Our Stories

Overview

Our Clients and Families tell the rest of the story.

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Emily

Making Positive Changes

Overcoming addiction in the face of pressure is difficult, but Emily made that possible through her resiliency, benevolent personality, and determination to overcome tough obstacles. Now she is a thriving adult, happy with her job and the social circles she is a part of. She is spiritual, a costume jewelry collector, and she knows what she wants in life. Before she became the confident person she is today, Emily needed to grow and learn that the life she was living isn’t the life she wants.

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James and Cindy

National Pet Week

James is an avid lover of animals and believes in helping animals big and small. As a child, he grew up on a farm and was surrounded by animals, finding friends in furry creatures. When he met his dog, Cindy, at the local animal shelter he volunteered at, it was love at first sight and they have been inseparable for 10 years.

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Herman

Training Manager

Herman is Alta California Regional Center’s new Training Manager. He began his career as a social worker with the regional center system in 1997 at Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC). During his time with GGRC he worked with clients who had recently transitioned from state developmental centers to the community. He also had the opportunity to work briefly with the infant to three-year-old population in the Early Start Program. Herman moved to the Sacramento area in 2001 and joined Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) working with clients transitioning from youth to adulthood.

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Randy

California State University - Sacramento Student

Many dream of going to college and living on their own, enjoying all that campus life has to offer. Randy, a senior at California State University – Sacramento (Sac State), has made that dream possible. Like other college students, Randy is focused on achieving academic success, considering his career options after he graduates, enjoying life on campus, and attending social events and parties. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Communications, with one year left before he graduates in 2021.

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Kristin

Client Services Manager

Kristin began her career at Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) in 1998 as a Service Coordinator in the Early Start program, which focuses on providing early intervention services for families with a child with a developmental delay or established risk or high-risk condition, from birth up until their third birthday. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and her Master’s degree in Social Work, providing the technical knowledge necessary to effectively help our clients.

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Emily, Ryan, Caden, and Audrey

A Seat at the Table Books

There is something to be learned from the youth of today. Caden, a young boy who views being autistic as another way of being human, doesn’t let his youthfulness stop him from educating the community around him. Caden is very honest and immensely welcoming to those around him, especially if he can sense something “different” about a person. Being autistic has increased his empathy and his awareness, allowing him to identify and connect with others who have neurodiverse minds.

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Mike and Natalie

Seamstresses and Community Advocates

Mike and Natalie are highly creative and driven individuals. They have worked at Developmental Disabilities Service Organization (DDSO) part-time since the early 2010’s. DDSO is a nonprofit organization based in Sacramento and Stockton which annually provides 400 adults with disabilities the opportunity to receive job training, gain employment, learn about physical education, and express themselves through visual and performing arts. Their welcoming and charismatic personalities help them communicate with students and employees alike at DDSO.

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John and Vanessa

Founders of Fly Brave

John and his mother, Vanessa, have together strived to impact the community through social and fitness programs and employment training with their organization, Fly Brave. John is a long-distance runner, and has non-verbal Autism. He was diagnosed at the age of 2 – when Vanessa was only 22. As a young single mother, she had to manage challenges (such as feelings of isolation and uncertainty) of having a child with special needs. Vanessa says she and John “grew up together,” because of her youthfulness and maturity levels when she had John.

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Paula

Service Coordinator

Paula is a long-standing Service Coordinator at Alta California Regional Center (ACRC). With over 23 years of experience, her knowledge of the service delivery system is monumental. She has made an immense impact on the lives of her clients and the community by educating them about developmental disabilities and the services available for those with a disability. Paula began her career at ACRC because she was interested in working with clients and navigating the challenges that might arise, based on their needs.

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Gail

Service Coordinator

Gail has worked as a Service Coordinator for adult clients of Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) for four months. While her tenure at ACRC may be short, Gail’s experience in the service delivery system is extensive, having served as a provider for people with developmental disabilities prior to coming to ACRC. Her journey to the Regional Center system began in college, while working towards a Bachelor’s in History. After graduating, she wanted to educate and teach. She hoped to positively impact people’s lives and was actively looking for a way to use her skills.

