This event was a wonderful way to close out Suicide Awareness Month. However, this doesn’t mean we stop talking about suicide prevention and awareness. We can always raise awareness about suicide prevention and make concerted efforts to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health.
We need to be of service in recovery. Getting out of ourselves and helping others is a time-tested component in the recovery puzzle. When we suffer, helping someone else can be liberating. Being of service acts as an unexpected and welcome emotional salve. Being of service shows us that we are not alone in our suffering; it shows us that relief is available. Being of service provides support, and it encourages community. Service work is a wise requirement.
There is a shadow side to service work, though, and it rears its head when we don’t take care ourselves. Sans self-care, we risk being overwhelmed, stressed out, tired, and depleted. If you are a gardener, and you tend to everyone else’s garden before your own, your garden will wilt. The same thing applies to taking care of ourselves–Being of service is also an inside job.
Where are YOU on your list of priorities?
On an airplane, we are told to give ourselves the oxygen first in case of an emergency; Similarly, we must apply this same ideology in our day-to-day lives. If we are depleted, we cannot effectively be of service.
Is ensuring someone else’s happiness more important than safeguarding your own?
The feelings that emerge when we are of service can be profoundly positive. It feels good to help others. However, we cannot sacrifice our own needs in order to do so. It’s important not to lean toward people-pleasing behaviors — behaviors that inevitably feed resentment and drain our personal resources for self-care. When we people-please and neglect ourselves in the name of being of service, we risk resentment, which leaves us sitting miserably in silent rage and frustration.
Remember that sacrificing yourself is not tantamount to being of service. Pushing yourself to the point of emotional exhaustion will tap your nervous system and leave you overwhelmed, tired, depressed, and frustrated. We are no good to anyone when we are depleted.
Yes, you can take care of YOU and be of service!
1: Take care of your needs first: If that means taking a walk or going for a run or taking a nap BEFORE helping someone else, do it. Fill your well.
2:It’s okay to say NO: If you are exhausted, and tapped out, saying no is a way of being of service. You are no help to anyone if you are worn out.
3: Maintain healthy boundaries: If your go-t0 answer is always “yes,” then you are likely to end up overwhelmed. Are you overcommitted? Practice saying “No.” Practice taking care of YOUR needs before taking care of the needs of others. You are just as important.
I love this Buddhist quote and share it often. It’s definitely apropos here:
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
Joseph Rogers has been with Visions since 2005, first as a recovery mentor at our Mulholland facility and later becoming the Director of Education at the Outpatient Day School. Joseph has run the Mindfulness Meditation/11th Step, Spirituality group since 2007, exploring how developing spiritual practice is applicable to recovery. He also co-facilitates the Outpatient DBT Skills group with Jesse Engdahl on Wednesdays. Two and a half years ago, Joseph stepped down from the Director position in order to pursue a Masters of Divinity degree and begin the process of stepping into his new role of Chaplain. This has been a long-time coming: Joseph has been in facilitator/teacher training with Against the Stream Meditation Society for the last 5 years, and has built a remarkable community of cohorts and students.
It with great pride and excitement, as well as a bit of a heavy heart, that we bid Joseph farewell as he steps onto a new path. Joseph will begin his residency at UCLA, earning his CPEs (Clinical Pastoral Education) at the top of September. As sad as we are to see him leave the Visions nest, we are excited to see where this takes him. Joseph offers a sense of calm assurance to the deeply suffering, and he is able to hold space for vulnerable people in a profound manner. UCLA has a priceless jewel on their hands.
Joseph has been a consistent members of the VTeam for almost a decade, seamlessly blending boundaries and compassion, while encouraging a love for learning. He has created a foundational resource for the kids and staff to look to for support as well as leadership. Many alumni and staff alike will joyfully reminisce about learning history through the various comedic voices Joseph uses. He has been the rock for many, and the quiet storm of compassion for all.
Joseph isn’t completely leaving Visions, however. He will continue to run the Mindfulness Meditation/11th Step, Spirituality groupand he will continue to co-facilitate the outpatient DBT Skills group. Despite our denial that he won’t be with us every day, we are really excited for him and grateful for his dedication and commitment to Visions. Joseph has carved out a thoughtful, compassionate path of service, dedicating his life to help others recover and find peace with their suffering. Reverend Joseph Rogers, M.Div as a nice sound to it, eh?
