Get to know Tyra

1. How long have you been a part of AiN and what is your position? 

I have been volunteering at AiN for 6 months and attend the monthly Revive Events, as well as special events.

2. What do you hope to accomplish with AiN? 

After hearing about my sister’s amazing experiences as a volunteer at AiN, I decided to join the organization. I love working with kids and young adults and have already learned so much during my time with AiN. 

3. What experiences have you gained so far with AiN? 

Volunteering at AiN has allowed me to gain experience with kids with special needs, a skill that I lacked before joining the organization. I have also been able to discover my love for working with kids and young adults. 

4. What is your favorite thing about AiN? 

I love spending time with Zoe, a teenage girl who I am able to hang out with at nearly every Revive event. 

5. How has volunteering with AiN changed your perspective on volunteering with special needs children? 

Volunteering with AiN has allowed me to discover the unique personalities of each of the kids. Through working at Revive, I have been able to learn how to guide activities for kids with special needs and the importance of sensory activities.

6. What do you look forward to when attending the events? 

I always look forward to spending time with Zoe and the other kids. I love seeing how the kids have grown from the time started volunteering.

7. What is your favorite activity? 

I love watching the kids play with the different sensory activities each month. They are always very creative and fun.

8. What is the hardest part of attending the events? 

Considering that I had never worked with kids with special needs before AiN, I have struggled learning what activities each of the kids enjoyed and which ones to avoid. However, after working at AiN for 6 months, I have started to pick up each kid’s routine.

9. What do you like to do for fun? 

Outside of AiN, I enjoy dancing, spending time with my friends and family, and traveling. 

10. What is something interesting or fun about yourself?

I have been a competitive dancer for ten years.

Get to know Kirstin McGrath, Program Director

How long have you been a part of AiN and what is your position? 

I’ve been a part of AiN since August, so 6 months now. I started as a volunteer, but have just been promoted to the position of Program Director!

What do you hope to accomplish with AiN? 

At AiN I really want to continue to help families by providing them with a safe and fun learning environment for their children while they enjoy a nice night out. I’d also love to assist Autumn in the growth and expansion of AiN in hopes of serving more families.

What experiences have you gained so far with AiN? 

SO MANY! One of my all-time favorites was watching the kids’ trunk or treat in their costumes and the smiles on their faces as they threw pies in Autumn’s face. It’s been very rewarding to see the kids learn, grow, and enjoy their time with their friends and family at each special event.

What is your favorite thing about AiN?

The mission! Helping people with special needs has always been a passion of mine and AiN has given me the opportunity to do that. 

How has volunteering with AiN changed your perspective on volunteering with special needs children? 

Although I’ve volunteered with special needs children in the past, AiN provides a different environment and learning curriculum that has shown me how much these children really are capable of. It’s been an eye-opening experience to watch the kids grow and learn over the past few months and to really see their accomplishments unfold.

What do you look forward to when attending the events?

I look forward to seeing the children’s smiling faces as they arrive. Whether they are in costumes for trunk or treat and waiting to see Santa, most kids are excited and happy to be around friends and family.

What is your favorite activity? 

My favorite part of each event is the nightly dance party where everyone shows off their cool moves!

What is the hardest part of attending the events?

So far, I haven’t found anything challenging about attending the events. I always look forward to going.

What do you like to do for fun? 

I enjoy reading (I’m a huge Harry Potter fan), also hiking, spending time with my puppy, Shadow, and traveling the world.

What is something interesting or fun about yourself?

As many of you know, I want to be an occupational therapist, but for the last 6 years I was in the military as a computer technician, however I still know very little about computers.

 

Meet AiN’s Vice Chair: Stacie Mihalik

Stacie MihalikStacie Mihalik epitomizes the energy, empathy and attention to detail needed to deliver a stellar customer experience. Stacie grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and her passion for exceeding customers’ expectations began during her tenure at Nordstrom, a company that excels at customer service. Since then, she has built a successful career in marketing over the last 15 years, helping companies optimize customer touch points, streamline marketing communications, and develop content that matters.

Beginning her career at boutique investment management firms in Los Angeles, Stacie then worked at a Cleveland bank’s headquarters, enticing customers in a corporate environment and winning recognition via HACR’s Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever program. Back in the San Francisco Bay area, Stacie launched into innovation related marketing and is excited about continuing to invent desire through car related technology with AAA.

Stacie holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Michigan State University where she studied marketing and finance.

Get to know our volunteer: Yasmin Shamloo

yasminYasmin Shamloo has been volunteering with All in Need for a little over a year now and her position is a group leader for the older participants.

