1982, Rhonda Meisel started working as a social worker at the First Early Intervention program, and today she is the program’s director. For nearly four decades, she has remained committed to serving children with developmental delays and their families and could not imagine doing anything else. “I love the work in First Early Intervention, the mission of The Arc, and the way the agency continues to prioritize and respond to families’ needs. The Arc’s mission to empower people with disabilities matches my mission for what I wanted to accomplish in my life, and the agency feels like home.”
Rhonda believes that The Arc has done an incredible job meeting the needs of a range of families and individuals throughout their lifespan. She credits the agency for being “progressive in thinking and innovative in nature”. She says the agency is “always moving forward with new ideas to best serve families and has paid close attention to diversity and equality at all levels of the organization.”
She also praises her team for their commitment to the program, local families, and the work they are doing to improve the lives of children with complex needs. She believes that they are wholly dedicated to their work and the agency’s mission. She says, “I’m proud to work with them every day and know that they are the backbone of this program.” Rhonda is particularly proud of her team’s response during the COVID-19 pandemic and the switch they made to virtual services. “They did an incredible job over the past year responding to the immediate needs of families and ensuring that they received consistent care throughout the pandemic.”
Rhonda also fondly remembers years of Halloween parties with children and their families dressed in costumes and holiday parties, especially witnessing children’s diverse reactions to seeing Santa Claus for the first time. She says, “It’s these small moments of joy that I treasure the most.” For Rhonda, the families in the First Early Intervention program are her motivation. “I’ve met some wonderful families and learned so much from them. They are remarkable people who are fully committed to their children and that has been the greatest gift to me. They motivate me every day.”
In 70 Years we have...
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