Diamondbacks OutingAugust 1, 2017
ARCH Media Club Photography Effects ProjectAugust 1, 2017
In many of our previous Staff Spotlights, we’ve tended to focus on some of our older staff (if they’ll forgive us for calling them that!). So this month we wanted to talk to one of our newer younger staff who is working with us in our ARCHKids Summer camp and ARCHKids After-school program.
We interviewed Recreation Leader, Stephanie Cisneros, age 21, and a Phoenix native, about how she got involved in ARCH:
How long have you worked at ARCH?
Since February 2017. I first learned about ARCH when I saw the job advertised.
What is your background?
All throughout high school, I was involved in my Best Buddies chapter and volunteered in the Special Ed classes in all the free periods I could. I was even in a class that allowed me to train the Special Ed students for Special Olympics. I quickly became the President of my chapter and moved on to planning statewide events for Best Buddies. More recently, I graduated Phoenix College where I majored in Special Education.
Is this something you want to continue working in, in the rest of your career?
I’ve been planning to be a Special Ed teacher since Kindergarten! The only disability I knew (at the time) was being deaf or blind but somehow I knew this was what I wanted to do. I want to be a Special Ed teacher or a School Therapist to help students transition into adulthood. In doing so, I’d like to educate parents and teachers about different disabilities and how to better nurture their child or student. I am a few years away from my goal of being a Special Ed teacher and I’ve loved every step of the journey. I’m learning so much at ARCH and in my classes. I’ve taken child psychology courses to help me better understand different behaviors as well as classes that prepare me for the classroom.
Anything you would like to say about ARCH?
There are no words to describe my days at ARCH. This has definitely been my favorite job thus far. Derrick, the ARCHKIds Coordinator, is such an inspiring mentor. I learn so much from him. He helps me grow as a leader and as a teacher. He guides me and allows me to practice what I am learning in school. I know that he wants me to succeed as much as I want to succeed. My co-workers are nothing short than amazing. They are always willing to lend a hand and it has been a pleasure working with them all. The clients here at ARCH always keep me on my toes so I am never bored and I appreciate that.
What’s your favorite activity to do with the kids?
Definitely cooking class! They always amaze and surprise me with their independence. They get so excited to cook and eat what they make. It is also a good bonding experience.
What do you think are the benefits of the ARCHKids program, for the kids?
The ARCHKids program focuses on improving our clients’ socialization skills. In school they are so often the “outsiders” and stay very contained. Here, at ARCH, they are able to develop and grow in a non-academic setting. We don’t just provide activities to keep them entertained. Instead we see them progress. For example, a child may come to the program not talking much, but eventually he is more verbal and confident. It’s super cool to see that growth in these clients.
Stephanie I am so proud of your hard work it is quite amazing to hear your story and all your successes and I know your goal of being a special ed teacher is Within Reach. As a volunteer I’ve seen the clients interact with you and how they very much appreciate you as a staff member. Keep up the great work