Anniversary Blogs Recovery Service Treatment

Ashley Harris — Recovery Mentor

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?



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.

Anniversary Blogs Recovery Service Treatment

Jesse Engdahl, MA, RRW – Education Coordinator/ LAUNCH Program

Jesse Engdahl came to us a little over a year ago when we began our Launch program. With him came quite the bag of tricks: Jesse holds several degrees, he is an incredible writer and extraordinarily skilled at managing college applications, something many folks lack. Because Jesse has persistently continued his education, it has allowed him to hold a bevy of information and build broad skill set, including the ability t0 facilitate peer mediation, run groups, and act as a writing coach. More than anything, though, Jesse Engdahl is a great example of someone in recovery who is always of service.  If you need something, I’m sure that Jesse will be there in a heartbeat. He’s kind, funny, and walks with an open heart.


The staff rained some beautiful accolades on Mr. Engdahl. Check it out:


“Jesse is the best work husband ever! Kind thoughtful hard working, makes my life so much easier… Also a dear friend.” – Noelle Rodriguez

“If I need something done for a client that is outside the box, Jesse is the man I send them to see.  He seems to have an inexhaustible source of unique ideas for difficult problems, and quite frankly, he knows everyone.  He is willing to stick with our clients through the most difficult of problems and doesn’t ever give up on trying to find a way to help them.  Jesse is the guy I would go to if I ever needed something to do on a Friday night; he’s the concierge of sobriety.” – Joseph Rogers

“Jesse joined us about a year ago with the Launch of Launch. 🙂  His good-natured and creative approach to engaging the client has truly helped us to become a more well-rounded program.  Jesse has a special way of finding what “clicks” with a client when it comes to the tricky work-school-life balance needed as our kids get busy with their new lives.  He is an advocate for the child when it comes to figuring out what they need to satisfy their goals.” – Amanda and Chris Shumow


And now for Jesse’s answers to the 10 questions we cooked up for him:


1: You have several academic degrees, which do you find fits you the best and is the most applicable to your life?

Undoubtedly, I’ve mastered the fine art of critical theories.

2:  What did you want to be when you grew up?

Peter Fonda in Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry

3: Are you a coffee or a tea guy?  

I don’t abide tea-drinkers.

4: Yoga or Pilates?

Aren’t you a yoga teacher?  (*No, Jesse, at least not yet!*)

5: If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Lighten up, boy …and learn French.

6: What is your favorite weather?

Santa Ana winds blowin’ hot from the north….

7: If you were a Muppet, which one would you be?

Hate to admit I’m probably Bert … but I want to be Ernie.

8: Why did you choose to work an adolescent/young adult population?

My surplus of teen angst.

9: Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Shopping with Noelle …but that’s just the tip of a glacier.

10: Why do you choose to work for Visions?

It’s next to Belwood Bakery!  … and I wanted to learn from the best staff on earth.


Anniversary Blogs Recovery Service Treatment

Nich Willard – Recovery Mentor

Nich Willard has been with Visions since 2007 and is an incredibly valuable part of the Visions team. Nich brings his wry sense of humor, laid back nature, and sober experience to the clients, making him remarkably relatable and effective in his job. Perhaps it’s because Nich got sober in his teens or the simple fact that he’s a cool cat: either way, the kids adore him. In case some of you don’t know, there was also the moustache period, where Nich had the craziest, coolest moustache; he even went so far as to create an alter ego for it on Facebook. Come to think of it, I think we were FB friends—the moustache and I. That right there is a fine example of wacy, sober fun. Like many of us at Visions, Nich also has a creative talent. He has a film background and is quite the talented filmmaker.  You never know, we may have the next Wes Anderson in our midst!


Check out what Nich’s coworkers have to say. He is truly a well-loved member of our team!


“Nich is awesome! Nich is one of my favorite coworkers and hilarious. His seemingly laissez faire approach and sense of humor is so disarming that he is able to make an impact in the most difficult of scenarios.” Roger L’Hereault

“I miss Nich’s moustache. It was the best!” – Susan “the Art Lady” O’Conner

“Which Nich? The one without the mustache has an amazing way of being real with the kids, and holding them accountable while showing them how to have fun. The Nich with the mustache is his evil twin…no?” – Katie Mason

“Nich!  Thank you for always holding up the couches!  Your ability to make us laugh has truly saved our minds over the years!  From Tech to iPod guy to meeting timer to recovery mentor to van guy, you always do your job with Visions’ best interest at heart.  You are an amazing mentor to the males at Visions, both staff and clients alike.  I will miss you when you finally get into your dream job full time!  The film world will be lucky to have your energy and commitment that we have been blessed to have over the past years!” – Chris and Amanda Shumow


Last but not least are Nich’s answers to our bevy of questions.


1: What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an Astronaut or an actor when I grew up.

2: What is the one thing that never fails to make you laugh?

When dogs scare themselves by sneezing or barking to loud I LOSE it.

3: Favorite meal, the one you can’t live without?

My favorite meal that I cant live without is burgers haha like quimby.

4: What is the best advice you’ve ever received in recovery?

Somebody told me that I never had to be serious about anything except for my recover, and that I could do anything with my life as long as i did the work and could accept the consequences.

5: Your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment was realizing that instead of burdening those around me I actually benefited the world around me, that was huge for me.

6: Do you REALLY hate ice cream?

Ice cream is stupid! It’s all a bunch of hype. Ice cream is literally like having a bunch of freezing cold milk ice and salt in your mouth except all mealy. uhg gross…I don’t like cake either most of the time.

7: What do you value most in your friends?

In friends, I value honesty and the ability to laugh at themselves.

8: What do you wish you could do better?

I wish I could remember more. I have a bad short-term memory; this is probably a result of drug use during the developmental stages. Also, I wish I waz a better speller.

9: Morning person or night owl?

I am most definitely a night owl Mornings are RUFF for this guy.

10: Why do you choose to work for Visions?

I work for Visions because helping adolescents find recovery is something that I believe in. I found recovery in an adolescent rehab and it started me on a path that not only gave me something to live for but also led to a great life. The “vision” of Visions is so close to my own that I am proud to be a part of it.

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