“A kind, gentle soul. I will miss seeing Joseph’s smile everyday. I always look forward to his gems and guidance. A true friend I have found. I wish him the very best as he sets out on his journey. The world is a better place for him being here. Thank you for the honor of working with you.”– Noelle Rodriguez
“Ahhh! JRO! We will miss you and your gentle ways. Throughout the years, you have been a driving force for our school. You provide so much more than a basic education to our kids; the love you have put into it has been so good for us and the clients. We are so proud of your hard work and making it into the UCLA program, you truly lead by example. We will miss you very much. Thank you for the years spent together!” Amanda Shumow
I befriended Joseph years ago while I was studying at CSUN in the credential program. I told him that I worked at a little place called Visions and he was immediately interested. Soon after being hired, he took the position at IOP as teacher. Over the years he has made his mark as a calm leader with a fierce passion for his work. Joseph is wise and knows enough to always be learning. He is an educator in the truest sense of the word and will be missed by staff and students alike. His contribution to Visions has been, and will forever be, immeasurable. Joseph embodies the words of Bruce Lee: “A teacher is never a giver of truth; he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself.” – Daniel Dewey
“Joseph is an amazing person, teacher and soul. He is someone that you meet and instantly feel that you are in the presence of someone wise, calm, and fearless. I wish him all the best, in all that he does!” — Jenny Werber
“I’ve never known anyone to be more universally liked by clients and parents than Joseph. Joseph is the rare person with whom you can disagree, but still feel your view was thoughtfully considered, while not feeling imposed by his own.” – Garth LeMaster
“Joseph, you are a man with great insight and gentle wisdom. I have seen you live your convictions, tenderly heal wounded children and be the doorway of understanding for lost souls. I wish you peace, joy, challenges and love. Thank you for your part in my crazy art lady journey.” Ever faithfully yours — Susan “The Art Lady” O’Conner
“Joseph has not only been an amazing role model as a productive co-worker but has become an amazing friend and mentor for whom I will dearly miss. I wish nothing but the best for him and all the experiences to come. You will be missed and loved always ” — Nick Riefner
“Joseph’s energy is contagious in every way possible. Every time I see him, no matter what is happening, he seems calm and at peace… For someone as anxiety driven as I am, being around someone so serene is refreshing. I have so much respect for Joseph and aspire to one day walk with as much dignity as he does.” – Ashley Harris
“Joseph will be missed. He has a very special way of relating to our clients that involves, at times, an extraordinary amount of patience. I often sit out here at my desk and listen in to the conversations going on between Joseph and the kids. I am equally entertained, amazed, and grateful to have been a fly on the wall of Joseph’s classroom.” – Natalie Holman
“I’ll miss Joseph terribly, I think it’s been so beneficial for our teens to see strength in a man shown through kindness, non judgment and calmness.” Roxie Fuller
“Thank you, Joseph. Thank you for helping to create an environment for learning, healing and recovery for Visions kids and families. Thank you for your unique perspective for leading the education and meditation groups and classes. There is some thing very special about the way you gently lead the kids with confidence and class. Thank you, Joseph!” – John Lieberman
“Joseph has been teaching me since my first day – a friend, a mentor, and a big brother all in one. I’ve been afforded so much of his wisdom and care from this relationship, it will be really hard not to have him here all the time. Riding shotgun while he teaches mediation, DBT, or most importantly sober FUN, he constantly helps me take care of the kids and myself in the kindest and simplest ways. No one can really imagine Visions without him; I’m just grateful for all the time I’ve had with him and that he will still be doing groups with me.” – Jesse Engdahl
“Joseph has been such a huge part of my Visions experience and I think I’m the saddest to see him go. He is my friend, my teacher, my mentor, and my right hand. He has always been so supportive and understanding of things only us Visions teachers would understand. He has a strange yet peaceful way about him that makes any day a good day. He always seems to have the right words of wisdom in any situation and it’s hard to imagine he won’t be around. After years of morning check-ins about life, love, and the pursuit of sanity I’m going to miss him dearly. I wish him the best in his new endeavors and I am forever grateful for the time, wisdom, knowledge, and random facts he’s passed on to me. I’ll continue to make you proud, Jofes… thank you for being my shoulder to whine on, my ear to vent, and my rock to keep me sane.” – Adriana Camarillo
“With a heavy heart, I bid farewell to an amazing man, father and colleague. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Joseph for nearly a decade and it’s hard to imagine my day-to-day without him. Joseph represents a quiet force, guiding his students with conviction and offering hope where there may be none. While he continues to be a spiritual inspiration to both staff and students, we will miss the man who, for so long, has been the core of Visions Day School. The feeling is bittersweet. Selfishly, we want him to stay. But the truth is, he has another calling and with that, I honor his path and I am always grateful for this experience.” – Fiona Ray
Fiona Ray has stepped into her new role as Clinical Director and we wanted to kick things off with a bang. We do love to celebrate our team and their accomplishments! Last Friday, the Recovery community had the opportunity to come and congratulate Fiona, see what we are doing as a company, and check out the digs in Brentwood.
