Welcome to What’s Trending?
A page on our site where you will find stories, photos, graphics and videos that showcase what we do, why we do it and many of the people who make it possible. Consistently, we are bridging support, actively serving, committed to growing and recognizing valuable partnerships. We will also showcase stories relating to community engagement and wellness. This is why we want to keep you up to date on what is trending at Community Crossroads, in the disability community and beyond.
At 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 15th, people who experience a disability, family members, friends, caregivers, and community members will gather for New Hampshire’s first-ever Disability Justice Parade. The parade will take place at Arms Park (10 Arms Street) in...
2023 Family Support Conference
The Family Support Conference Advisory Team is pleased to announce our ‘Save the Date’ for the the 2023 Family Support Conference! The next Conference will take place on August 5th-6th, 2023 at the DoubleTree Convention Center (Manchester, NH).You can follow the Family Support Conference on Facebook, Instagram, and visit their website for future updates.
My Child’s Turning 3: Now What?
My Child’s Turning 3: Now What?
Date: September 16th, 2022, Time: 12:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m., Location: Zoom
This workshop provides participants with information on the transition from Family Centered Early Supports & Services (ESS) to preschool special education. Participants will learn about the difference between ESS and special education and ways to work with both systems to make the transition smoother.
Registration is required by 9/10/2022. Please RSVP to Rdumont@communitycrossroadsnh.org (be sure to provide your email address and town) at your earliest convenience to receive your Zoom link.
Accessible Picnic Area
At our area agency, it is important to us that our office is accessible to the people who visit. Recently, Property Manager Jim Vadeboncoeur and businesses throughout NH and MA worked together to create an accessible picnic area for those who come to our office.
Jim said, “I will be upgrading this patio for months to come. Right now it is in its infancy stage. Hopefully next spring when all the flowers and trees that I’m going to plant bloom it will look incredible. The idea started one day when I was having lunch and an individual showed up in one of the vans and wanted to fill the birdfeeders that were out there. They seem to struggle a little bit on the grass and then my thoughts started snowballing. During the winter time I usually shovel a snow path out to the feeders so they can continue to fill them. I wanted to create an area that was not only handicap accessible but we could also utilize in the winter time. And that’s where it started. I posted a soliloquy on some of the local town pages and spoke with some businesses in the area. East Coast Lumber was the first to donate the pressure-treated wood that I use to make the first picnic table . Then I contacted my landscaper. Mark who owns Patterson Lawn Maintenance out of Salem. He brought the machine over and cleared out the area for the patio. We got a discounted price from Hajj Paving & Demo to pave the entire patio. I’m in the process of making another picnic table. The wood was donated by Cyr Lumber. I’m also in the process of maybe having a gazebo donated from Eastern Shed out of Methuen. I’ll find out about that soon. As you can tell this is a project has a lot of moving parts and will continue to grow over the next year or so. I hope to do many events there for the holidays.”
We look forward to seeing this project continue to grow!
2022 Community Partnership Celebration
Every two years, our area agency hosts a Biennial Community Partnership Celebration. Join us for our 5th Biennial Community Partnership Celebration on Thursday, October 13th, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Atkinson Resort & Country Club. This event is a valuable opportunity to personally meet legislative candidates and/or voters/constituents in advance of the November election to talk about issues that impact people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers. We will also honor exemplary members of the community! Click the following link to learn more/register to attend: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2022-community-partnership-celebration-tickets-374507310447.
Admission is FREE! This event is entirely sponsored by private funding. If you need respite support for a family member in order to attend this event, please contact your service coordinator.
Compass Award recipients at our 2018 Community Partnership Celebration
Coming & Going: Get To Know New Members of our Area Agency – and Celebrate Those Leaving Us!
At our area agency, we believe it is important to recognize our employees, members of our Board of Directors, and members of our Family Support Council. It is also important to celebrate those who are leaving our area agency and the impact they have made on the families we support every day. We also want to celebrate employee milestones in this section of #WhatsTrending.
