To celebrate Vista’s 15th anniversary, we are shining a spotlight on someone who started his or her employment with Vista across each of the 15 years.
2004 – Jenn Bechtel
Jenn always knew she wanted to pursue a career that would allow her to help others and make a difference in their lives. So when she first came to Vista, she knew she was on the right career path. What started as an internship led Jenn to a position as a valuable and dynamic member of one of Vista’s longest tenured programs, Outreach Services.
After graduating with her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Penn State University, Jenn was intrigued by the opportunity to work in Vista’s Outreach Services and provide services to local public school students with low to moderate autism.
“My favorite part of Outreach is delivering related services directly to the kids. I love working with the students, either in a pull-out session where I’m teaching a skill, or pushing into the classroom to make sure the skill is being applied. I remember having a third grade student in my early years, who I just saw working as an employee in my local Giant. I was so proud to see him doing something meaningful in his own community.”
What is Vista Outreach Services like?
Jenn’s passion for the position she holds is undeniable, as evidenced by her continual dedication and fulfillment of the same support services role throughout the past 13 years. In particular, she values the strong systems in place and consistencies the role brings, but reflects back on how different things were when she first started.
“Outreach was so new then. There were only two of us. I was excited about the opportunity because we were so small and I knew there were talks for growth. With the direction Vista was going in, I knew I wanted to be a part of that.”
“Now, as a bigger department, we meet and get together to talk about what’s going on, even though we’re all working independently in the field. I enjoy having a team of professionals around me who are so good at what they do. I can come to anyone with questions I have and receive an educated answer. We all really support each other.”
What has made you stay so long?
“One of the reasons I love Outreach so much is because of the progress I get to see. It’s one of the reasons I’m still here. There are some students who have tugged at my heartstrings and I think: This is working! This is progress. I’m making a difference! We’re opening people’s eyes. To bring awareness and make people understand that just because you have this diagnosis doesn’t mean you are not talented or don’t have strengths of your own.”
Jenn’s own strengths and expertise have led to countless students across Central Pennsylvania to recognize the skills and assets they have inside, even when they don’t recognize it themselves.