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David Lopez

Client Advocate

David Lopez is a charismatic individual who is well respected throughout Alta California Regional Center (ACRC). In addition to being a client of ACRC, he holds a position on the Executive Management Team (EMT) as the Client Advocate. David has served as a full-time employee for 22 years, recently celebrating his employee anniversary on January 2. The role of Client Advocate provides him the opportunity to work with and educate clients, Service Providers, and Service Coordinators on Client’s Rights and the functions of a Regional Center.

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Keely

Service Coordinator

Keely started at Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) as a Service Coordinator in April 2018. Prior to her employment at ACRC, Keely worked with migrant families in schools, providing counseling to help children pursue higher education. She made the transition to ACRC because she witnessed the obstacles her own family faced while raising her two nephews who are blind and Autistic. Keely was motivated to offer help not only to her family, but other families as well.

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Story Grace

How her life changed with Whole Story Meals™

As a single mother with five children, four boys and a girl who is disabled, Autumn found it demanding to live an active lifestyle. She was going through a difficult divorce, and needed a way to decompress and get her children engaged in an activity they could all participate in. However, her daughter, Story Grace, imposed significant physical limitations that required consideration. Story Grace is a nonverbal, legally deaf and blind five-year-old, who is tub-fed her meals. She functions much like a six-month old, depending on her mother to carry and care for her.

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Dr. Wardinsky

Staff Physician

Dr. Wardinsky has been dedicated to serving the members of the disabled community for 50 years as a Pediatrician and Genetic/Congenital Defect consultant. He started his career at ALTA California Regional Center (ACRC) 25 years ago as Clinical Director and currently holds the position of Staff Physician providing medical consultation to Service Coordinators and clients. Dr. Wardinsky has always had a strong interest in providing care for people with Intellectual Disabilities and chronic illnesses.

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Stefania

Fitness Inspiration

Stefania is resilient, tenacious, determined and positive. She is a light for her coworkers and family, and the epitome of inspiration. Her beaming, contagious smile is only the surface of her uplifting personality. Stefania is a go-getter; she exercises twice a week, holds two competitive employment positions, maintains a social life, and she believes she can do more and is constantly setting new goals. Her productivity isn’t hindered by her disability (Cerebral Palsy) and she doesn’t plan on slowing down.

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Jackie

Jackie strongly believes that education has power and she enforces this belief by acting as a teacher for individuals with developmental disabilities. She is eloquent, extroverted, knowledgeable and intent on living her life as “neurotypically” as possible with a diagnosis of autism. She has been successful in her pursuit of her goals, and boasts a very full life attributed to her determination and through the supports and services she receives from Alta California Regional Center (ACRC).

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Dom

Received the 2019 Disability Employment Awareness Award

Dom might use a wheelchair, but his heart is in the community. Through his dedication and discipline, Dom has been able to live his dream of a career in law enforcement. His passion for protecting the community was recognized when he received the 2019 Disability Employment Awareness Award.

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Zach

Public Speaker and Self-Advocate

There are many things that make Zach so great, but he prides himself on being a public speaker, a self-advocate, and a man with a vision to inspire others to pursue their passions. This is all evident through his confidence; the way he carries himself, his eloquent speaking and the passion in his voice when he talks about his ambitions. Zach is no ordinary man and he plans to show the world why he isn’t ordinary, and why his voice needs to be heard.

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Layne

Cheerleader!

Meet Layne, a senior at Bella Vista High School and second year Varsity cheerleader!  Layne brings smiles to her teammates, family, friends, and everyone she meets. She has been a cheerleader since she was 9 years old and has been a client of Alta California Regional Center since birth.  In addition to cheerleading, Layne participates in the Special Olympics and enjoys singing and dancing.

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Taylor

Artist Extraordinaire

Taylor is a soft spoken, 26 year old young man who lives in Marysville and has been drawing and creating art since he was very young.  It is his passion, and he spends hours a day working on it.   He draws mythical-looking creatures, super-hero type creatures and cartoon people, but he says he enjoys drawing dragons most of all.