It was so wonderful to see so many familiar and new faces, share great food (which included Pink Berry), and mingle with so many wonderful members of this community. Major kudos go to Angela Carrillo, our Los Angeles Outreach Coordinator, who tirelessly make this bash the success that it was and to Christina Howard-Micklish for her fabulous celebratory aesthetic. The VTeam showed a lot of pride and excitement, cheering on one of their own. Fiona Ray has made a memorable impact on her team at IOP/Day School and will surely do the same for the rest of the facilities as she weaves the entirety of the Visions team together.
It’s not every day you get to see one of your own take flight in this way. Fiona is really someone to celebrate: she is dedicated, kind, compassionate, determined and respectable. We are over-the-moon excited for Fiona, and for the cohesive expansion of our facilities and team.
Check out the highlights from the party! Just click on the image below to view the rest of the slideshow: [slideshow id=8]
Natalie Holman has been with Visions since 2007. She started as an administrative assistant, working at our residential facilities, and eventually moving to our Day School and Outpatient facility. She is currently the Assistant Manager at Extended Care, where her administrative know-how is complimented by her desire to give back and be of service. Natalie is always willing to help if you need something and is the one behind the scenes making sure the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted. Natalie is part of the fabric that makes Visions tick, and for that, we are incredibly grateful for her presence, her laughter, and her ability to take care of us from behind-the-scenes.
Read on for some incredible kudos from the staff:
“Natalie is the office enforcer… she is organized and on top of the office work and everything that needs to be done before you even blink. She is always available and open to questions and has been extremely helpful.” – Koreema Walden
“Natalie is a beautiful, caring woman who is always willing to help anyone at a moments notice. Natalie is the glue that holds outpatient together with her knowledge of our program as well as her loving, nonjudgmental words to our clients. I can’t imagine IOP without Natalie’s beautiful face!” – Cheryl Lane
“Natalie is so warm and authentic and FUNNY, she makes work more fun — but she works her tail off behind the scenes to keep us all looking good! We’d be lost without her!” – Jesse Engdahl
I have worked with Natalie for the last three years. I appreciate that she always has a warm smile and is ready and willing to help. Sometimes she gets overlooked because she is behind the scenes working at the details that make a huge difference in all that we do. I often ask Natalie to get a task done that I don’t have time to do, or that truly needs her attention to detail, which she excels at! Thank you, Natalie, for all you do, it would not be the same here without you. – Noelle Rodriguez
“Natalie is a big part of the day to day here at Outpatient. She does a lot for the facility, staff, and clients. My favorite part about her is her random humor. She’s hilarious and her Jersey accent really makes the jokes that much better. I think our common love for Beyoncè and food has really added a spark to our friendship. I’m glad she’s a part of the Visions family” – Adriana Camarillo
“Natalie is an integral part of the Visions team. Her attention to detail, follow through and comprehensive approach to administration is an important factor in keeping all of us on task. It helps to know you have someone you can rely on and I’m grateful she carries us through the day to day. Natalie is an invaluable asset to the organization and frankly, she makes us look good.” – Fiona A. Ray
“Where there is chaos, Natalie can find order. This woman is the quiet answer to a storm of crazy. Our team depends on her to fill in the gaps of communication…Natalie is basically the Siri of Visions. Where can I find this? Did we order that? What time are they arriving? Can you organize my brain? Natalie’s ability to sort us all out makes Visions a stronger team…no doubt.” — Christina Howard Micklish
As always, we sent along 10 questions. Check out Natalie’s answers:
1: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I don’t think I would want to live anywhere outside of the US permanently, but living in the US is all I know. I’d have to do some traveling before I could answer that question.