Welcome…Whitney McMahon (Adult Service Coordinator) – “I started working at Community Crossroads in November of 2021 so I have been here for about nine months now. I went into this field so that I can help others. This is a field where there are many amazing folks who are at higher risks in all areas of their lives, and I wanted to make a difference in their lives by advocating for them and their needs. It’s all about the individual, and not categorizing folks in to groups. We are here to serve each person to what best fits their needs, and that differs from person to person.
The sense of community is something I like a lot about working here. Even with reduced capacity at the office, I’m very grateful to know and work with my coworkers. Most of my coworkers are caring, knowledgeable, and fun. It helps that so many of my peers have had experience in this position because there are so many intricacies and unique situations that come up. It’s very helpful to bounce ideas of my coworkers and gain more insight into what service coordination is.
I like to be outside in nature (walks, hikes, national parks), take my dog on adventures, travel to new places, spend time with my partner, do arts and crafts, play games (video games, board games, word puzzles, Sudoku), and go to antique stores to find vintage treasures.”
Welcome…Stephanie Biagioni (PDMS Service Coordinator) – “I have worked for Community Crossroads since the end of February. I honestly fell into the field of human services when I ended up working in the activities department of a nursing home after graduating from college. I’m very much so a people person so it was no surprise that I ended up loving human services. I then decided to pursue a Social Work Case Manager position when I made the decision to leave activities because I was looking for a job where I had the ability to do more to directly help the people I was working with, which in turn ended up leading me to my Service Coordinator position here at Community Crossroads. I really like the sense of community here at Community Crossroads. Everyone is genuinely happy to be in this field and is so dedicated to helping our individuals.
Outside of work I do children’s entertainment such as balloon twisting and bubbles. I also enjoy crafting, and do aerial silks and other circus arts!”
Sydney Horanzy (Family Support Coordinator) – “I have been working at Community Crossroads since March of 2022. I have always loved working with children, while completing my undergrad I worked as a court advocate for children who were/are in the foster system in Massachusetts. My nephew is currently 11yo who has Autism and when he was 8yo he was treated horribly by numerous agencies and the schools. After I witnessed and fought hand and hand with my family to make sure this never happened again to my nephew. I knew I found what I was meant to do. I wanted to be in the field to help other children like my nephew, so they wouldn’t have to suffer the same trauma and unfairness he did. I want to help be the change for children with disabilities and make it so they don’t have to suffer from individuals who don’t see their uniqueness like I do.
What I truly love about Community Crossroads is that everyone who works here, is here for the right reasons. The staff here wants each child/adult who suffers from a disability or has medical needs gets treated how they deserve to be treated. It’s important to me to work with individuals who have the same passion as I do.
When I’m not working, I love to go hiking and I love to travel! I also love being with family and finding fun activities to go and do in the community!”
Jennifer Chisholm, Executive Vice President
Hello! My name is Jennifer Chisholm, and I am the Executive Vice President at Community Crossroads.
I began my career in human services when I chose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Teaching, and obtaining my certification in secondary education. During this time, I found myself most interested in the students who were experiencing diagnosed or underlying mental health symptoms, and those who were “falling through the cracks”. When I chose to obtain my master’s degree, I decided I wanted to pursue my Master of Education in Counseling with a program that was heavily focused on mental health. In doing so, it allowed me to explore new ways in which I could be of support.
I came to Community Crossroads (what was then known as “Region 10”) in 2011, and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the values, mission, and goals of the agency, the workplace culture, and the overwhelming sense of community. I began as a service coordinator and part of the pilot start-up of NH START Services. Through the years at Community Crossroads, given my clinical background, I shifted into the position as a Clinical Coordinator, and eventually Director of Clinical Services, helping to create and expand the agency’s Clinical Department. I became involved in local and statewide efforts to support individuals with dual diagnoses, build capacity to support those with complex needs, and work towards proactive crisis intervention through extensive support to families and teams. We strengthened and enhanced our partnership with our community mental health center, the Center for Life Management. I joined efforts with Julie Lago, Director of Collaborative Care at CLM, to co-found the Continuum of Collaborative Care, a model that emphasizes and implements a collaborative, innovative, whole-person approach to care. Through such efforts we have been able to drastically improve the way in which we support those who need and benefit from support through both of our agencies. We have been able to make a difference in how mental health services are provided to those with intellectual disabilities and acquired brain disorders, and their families–not only in our own region, but also have moved our efforts statewide.
