We are so excited to welcome Layne Hutcheson to the CES board! We thought we would take some time to introduce her by asking her some questions that help give an insight into who she is. Thanks Layne!
What inspired you to get involved with Community Entry Services originally and what do you find most rewarding about working with adults with disabilities?
"Growing up, I was actively involved with Special Olympics. My mom was a PE teacher and helped organize Special Olympics events every year which I would volunteer at and help facilitate. When I moved to Jackson, I saw an ad in the paper advertising an open position at CES and decided to apply. In college I had studied psychology but wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with my degree. I thought the position at CES would be interesting and would apply well to my skill set.
While I worked at CES, I loved helping the clients find what really made them happy. Each person had different passions and likes and dislikes and I enjoyed helping facilitate these different activities and making space for people with disabilities in Jackson."
What inspired you to later return as a CES board member?
"When I left my position at CES, I knew I would never fully leave. I continued to help with the annual Art of Love fundraiser and continued to visit the office when I could. When I was asked to be a board member, I was honored to fulfill this new role and continue to serve this organization and the people it provides services too."
Can you tell us about a particularly memorable experience or success story that you've witnessed during your time with CES?
"While I worked at CES, I took the clients on 3 whitewater river trips. We floated down Gates of Lodore and Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River for 5 days. Each trip included myself, another staff member, 5 clients and 3 guides. I loved getting to see the clients in a completely different environment and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. A particularly special memory occurred during our trip down Cataract Canyon. I was on the raft with the guide and one of the CES clients who didn’t know how to swim. We were about to start a stretch that involved 3 quick rapids in a row. On the first rapid, the raft tipped and the client and I both fell into the water. When I came out of the water I looked around and found the client and assisted him back to the raft. The guide released his oars quickly, threw the client and then myself into the raft, and hit the next rapid without anyone on the oars. Once we got to a mellow stretch of the river, we all caught our breath. We were all a little shaken up except for the CES client. He had the biggest smile on his face and was laughing. He said he wanted to do it again. Now, whenever I go back to visit the CES office, this client always makes sure to ask me, “Layne. Remember when we went for a swim?” And I alway say, “Of course I do! I could never forget that swim!”"
What changes do you hope to see and contribute to during your term as a board member?
"As a board member, I can provide unique insight into the organization as a past employee. I hope that we can grow CES and make sure it is a sustainable nonprofit in Jackson so that it can continue to provide services. I also hope to bring awareness to the services we provide and the clients we serve and to educate the community and families who will soon need CES services."
What do you think sets our nonprofit apart from other organizations that serve adults with disabilities, and how do you think we can continue to differentiate ourselves and stand out in a crowded nonprofit landscape?
"CES is the sole provider in Jackson to provide comprehensive around the clock care to our clients. There are no days off and there are no breaks in service. 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, CES staff are providing care to valuable members of the Jackson Community. Often the support is provided behind the scenes so that the clients can live normal, productive and meaningful lives in the Community. I think it is important for the Jackson community to know that CES exists and that without it, many people that have lived in the Jackson community for years would not be able to call this place home.
CES is also important for many families who have children with disabilities and who will need CES services in the future once their children are no longer in the School program. CES is essential for these families so that they can plan a future."
To learn more about Community Entry Services and to make a donation, visit ces-usa.com/donate