2: What motivates you?
Dreams, ambitions, a desire to become a better me tomorrow than I am today, fear
3: What is your favorite season and why?
Season? There are no seasons in LA. On the east coast I like the fall when the leaves change colors and the air becomes cool and crisp, and you would start to smell the fireplaces being used. I always liked dressing for the cool weather (boots, sweaters, scarves and coats).
4: Do you prefer reading on a device or flipping through real pages of a book?
I like books. I’ve recently started to use kindle, but nothing beats the smell of the pages in a book.
5: What makes your heart sing?
My cats, Gigi and Papa.
6: Describe your perfect day:
There’s no such thing as perfect anything. Each of my days are perfectly imperfect in different ways and for different reasons. I’m grateful for each day.
7: If you were given three wishes, what would you wish for?
Wishes? I don’t know. I would wish to be debt free. I know that! I would wish peace of mind for everyone (it gets so loud in there sometimes), and I would wish for all of the wishes I could wish for!
8: What is one thing you cannot live without?
9: What was the last song you listened to while you were driving?
Young Folks, Peter Bjorn and John.
10: Why do you choose to work for Visions?
I believe in what we do here, for entire families. There’s nothing like being part of a team that affects teens and their families in such dramatic and positive ways. Visions rocks!
Morgan Parker is one of our remarkable educators in our Residential program. She spends her time teaching the clients at our Latigo facility, providing them with a well-crafted through-line to their education in a supportive, clinical environment. Morgan determines the relevant educational needs for the clients, provides the appropriate support for those working with learning disabilities, and she maintains a high standard of education. Morgan Parker is a bright light in the Visions family: she is colorful, wise, kind, and dedicated. She is highly intelligent and not afraid to share her wisdom through humor and play. Morgan carries herself with confidence and compassion, adeptly caring for the clients and melding with the staff with grace. Morgan Parker is a true gift to Visions and we are honored that she’s been with us since 2009.
Read on for some kudos from the staff!
“Morgan is the Rock of Gibraltar. She is the backbone of Visions Latigo. When Morgan decided to take the job as teacher, she was a perfect fit. She had worked with our challenging population of kids as a Program Aide, and brought her experience and calm demeanor with her. Morgan’s attention to detail is impeccable. She notices glitches in the machine that help to prevent major hick-ups later on. She cares about the kids and her job, silently facing everyday frustrations with grace and dignity. I am proud to be her supervisor.” – Daniel Dewey
“One of the most reliable, insightful ladies out there.” — Roxie Fuller
Morgan is so multi talented I don’t even know where to begin. She effortlessly blends her educational expertise with a loving and fun demeanor and tackles anything that comes her way. Morgan insists on encouraging our kids to rise to the occasion academically, we couldn’t ask for a better teacher! — Patrick Schettler
“Working with Morgan has been a great experience. Not only is she super helpful and efficient with our students but she is also fun to be around. She has a great sense of humor and says some of the funniest and most random things. She is a great addition to the Visions family.” — Adriana Camarillo
“I’ve always thought of Morgan as the Rainbow Bright of Visions. The Visions family is always battling dark and complex issues, and its people like Morgan who show up with pink hair and the brightest clothing that remind us to never take life too seriously. No doubt the work she does with the VTeam is seriously exceptional!” — Christina Howard-Micklish
I love Morgan’s answers to our 10 questions — she has real wisdom and wit. Read on:
1: What do you miss from the 80s?
My childhood! And MTV when it actually played music videos.
2: If you could go anywhere in the world for free, where would you go, who would you take and what would you do?