“I love working with children with special needs because I feel as though I am not only giving back to my community, but also rewarding myself by feeling a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for all the amazing people I have gotten to know and all the beautiful things I have been granted in life,” Shamloo said.

Shamloo would like to enter a career involving special needs children. She has gained valuable experience and knowledge through AiN that she believes will aid her all throughout life.

Her favorite thing about volunteering with AiN is all the amazing people she has had the privilege of meeting. Volunteering with AiN has given her a deeper understanding of what it is truly like to make a meaningful connection with a child with special needs.

Her favorite activity is the music time when the kids bring in instruments and sing. She loves playing soccer in her free time and having Saturday night movie nights with her mom! She is also probably the “best karaoke singer you will ever meet”.

Get to know our volunteer: Jacob Green

jacobJacob Green has been involved with All in Need since the very beginning. With AiN, he hopes to help make the lives of families who have children with special needs a bit easier. With his experience so far, he has really seen how what AiN is doing is really making a difference in the lives of these children and their families.

His favorite thing about AiN is watching the kids dance and participate during music videos and game time. Volunteering with special needs children has changed his perspective on working with special needs children dramatically.

In his free time, he likes to go mountain biking.

Get to know our volunteer: Sydney Polich

Sydney Polich has been a member of All in Need for three months now as a group leader for the younger kids. She joined AiN with the hope of helping an organization whose mission she believed in as well as to improve her leadership skills.

sydney89Her favorite thing about AiN is that it is designed to help families as a whole as opposed to individual children. AiN has something to offer every family who has a child with special needs, whether it be support, a relaxation break, or just a place to hang out.

“AiN has embedded in me the truth that each child, with or without special needs, has a unique set of talents and an even more distinct personality”, Polich said.  “A disability is not a label, but only a part of what makes an individual that individual.”

Her favorite part of the events is the Wii Dance portion of the evening where all the children have fun and interact with each other.

For fun, she loves to run and is a member of her school’s cross-country and track team. She also enjoys other sports and outdoor activities.

Meet Our Volunteer-Deb Deur

11147082_1123227761028061_4454931570207503356_n1. How long have you been a part of AiN and what is your position? From the beginning, I’m a nurse.
2. What do you hope to accomplish with AiN? Bless the families and children we serve and care for.
3. What experiences have you gained so far with AiN? The special needs childern are SPECIAL!
4. What is your favorite thing about AiN? Knowing that the parents trust us with their children.
5. How has volunteering with AiN changed your perspective on volunteering with special needs children? From the beginning, I made it no secret that I do NOT like children but working with these special children, I found myself falling in love with each and everyone of them.
6. What do you look forward to when attending the events? Seeing how excited the children are to arrive at AiN.
7. What is your favorite activity? That’s hard to answer, I usually keep myself available to help with those doing 1:1’s, so I don’t participate in many activities, it is fun to watch from a distance, those doing the activities how excited the children get.
8. What is the hardest part of attending the events? Having the rare child that cries when the parents leave them but it’s good to see how when the parents return, the child doesn’t want to leave or are so excited to tell their Mom’s & Dad’s what they had done while the parents were gone.
9. What do you like to do for fun? Camp
10. What is something interesting or fun about yourself? love to tent camp in Yosemite

Get to know our volunteer-Ariana Whitmarsh

arinnaAriana Whitmarsh has been a volunteer with All in Need for one year and is a one on one volunteer for Revive. By joining All in Need, she hopes to gain experience with special needs children and plans on becoming a speech therapist in the future. Throughout her year with All in Need, she has met some amazing people and has learned how to communicate in different ways. Her favorite part about working with All in Need is playing with the children. Ariana has always had a passion for working with special needs children but volunteering with All in Need has validated that she wants to pursue a career in this field. The hardest part about volunteering with All in Need and working one on one is to see her child not feel well or have a bad day. In her free time, Ariana loves to be outdoors playing soccer and going on adventures. She also loves arts and crafts!

Get to Know our Volunteers-Ally Tipton

Ally Ally Tipton has been a volunteer for All in Need for the past couple of months, she assists with desk work and is also the photographer. Her favorite thing about volunteering with All in Need is experiencing the children’s happiness as they perform the different activities and she loves to help out with the kids and their families. She enjoys seeing how creative the children get with the arts and crafts projects. For Ally, the hardest part of volunteering is seeing some of the children struggle with the activities, but all the volunteers are very inclusive and always make sure the children take part and enjoy each activity. In her free time, Ally loves to travel, hang out with friends, and pursue her passion for photography!