Like many successful young women approaching their 30th birthday, Emily leads a busy fulfilling life. She has a good job, a steady boyfriend, a spunky sense of humor, loves to sew and knit, and dreams of getting married one day. Emily is an important member of the early learning team at Northwest Center Kids Chinook.
Northwest Center Kids launches hundreds of children into the world of elementary and high school, and hence into adult life. Emily herself is one of the few Northwest Center Kids graduates who have returned as an adult to join the staff.
As a Classroom Aide, Emily partners with teachers and administrators to provide logistical support that enhances the classroom experience. Her duties include laundry, cleaning toys and equipment, and stocking supplies. Most early learning centers require teachers to handle these tasks. But because of Emily’s diligence – and because of Northwest Center’s commitment to inclusion – teachers at Northwest Center Kids can spend more time in the classroom with their students.
It’s a team effort that works well for everyone. “I get paid to work, but [I also] get paid to have fun,” explains Emily. “I like to work and stay proactive.” Having hard working (and fun loving) Classroom Aides enhances the experience of teachers as well.
Emily’s role on the Chinook team also models Northwest Center’s vision for a world where People of All Abilities work together. Many parents see Emily as a role model for their children, a well-rounded young woman working in an inclusive environment where all people are appreciated.
Emily not only serves as a peer and colleague, but also as a reminder of the endless possibilities that await every child when they are recognized for the individual potential they bring.
Northwest Center is passionate about equal rights, anti-ableism, and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Thank you for reading.