This is an overwhelming question! My brain floods with possibilities and fantasies: Sweden, Scotland, Japan, Fiji, Iceland, Bali, New Zealand, the Isle of Man…but because I’d take my 3 kids, I may choose Italy to help make some historical sites of Western civilization come alive for them, and then still have access to the beach. Travel provides the best education, and we love the beach!
3: What is your favorite subject to teach?
I am a bibliophile and logophile, but surprisingly I have enjoyed working with students on algebra. It is reassuringly procedural to teach, but it’s also like solving puzzles, which is fun and interactive. I like to see students figure problems out, recognize patterns, and become less intimidated by math.
4: Which character in To Kill a Mockingbird are you?
My only solid response to this is that I think we can all aspire to be Atticus Finch: fair, decent, resilient, accountable, courageous, and truthful.
5: Coffee, Tea, Soda or Water?
I am notorious for my Diet Coke consumption. I am still trying to find an acceptable, healthier replacement beverage.
6: What was your most embarrassing hairstyle?
Bangs were never the most flattering look for me.
7: What is your grammatical pet peeve?
Dangling modifiers are never OK! I also find irksome the improper use or omission of the apostrophe. And I am always willing to explain the difference between “effect” and “affect.”
8: Would you rather be a wizard or a ninja? Explain…
Wizard! I gravitate toward the cerebral choice. I am not known for physical prowess. I’d rather be a magician than a fighter! A ninja needs smarts but a wizard has wisdom.
9: Favorite time of day?
After midnight, when the world gets quiet and my brain gets alert and creative. I have always been nocturnal.
10: Why do you choose to work for Visions?
Everyone needs community and purpose, and it is rare to find both in a workplace, but at Visions I have found where I belong and can contribute. There is a lot of love, support, humor, good work, and good deeds happening here, and I am proud to be a part. I have truly met some of the most incredible people at Visions, both clients and staff!
Walking into our Day School is emblematic of the cultivation of community. The kids are in support of each other, bonded by difficulty and a desire to change, and they are aptly supported by a team of a deeply compassionate clinical and support staff. On a given day, you may encounter laughter, tears, struggle, and frustration, joy, triumph, and accomplishment. And regardless of which of those experiences is present, they are held in a safe container of support; a container which is ultimately community.
A fear that is often present for teens in treatment is the suggestion that their peer group will need to change. In a successful environment of recovery, that peer group does need to change. However, part of the recovery process includes the cultivation of a healthier, more supportive community of peers–a community that is desirous of shifting the old paradigm to one that is conducive to the mental health and stability they seek.
1: Engaging in social activities together. Visions supports weekly sober fun activities and recovery fun groups. Clients in our extended care have regular weekend activities such as paintball, beach trips, gardening, hiking, et cetera.
2: Having a spiritual support community such as Young People’s AA, where the young people are in charge of their own groups. This creates a sense of empowerment and encourages healthy independence.
3: Allow the clients to support one another. When a client asks if they can check in with another client, we almost never say no. It’s important that the clients see each other as a support system, especially post treatment.
4: Alumni activities. Keep our former clients in contact with each other and remind them of the support system they have in place. Our annual Alumni Weekend is a prime example of this. Additionally, all alumni are encouraged to come to the Friday night recovery meeting.
5: Visions encourages alumni to sponsor current clients and to come back to work at Visions as employees. This way, clients can see the full cycle of recovery.
We are looking forward to seeing alumni and current clients and their families at the upcoming Alumni Weekend. This community is at the core of what we do, and supporting families in their recovery is our heart. It is always a joy to see our alumni thriving in their recovery and reconnecting with them.
Bill Hoban has been our infallible Clinical Director for the last 12 years. His expertise and dedication helped make Visions the program it is today. It has been an honor working with him in that capacity. Recently, Bill has stepped down from his role as Clinical Director; he has passed the torch to the inimitable Fiona Ray as she steps into her new role as Clinical Director.
Fiona’s had an inspired vision for our clinical growth. Her fierce determination to execute positive change and create a solid team in our Outpatient facilities has been remarkable and we are excited to have her take on this role and do the same for our residential team. In her role as Director of Outpatient Services, Fiona created an environment replete with a dedicated staff willing to stand on the front lines alongside her to ensure that clients get the best care available. Fiona is not afraid of change, nor is she afraid to make the tough decisions sometimes necessary in treatment; she does it with compassion and wise intention. She is keen on creating an environment that is supportive and respectful for her staff to flourish and be the team they are meant to be.
