She has an amazing team of pharmacists that inspire her every day. She gushes that they are so incredibly caring and are always coming up with ways they can support the ideas that Hope’s Home may have. Michele states that “good enough is never good enough.” They are consistently working to go above and beyond, making a difference any way they can. She reminds us that you can get bogged down in the day to day, so every now and then it’s important to stop and remember what we do and how important it is. She reminds her crew every day that they have the gift of doing what many people will never do and how truly special that gift is.
A team of inspiring and hard working leaders.
Our daycare managers are like family. Each of them have been with Hope’s Home for long enough to have seen our little organization grow across the province, and have stuck with us through all the changes we have faced. From moving centres, opening new ones, to experiencing changes in leadership and structure; these four managers have been a constant. We are so lucky to have people who are passionate about the work Hope’s Home is doing for our communities and their unwavering support to help out wherever we need them.
So before we ramble too much, meet our daycare managers.
Aimee Depko – Regina South
Victoria Hopkins – Warman
Victoria obtained their Early Childhood Diploma in 2009, and since has had a ton of experience in the world of early childhood education and diverse needs. Victoria has held multiple roles at Hope’s Home, first being an ECE, Developmental Worker, and Rec Programmer before accepting their current position as Pedagogical Leader at our EL&C centre in Warman.
In their spare time, Victoria enjoys crocheting, painting, hiking, and spending time at the beach. In 2018, they drove across Canada from coast to coast, spending a ton of time outdoors exploring, hiking, and experiencing all that Canada has to offer! Victoria also has two adorable kittens, Remington and Louis Lane 🥰
Ashley Valentine – Regina North
Kristy Thompson – Prince Albert
Kristy’s Hope’s Home journey began in 2013 as the Physical Development Consultant in Prince Albert, SK. She graduated with a B.Sc. Kinesiology Degree, eventually leading her to Hope’s Home, where she met some of the most wonderful staff and had the privilege of working with so many amazing children and parents.
Thank you isn’t enough.
It’s a really good feeling when you have had staff stick around this long. It reminds us that Hope’s Home means something special to our community and that what we are doing is truly making a difference.
Our (not so) little organization would not be the same without these four, and we really can’t thank them enough for all they have done for Hope’s Home and the kiddos they care for. All we can do is keep making sure they feel loved and valued (because they really, really are) and hope they stick around for another ten years or so. 🙂
That’s why there is no place like Hope.
For half her life, Callie’s weekly routine has consisted of a round of chemo.
The reality of Hope’s Home is sometimes things don’t always go the way we would like them too. There are times when we are crying by hospital beds, being a pillar of support for a family going through a tough time, and saying our last “I love you’s” to a kiddo who has been with us since they were a baby. So when that can be our reality, we have to make sure we take advantage of all the small and large victories that happen too. And Callie finishing off her 70th round of chemo was one of those things we had to go all out for.
At 10 months old, Callie had complications which made her unable to eat food; and she has since been exclusively tube fed ever since. And it was just a short 5 months later that Callie received the news that the doctors found a tumor in her brain. And although the tumor was not cancerous, it didn’t mean there wasn’t a long road ahead for her. A week after they found it, Callie underwent brain surgery, but the surgeons weren’t able to remove all of it. So they moved on to the next option, which would end up being 70 rounds of chemo in 70 weeks.
Callie has had quite the journey in her little life; and although it’s been hard, she’s also had some victories. In December 2019, Callie finally began eating food!! At daycare, Callie’s friends were encouraging for her, and slowly but surely she began trying a couple bites here and there. Callie has now tried so many different foods she even has a couple favourites. This was a huge milestone for Callie and her family because it meant she was one step closer to no longer being tube-fed.
On Tuesday, the day after Callie’s last round of chemo, our staff and kiddos went all out for a chemo-free celebration party. They decorated the centre, had a dance party, played with balloons (a crowd favourite), and had a snack of some of Callie’s favourite: cheezies and popcorn twists. (She likes cheezies so much her mom calls her the “Cheezy Queen”)
We were so excited to throw this party for Callie. She is the sweetest, strongest little girl. Having her at Hope’s Home has been such a blessing and knowing that she will be coming to daycare tumor free from now on brings all of us so much joy. We love you Callie.
