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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Richard who prefers to be called Rick, has kicked off 2018 with a bang – he has released his first rap album! The lyrics and beat in Rick’s rap songs offer a unique outlook into his life experiences, what he is grateful for, and what he is working towards. He even wrote a song called, “I Thank God” about his appreciation for the services and support arranged through Alta California Regional Center!
Jack is a young man with ASD who celebrated his 16th birthday in September. He is very talented with computers and computer gaming, and became interested in building one himself. Through the process, he practiced comparison shopping by researching the costs of individual parts and recording them into an Excel spreadsheet; both full price and sale prices so he could predict what the total cost would be. He wanted to get the best deals out there! Once he had all the parts he needed, he built his computer all by himself.