We are thrilled to support Fiona Ray in new her position as Clinical Director. She is a well-respected fixture in the recovery community, recognized for her tenacity, dedication, and quiet, but fierce presence. Fiona has this ability to approach difficulty in a calm, collected way while making a family feel secure, supported and cared for. She has been instrumental in building out our Extended Care program, Launch, and the DBT training for the staff. Fiona’s desire to create an environment that is healing and empowering for clients and co-workers is astounding. Her drive to make Visions the best adolescent treatment is something to behold. Fiona is one of a kind and we consider ourselves deeply fortunate to have her in our midst.
Ashley Harris, Recovery Mentor, has been with Visions since 2011. She is one of the bright lights that graces our facilities and touches the lives of our clients and staff alike. Ashley Harris is one of those people who make me smile at the mere thought of her. She motivates and inspires those around her to embrace life and its challenges with verve, honesty and presence. She skillfully uses humor to break the ice and to make people feel at ease and she has the ability to soften the hardest heart. Ashley retains a sense of youthful joie de vivre while maintaining firm boundaries, earning a deep sense of respect from those who get to work with her.
The staff echoes my sentiments about Ashley. Read on. You won’t be disappointed.
Ashley cares deeply about our kids and is a great role model. She is reliable, dedicated, and passionate about her work. She has a great sense of humor, and never takes herself too seriously. What an asset to the Visions family. High five Ashley! – Patrick Schettler
Ashley Harris is truly the gem of Visions. Her unconventional style truly reaches all Visions clients because she openly acknowledges her journey through recovery and celebrates everyday of it. Ashley holds no punches, and says the things we all wish we had the gall to say! – Corrin McWhinnie
The “everything” girl. She’s got it all. – Mie Kaneda
You can trust her with your darkest secret then share your dirtiest joke right after. – Roxie Fuller
I first met Ashley on her first night shift and immediately I knew she was going to be part of the family. I’ve seen Ashely grow into a strong, positive example of what we look for the clients to aspire to. She is a great role model for women in recovery and always brings a smile and laughter into the room where ever she is! It’s truly a blessing being able to work alongside her! – Nick Riefner
Ashley Harris is Visions’ face of social media! Her photos are worth a thousand words…Ashley’s excitement for our team and the families we help is so easily captured in photos. Harris and Hoban selfies are without a doubt some of my favorite posts! — Christina Howard Micklish
Read on for Ashley’s answers to our 10 questions. Her wise wit is well-played!
1: What makes you laugh with complete abandon?
I laugh a lot every day- usually at inappropriate humor. I love a good “That’s What She Said,” and potty humor is a weakness. My cats make me laugh a lot too. Lately, I’ve been finding myself laughing at my own ridiculous thoughts–the things I get mad about and daily frustrations now tend to make me smile and realize it’s not that serious.
2: Are you a landlubber or seafaring lass?
I’m comfortable with both. There’s something incredibly calming about the ocean though. For the first 6 months of my recovery it was my higher power.
3: Do you sing in the shower?
Yes! Who doesn’t? My neighbors probably don’t appreciate it but it happens. I turn into Whitney and Adele as soon as the water starts. On rare occasions I think I’m Biggie.
4: SuperMan or Lex Luther at 6 Flags?
Lex Luther, hands down.
5: Funniest April Fool’s day stunt?
People are always shocked by my lack of participation in April Fool’s day. I guess I just assume that people are too paranoid that day to really fall for anything so I do it throughout the year to keep people on their toes! I usually just try to scare people as much as possible.
6: Top three things on your bucket list are:
Oh man. This one is tough.
1. I want to travel. I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland.
2. When I was 12, I promised myself I would live in Australia for at least a year.
3. Have as many people say “You’ve changed my life” to me as I’ve said to people in my life.
7: If you could say anything to your teen self, what would you say?