That’s why there is no place like Hope.
Women in Business – Advice from our CEO
Being a woman in business, even in 2021. can still be a challenge. So each year our society fights to make progress over gender disparities and skepticism, and each year we get closer to the goal of eliminating those biases and inequalities. There are many stories of success and victory for female leadership – Kamala Harris being elected the first ever Vice-President of the United States, Whitney Wolfe becoming the first female CEO to take a company public, to stories in our own backyard: Jennifer Denouden being a leader for Canadian CEO’s to Jacqueline Tisher, who has built a legacy for children in Saskatchewan.
As a successful, provincial wide non-profit, we are proud to be led by an inspiring, passionate, and hardworking CEO who is choosing to challenge those biases every day. Not only did Jacqueline build Hope’s Home from the ground up, she also built it without any framework. Since Hope’s Home is the first ever medically integrated daycare in Canada, there was no blueprint for how to do it. With a team of equally as driven and passionate females – they filled a gap in our community that has helped change and improve the lives of countless families.
So today, on International Women’s Day, we sat down with Jacque and asked her about her journey as a business woman. We ask her about her victories and her setbacks, and her advice for every young female entrepreneur out there.
Did you have any fears in the early stages of Hope’s Home? How did you overcome them?
Facing your fears is a part of taking risks. Hope’s Home was the first of its kind. There was so much to learn and research to do, to figure what was the best way to support families of children with complex medical needs. Taking this risk meant leaving a secure job at the hospital, which I loved so much! Starting a new business meant facing my fear of losing job security, financial security, and professional security as a nurse. It meant rising above that fear and embracing my burning passion for children with diverse needs. Passion is empowering. Passion creates dreams and smashes fear. Passion gives you the freedom to take risks that will make a difference in the world. Yes, it has been scary at times, but Hope’s Home is worth it!
Did anyone ever doubt you as a female CEO and your ability to run a provincial wide organization? If so, how did you deal with that?
If anyone doubted me as a female CEO – I did not hear it or listen to it. I believe my passion for advocating for these children, my business mind, and my ability to build strong relationships has made my role as CEO successful. I surround myself with mentors and strong leaders – from my mom, who is my hero and an incredible leader/businesswoman, to other business leaders, entrepreneurs, coaches, and professionals – who I lean on for advice, support, and guidance. Great leaders have a circle of support who strengthen their weaknesses, provide transparent and honest feedback, and build each other up to be the very best in life.
What were the biggest lessons you learned while running and growing Hope’s Home?
Oh, so many Lessons! When I think of the lessons I have learned in the last 16 years, I hear these quotes in my head:
- Policy doesn’t change the world…passion changes the world.
- Walk before you run.
- It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to beg for permission.
- People leave managers, not organizations.
- Your values determine your actions.
- Our children are our future – they are worth it!
- Listen to your heart.
- People first.
- Life is too short to be bitter…make the world better.
- Life is fragile. Make memories. Enjoy the journey.
- What mark are you making in the world?
Hope’s Home is about people. It is about our children, family, and our staff. Every decision we make as an organization needs to keep our children in the center. This is who we are and why we do what we do.
Do you have any advice for young women? Aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Dream big. Discover what your passion is. What keeps you awake at night? What makes you excited? What gives you purpose? I would encourage young women and aspiring entrepreneurs to ask yourself these questions to set your sight on the goal. It will mean you will have to face your fears and take a risk. It means you may fail. These are the greatest lessons! Never give up or be scared to challenge the norm to follow your dream. As I told my daughter Acacia who lived her life from a wheelchair – focus on what you can do, not on what you cannot do. It is important to be an ever-learner. Seek knowledge and wisdom in those that have journeyed ahead of you. Love yourself first and live out of this place of strength and purpose.
This years theme for International Women’s Day is “#ChoosetoChallenge gender bias and inequality.” What does that statement mean to you?
I believe each human is unique, born with special gifts, talents, and abilities. Discover those gifts that make you special and those around you unique. Treat each other with respect, kindness, and love. Challenge injustice, prejudice, and care for the people of our world. Embrace and celebrate our differences – this is what makes humanity so incredible.
