Project Contact: Vicki DeHoff
County and year: Arapahoe/Douglas 2010
Community Project Title: “The Parents’ ICU Waiting Room Survival Guide”
Community Project Description: This is a book for parents to help them understand what is happening with their child in ICU and what they can do to help.
What has happened with my community project since: Unfinished
I am a nurse with a Master’s degree currently unemployed. I am the mother of four adult daughters and grandmother to two adorable grandchildren. I had one child in an adult ICU with a head injury and even with my knowledge, was unable to navigate the system from the parent’s perspective. I want to help parents in the same situation who have less knowledge of the medical system and their rights.
Project Contact: Chandra DeSimone
County and year: Arapahoe/Douglas 2010
Community Project Title: So Now You’re Special: Introduction to Special Education
Community Project Description: In 2010, the Colorado Parent Information and Resource Center (CPIRC) actively developed resources to promote parent involvement in education. Funded by No Child Left Behind, the majority of time was spent on face-to-face trainings presented at Title I schools. The hour-long presentation provided by CPIRC with information and trainings not available. It included basic compenets of special education law, commonly used terms, and a variety of community resources parents could use to follow-up.
What has happened with my community project since: Unfortunately, CPIRC lost funding shortly after the FLTI graduation. Several nonprofit organizations, including Families First, use the materials to introduce parents of their rights and additional community resources.
About Chandra: Chandra is the mother of two beautiful children Maya and Donovan, who happens to have Aspergers and ADHD. She has been actively involved in promoting special education awareness and family-school-community partnerships. Her contributions to Families First, Colorado Parent information and Resource Center, and the Community of Practice at the Colorado Department of Education have encouraged her to pursue a full-time career in education policy and advocacy. Chandra is currently attending school at the University of Colorado Denver to earn a Master of Public Administration. She is dedicated to her family and hopes to be a role model for other single parents with children who have special needs.
Project Contact: Rogena “Reggie” Johnson
County and year: Larimer County, 2012 Graduate
Community Project Title: PAC-Kin – Protect And Cherish Kin
Community Project Description: Our vision is that every child will grow up in a safe, loving and forever family. Our two-fold mission is: 1) To work within the current legal system to educate law makers on the inadequacy of how the definition of “reunification” is interpreted and applied with regard to child welfare; and 2) To effect legislative change that will clarify the definition of reunification so that the law includes permanent kinship arrangements with relatives who can best provide for the physical and emotional safety, health and well-being of at-risk youth, keeping the best interest of the child of upmost importance.
What has happened with my community project since:
We have formed an organization of grandparents and other kin called “Kinsfolk Unite to Protect And Cherish Kin, PAC-Kin” (www.pac-kin.org). We are putting together our application to become a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, and we are picking up steam to really make a difference in the lives of these kiddos by changing the law(s) and/or interpretation and application of those laws. Some tell us we are on a 10-year journey, but we all know that every journey begins with the first step.
My name is Rogena “Reggie” Johnson, and I am a grandmother raising my 3-1/2 year old granddaughter. I have lived in Fort Collins/Larimer County all my life, and have pretty much only taken from community services and never really given back. I saw FLTI as the opportunity to learn the necessary advocacy skills to really make a difference for others who face kinship challenges similar to mine. Fortunately, I have been able to collaborate with other FLTI graduates in this PAC-Kin endeavor. I am a graduate from Colorado State University with a degree in Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Finance/Accounting. I am a project manager with a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). The bottom line is that I hope to take my education, including FLTI, and life experiences to make a difference in my world and that of others.