As I have recently stepped into the role of Executive Vice President, I am excited to have the opportunity to use my experience, knowledge, passion, and love for learning in a new way. It is an honor to work in an agency filled with tremendous leadership, outstanding colleagues, and people who want to make a difference—no matter how hard the job can be. I look forward to continuing to be involved with our incredible families within the community, and learning how I can help to ensure that our families feel supported. As a parent myself, I understand the need for strong advocacy, community partnerships, collaboration, and above all, compassion. Though we undoubtedly have some great challenges ahead of us as a system, I am fully dedicated to supporting our individuals, families and agency to rise to such challenges and continue to show up each day with an open mind and heart.
Our 33rd Annual Golf Challenge!
Thank you to all of this year’s sponsors and donors for the 33rd Annual Golf Challenge! This fundraiser would not be possible without your support and dedication towards our area agency.
Pentucket Bank – Premier Corporate Sponsor
Friends of Rockingham County Aging Adults Inc. – Eagle Sponsor
Greater Londonderry Business & Professional Women’s Association – Birdie Sponsor
ABS – Birdie Sponsor
Insure New England – Birdie Sponsor
Independent Services Network, Inc. – Birdie Sponsor
Leone, McDonnell & Roberts, PA – Birdie Sponsor
Pfizer – Birdie Sponsor
Paul and Joan Camell – Birdie Sponsor
Thrive Accounting – Executive Sponsor
David and Sheryl Pellerin – Executive Sponsor
KNG Transportation – Executive Sponsor
BTS Transportation – Executive Sponsor
NH Medicare Benefit Solutions – Executive Sponsor
Enterprise Bank – Executive Sponsor
GSG Supply, Inc. – Executive Sponsor
Cohen Investment Advisors LLC – Executive Sponsor
Chloe’s Shred Shed – Executive Sponsor
JM Electrical – Executive Sponsor
John Riso – Executive Sponsor
Kloeckner Metals – Executive Sponsor
Play Among the Stars Theatre Group – Tee Sponsor
Computech Integrators – Tee Sponsor
Next Steps Community Services – Tee Sponsor
Hawkes Construction & Painting, LLC – Tee Sponsor
Bob and Sandy Nannene – Tee Sponsor
Adele Prairie – Donor
Skyward Specialty Insurance – Donor
East Coast Lumber – Donor
Hire Alliance – Donor
Atkinson Resort & Country Club – Event Venue
We appreciate the support of each and every one of you!
Families Supporting Families
The Community of Practice for Supporting Families (New Hampshire State Team) is hosting virtual sessions on Wednesday August 24th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and again from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The organization writes, “join us and other parents and families from around New Hampshire for a series of informative, inspiring conversations as we go about creating a good life for our family members. Through these conversations, we will apply principles and tools learned from ‘Charting the LifeCourse Framework’.
No registration is necessary. Add this meeting link to your calendar now! Virtual meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8741159636#success.
To learn more about the Community of Practice for Supporting Families and charting the LifeCourse in NH, go to: https://iod.unh.edu/charting-lifecourse-nh.
“We took Josh to his first concert in over two years. We took him to the Bank of NH Pavilion to see Thomas Rhett. Josh was able to invite two friends. He invited his friend Christina (OT student he met at PA), and Leah (one of his LNA’s from the past). Josh had so much fun! He watched a mini concert on the small stage before the concert started. The singer came down to meet Josh and even sang to him. We took a picture of Josh and the whole band. He was beside himself with excitement. This was all before the main concert even started.”