Feeling inspired on International Women’s Day this year.
Today makes you feel inspired about the future and reflect on all the amazing women who have pathed the way for future generations. Jacqueline Tisher has certainly made a difference to all the young women she has met and the people who have heard her story. Which women have made an impact on your life? Tell us about them in the comments! And don’t forget to share your own #ChoosetoChallenge story. Happy International Women’s Day!
Incorporating therapies into our day-to-day activities at daycare is one of things that makes Hope’s Home so special.
Children with complex medical or developmental needs often have various therapies they need to do everyday to promote healthy development. In order to provide high quality, inclusive care – we staff Physical Development Consultants to help children with their therapies in a way that doesn’t segregate them from the rest of the children.
To learn more about this, our wonderful Physical Development Consultant, April, explains more about it.
What exactly is a Physical Development Consultant at Hope’s Home?
As a Physical Development Consultant (“PDC”), I work closely with the Developmental Workers. My daily goal is to make sure that our children with complex medical needs and developmental delays are equipped with the programs and plans they need to master new skills and participate fully in activities. Whether with adaptive equipment, a hand over hand assistance, or them building the skills to be able to dance on the floor with their friends, we aspire to give the child the maximum participation and incorporate fun therapies into their daily activities.
I am a Physiotherapist by profession, specializing in pediatrics for most of my career. I have been trained for some Neurodevelopmental Techniques of therapy and recently received a certificate of training for the Cognitive Orientation Approach for Individuals with Motor Difficulties.
A closer look at therapies.
The programs and goals we set to support the achievement of the child’s developmental milestones are in continuance to the goals of the parents and all the supporting professionals that are involved in the child’s life. The various therapies are decided upon by the specialized professionals and carried out by the PDC at Hope’s Home in an integrated way.
A list of outside professionals we work with:
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech Language Pathologists
- Social Workers
- Other professionals from organizations such as Children’s Rehabilitation Centres, Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP), and AIM (“Ability in Me”).
Integrating Therapies to make them fun!
After deciding on goals for the child, we work together as a team to translate them into different activities that are incorporated through play in their day-to-day fun. Ensuring that our staff are trained to adapt materials and help the child regulate emotions; and that tools such as switches to support communication and adapted equipment are accessible, is all an integral part of inclusion for Hope’s Home.
All of the therapies also occur in their classroom to allow other children to play along. This gives us more opportunity to educate and create that loving, caring, and helping relationship between typically developing children and children with complex medical or developmental needs.
For example, when a child is in a standing frame they can happily do pretend play in the kitchen with friends. So even though standing for certain periods of time is considered part of their therapy, they are enjoying their time and therefore the therapy is incorporated in play.
A favorite memory was seeing a child in a walker playing eagerly with friends in the backyard. With just amount of challenge and support, he was able to let go of the walker and did his independent steps to catch his friends. And when you see a proud grin and friends proudly celebrating, you just know Hope’s Home made it happen.
Our Physical Development Consultants are an un-funded position at Hope’s Home. If you wish to help us out and ensure that our children are getting the best care possible by having a PDC on staff, please visit our donate page.
That’s why there is no place like Hope
Happy New Year! 🎇
Meet Jaime – a Recreation Programmer at Prince Albert Supportive Living.
Jaime is an absolute ray of sunshine for our staff and our kids. She is a perfect member to our team as she brings so much passion, fun, and love to her position.
The Recreation Programmer role can be a bit misunderstood as you can have varying educational backgrounds to fill it. Whether you have a degree in Kinesiology, ECE diploma, or a Recreational Therapy Diploma, Hope’s Home will train you to perfectly fit the role. Read on as Jaime takes you through even more things you might not know about her and her role at Hope’s Home.
1. Start off by telling us a bit about yourself.
I have been the Recreation Programmer at Supportive Living in Prince Albert since the fall of 2018! Prior to working with Hope’s Home, I worked as a kinesiologist in multidisciplinary clinics both in Halifax and in Moose Jaw. I completed my Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from the University of Lethbridge. I am also a big movement enthusiast and am a spin instructor, group fitness instructor and personal trainer on the side.