I would tell myself it gets better. Everything always does. I struggled with a lot of various issues as a teen and I wish I could give myself the kindness and compassion that I now have for myself. I would tell myself to slow down and take time for me. But knowing me, I wouldn’t have listened.
8: Would you rather sing karaoke or do stand-up comedy?
Karaoke for sure–But not alone. No one wants to hear that, unless it’s a Pearl Jam song. I can do a killer Eddie Vedder impression.
9: What superhero are you?
DA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA BATMAAAAAAAN
10: Why do you choose to work for Visions?
I love Visions. I love the clients and the opportunity I get to help them. It’s amazing seeing them come in wounded and scared and watching the light come on. They get their fire back. Being a part of that process blows me away on a daily basis. Some of the best people in the world work with Visions and they’ve taught me a lot about the industry, relationships, and myself. Visions really is a family–we fight and bicker sometimes but at the end of the day we all have each other’s backs and it’s incredible.
Mollie Mylar, BS, Director of Professional Relations, is one of the most engaging ladies I know. She is a bright spot on the marketing team, always lighting up a room when she walks in and is capable of making anyone feel at ease. She has a light in her heart, joy in her eyes, and a wicked sense of humor. She is truly humble and kind, and both of these qualities make Mollie a true gem. Mollie lives in Utah with her family, but she travels all over the United States to engage and educate people about seamless transitions in treatment. Frankly, I lament the fact that we don’t see more of her, but I am extraordinarily grateful and humbled by the work she does; she is an invaluable player on the Visions team. Quite honestly, the world needs more Mollies.
Read on for some staff accolades about this lovely lady:
Mollie is absolutely one of the most upbeat and positive souls you will encounter in this world; her energy is contagious. The minute she walks into a room, or you hear her voice on the phone, you cannot help but smile. Anytime I get a chance to speak with her or see her is a pleasure and a joy. – Jenny Werber
I like Molly. In fact, how can you not like Molly? She is a business woman doing business in a way that doesn’t feel like business. She is a Mom. She is personable, humble, creative and hard working. Molly is one of the people in life that I look forward to seeing. She makes the room lighter and brighter when she walks through the door. Good egg = Molly. And, I never use that term. In fact, I may call her and tell her she’s a good egg just so we can laugh. – Angela Carrillo
Mollie is spunky, full of life and has the ability to light up any room she walks into within seconds! She has an uncanny talent for just meeting someone and making them feel like they have been friends with her for years. – Ashley Shortridge
It is a pleasure to work side-by-side with Molly. Molly always finds the bright spot in the darkest situations. Molly fights for the best interest of the families and kids she works with. – John Lieberman
Mollie defines being authentic with every cell of her being. This is how I see her: Trustworthy, Tenacious, Persistent, Tall, Adventurous, Silly, Open, Hilarious, Loving and Kind. Mollie oozes with love for her son and husband. She is a woman I look up to. Her balance of being mom, wife and business woman is always transparent and remarkable to be in the presence of. I am grateful to know Mollie Mylar. – Christina Howard
Read on for Mollie’s answers to our 10 questions:
1: What inspires you to work in education?
Being able to watch families and students heal and reach their potential. I do not like to see people suffer.
2: You live in Utah but you work all over the country, what do you do to stay connected with your loved ones?
Call and face time.
3: Would you rather be able to fly or read people’s minds?
Definitely read people’s minds.
4. Would you rather speak in public or work at the Los Angeles Waste pumping station for one week?
Work at Los Angeles Waste pumping station for one week. I would do just about anything to avoid public speaking…
5: What is your favorite season and why?
Fall, love seeing the leaves change, temperatures drop and most of all SWEATSHIRT weather!!!
6: What is your Starbucks order?
Grande Soy Latte.
7: If you could have been told one thing that you weren’t told when you were a teenager, what would you like to have heard?
I had an amazing mother, that I miss everyday, and I feel like she prepared me well for life!!
8: Funniest Visions memory?
Wearing a Christmas sweater to my first company Christmas party, (I hate Christmas sweaters) when nobody else was wearing anything having to do with Christmas…awkward.
9: What do you keep in the trunk of your car?
My own grocery bags.
10: Why do you choose to work for Visions?
I love the team and what we provide for our students and families.