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Meet Bre Millspaugh
Life Enrichment Skills Trainer

Bre is one of 5 Ascendigo Skills Trainers working with our adult life enrichment participants. She helps Implement individualized programs for adults based on applied behavioral analysis principles that increase communication, independence, and social skills. She utilizes positive reinforcement and antecedent modification to facilitate interactions with peers, coworkers, and families. Bre does an amazing job keeping our clients motivated to learn all while having a great time!

Favorite Ascendigo Memory:
My favorite Ascendigo memory is when Zachary DeMeo got his first paycheck at Phat Thai. This brought me to tears, I knew that Zachary would be soon getting paid for his outstanding work but did not realize it would come so soon. Zachary is more than a client to me; he is a lifelong friend and I was so incredibly proud to see him hold his first paycheck. That day changed the way I looked at Zachary forever. He has become an independent working man and still amazes me each day with his increase in independence.

For my favorite Ascendigo moment I have to give you the back story. When Bill Bernard, one of our Life Enrichment participants, and I traveled to Denver with my dog Daisy. I said aloud that I forgot to call “my mother dearest” to let her know that I was dropping Daisy off at her house. The next day Bill and my boss Sarah Stamper went to the Denver Zoo and Bill saw a stuffed animal koala and asked us if the stuffed animal was the “mother dearest.” Bill never ceases to bring a smile to my face!

Ascendigo Means:
Ascendigo means more than just a job to me. It is my family, my passion, and my favorite place to be. Ascendigo means an opportunity for growth and independence. A place for children and adults to feel like they belong and matter. Ascendigo does this not only for our participants but for their staff. I feel blessed to be a part of this company and its philosophy of person-centered care and planning.

Vision for Ascendigo’s Future:
I envision Ascendigo being a chain of organizations across the world. Spreading our vision and philosophy to other states and countries. Helping other families and individuals with autism.

Meet Chris Margaritis
Outreach Clinical Manager

Favorite Ascendigo Memory:
My short time here at Ascendigo has been filled with memories that will last with me for a lifetime. To comb through these memories and find a single one to talk about has been difficult, to say the least. So I am going to cheat a bit. I think I have some memories that truly define the connection we are looking to create with all the participants in our programs. In Outreach, we have parent coaching as a part of our program. We get the immense pleasure of watching parents learn and grow with their child. They create a connection with their children, and vice versa, that some never knew was possible. These sessions create moments of tears, laughter, and connection that always allows me to feel the gravity of what Outreach does. There is something special about watching a parent and child look each other in the eyes and share a moment of belly laughter over a silly game. The joy in a parent’s face when their child “goes” on the potty for the first time. These are the memories that stick out most for me and I look forward to creating many more.

Ascendigo Means:
Ascendigo means something more to me than camps, therapy, or learning. It is more than a place where families, organizations, and individuals with certain needs can come to have questions answered. Ascendigo means hope. Hope that a child will thrive in that first classroom. Hope that they will have a house full of friends at birthday parties. Hope that fun and excitement in new activities can be had. Hope that a lifetime of fulfillment is ahead of them. Ascendigo means more than behavior change. It means hope for a life that is created, by those we serve, to be just as they dreamed it up.

Vision for Ascendigo’s Future:
My future vision for Ascendigo is to continue to create an organization that supports the community of the Roaring Fork Valley through connection. I see Ascendigo being a point of contact for schools, families, and organizations looking for support. Creating a network of connection for all participants. Connection based on the value they provide through who they truly are as people. Helping them connect with friends, connect with teachers and employers, and connect with their families and themselves. Then through the individual, expanding the connection into the community. Ascendigo will be the hub for connection within the area. A light of hope that can be turned to when answers are needed most.

Meet Emily Geraci
Adventures Program Administrator

Emily is the first point of contact for adventures camp families and participants. She updates and maintains all resources, registrations, marketing materials, program descriptions, databases and so much more. She is friendly, positive, and brings a huge amount of energy to the Adventures team… all with a smile on her face.

Favorite Ascendigo Memory:
Preparing for Summer Adventures Camp is a long process, add to the fact that I only started with the organization about a month beforehand. My nerves were all over the place and I needed to get used to it…my anxiety wasn’t going to dissipate anytime soon.

With the support of my team, I stood behind the main “Check In” table for our first day of camp. I was the initial staff member that campers and families met; and though it was my inaugural summer camp, I was confident that I could be a helpful, familiar face.

Meeting each camper and their family members for the first time was an experience that I hold close to my heart. The smiles, the positive energy, and the anticipation were evident in the room. I immediately felt at ease and realized how special this day truly was. I couldn’t stop smiling! The nerves subsided, and I became aware that I had found my place, I knew in that moment that Ascendigo was going to become a huge part of who I am and not just a job.

As a first-time camper and a first-time parent of a camper, maybe there are some similar feelings? Not knowing what to expect but discovering a supportive environment for growth and a chance to become a part of a group that sticks with you for years to come.

Ascendigo Means:
Ascendigo means navigating this incredibly complex world with the support of a dedicated and passionate team. This organization has helped to create strong community awareness for the unique population of youth and adults across the autism spectrum. Ascendigo has the responsibility to become the forefront for such critical issues, programs, and services.

Vision for Ascendigo’s Future:
Ascendigo is growing exponentially. In the realm of Ascendigo’s Adventure Program, I see facilities that support our summer and winter camps, a space to create a one of a kind experience for everyone. I welcome the chance to meet more and more new participants each season and am excited to reunite with those that have been a part of our program for years. To make this future happen, we need our community. With community support, the possibilities are endless and our organization has the potential to reach incredible new heights!

Winter is here!

Meet us on the mountain for an experience of a lifetime!
Skiing or Snowboarding for individuals on the autism spectrum, ages 7 +

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