2. What’s one thing people might not know about your position?
One thing people may not know is how diverse the Recreation role is at Hope’s Home! Every day comes with its unique challenges and no two days are the same! Not only do we get to research and program new intervention strategies for each of the kiddos, we also are big advocates for inclusiveness in the community where we always look for opportunities to get the children involved. We communicate with supporting professionals such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathologists, and vision rehabilitation (just to name a few); we then take their recommendations and create functional strategies to be implemented in the home and into the children’s daily lives.
3. You get to experience a lot of everyday miracles. What’s one that comes to the top of your mind as the most memorable?
I was fortunate enough to experience a wish trip for two of our children at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Watching the reaction when one of the children met any Disney character was priceless (Buzz lightyear and Minnie Mouse were their favourites!); pure joy and happiness.
Our other kiddo is a daredevil and wanted to ride any and every rollercoaster possible. They made me and another staff ride the fastest one over and over (they are much braver than me!).
4. You have a lot of career options with your Kin degree. What’s made you stay in the non-profit industry, and Hope’s Home specifically?
Prior to Hope’s Home I enjoyed my position but was never left feeling as fulfilled as I do working here. Working here, you get to see the direct impact of what you program, you learn to problem solve on the fly, and best of all you get to play! Hope’s Home is so incredibly special to this community, to the province, and has such an impactful message behind it. I am beyond grateful for each day I get to come into work and play a small part in this amazing organization.
I think having my kinesiology background, as well as experience, gives me a unique perspective into programming for the children. A lot of what we do in Supportive Living is incorporating recommendations from supporting professionals and making it fun and turning it into functional play. Having a deeper understanding of growth & development, and functional anatomy allows me to make sure the kiddos are getting the most out of their activities.
5. How would you describe the culture and atmosphere at Hope’s Home?
Supportive, welcoming, and so so fun. We have amazing staff here who make work not feel like work. From a management perspective, our supervisors are always there to listen and offer constructive feedback and to push our employees to reach their full potential.
6. What’re your long-term goals with Hope’s Home? Either personal, professional, or both.
I am currently pursuing my certified therapeutic recreation designation, which I’m very excited about! Once that is complete it will bring a whole new standard of recreation therapy at our center and hopefully at others as well.
I also love to mentor students and hope to accept many more from the therapeutic recreation program. Within Hope’s Home and the community, I will always continue to advocate for our children but also for this profession and what we can offer to these kiddos care teams.
That’s why there’s no place like Hope. ❤️
Feeling Thankful Part II: Our CEO, Jacque Tisher, takes us through what she is thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend:
Each morning I want to wake up with intention and purpose. Opening my eyes to the sun shining, the beauty of a fall day, and I smile with a grateful heart. Life is sometimes very challenging. As people, we face each morning with personal expectation for our life. The expectations fill our heart with joy, excitement, or some days even worry or sadness. Our human experiences may be filled with wonderful, warm memories of our childhood or grief over the loss of loved ones. We may experience intense love, uncertainty, fear, wonder, and hope. I am thankful for each of these emotions and experiences. These experiences make us human – they make us real.
Even in our world of uncertainty there is much to be Thankful for. We may not be able to control the world around us – COVID, illness of a family member, politics, the weather. Yet in all of this, we can choose how to respond. Today, I wake up and choose Thankfulness.
I am so THANKFUL for the incredible love of my family. I am thankful for the love of my life. I am thankful for the memories of the people I love that have gone before us. I am thankful for the people in my world who have made a difference in my life – you make me smile. I am thankful for the many amazing memories made with my friends and look forward to making many more. I am thankful for today and the incredible beauty of each breath. I am thankful for the feelings I get to experience that remind me I am alive. I am thankful for each smile and every tear. I am thankful for tomorrow and the journey God has me on. It isn’t easy. It isn’t perfect. Yet I am thankful for each moment in it.
This Thanksgiving Day, I wake up in anticipation, expectation, and thankfulness for the future. With a grateful heart I will embrace the magic of each moment and cherish the memories yet to be made.
With a grateful heart – Happy Thanksgiving to Each of You!
CEO & Founder