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Alejandra Gomez

Direct Support Professional

Alejandra Gomez is a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at Rainbows United. This will be her second year working at Camp Woodchuck. Alejandra found out about Rainbows when she was working at her full-time job at an elementary school in a self-contained classroom. “I work mostly with students who have Autism,” Alejandra said. “My first year as a paraeducator, I met twins, one boy and one girl. I built a strong connection with them. It was hard not to. They are the sweetest!” Alejandra ended up moving to a different school and she was sad she wouldn’t get to see the twins grow up.

“When I moved schools, I had a teacher ask me if I knew the twins. I said, ‘Yes of course! Those are my babies!’” After that, the teacher made a point to keep Alejandra updated on how the twins were doing because she was best friends with their dad. “One day, the teacher said, ‘Hey, the twins’ dad is looking for someone to take care of…’ I cut her off right there, and immediately said yes,” said Alejandra. The teacher explained to Alejandra that care would be through an organization who helps families and children with disabilities. “I knew right away that was something I would love to be a part of.”

This summer will be a year since Alejandra has had the opportunity to work on a regular basis with the twins. “It has been a blessing to be a part of their lives, and I have enjoyed getting closer to them,” says Alejandra. “I’ve also enjoyed getting to know their parents. I admire them, and it’s clear where the twins get their kind, loving, and caring nature. They have no idea how thankful I am that they chose me to help take care of their babies.” Alejandra also works with Tiffany Graf, the Family Support Services Coordinator. “Alejandra is a very sweet and caring person. She loves the kids and their families and is willing to help where it is needed. She is a leader, and this year she is a Lead at Camp Woodchuck,” said Tiffany.

Alejandra is currently enrolled at WSU where she is working towards her bachelor’s degree in Elementary education. She hopes to continue schooling afterward so she can become a special education elementary teacher. Alejandra has had some previous experience in her field of education. “I started working with children who have special needs in 2020,” said Alejandra. “I knew it was something I wanted to do for a long time when I realized the impact I have when I am patient and provide them with the tools and skills they need to support their development and equip them for future success.”

“My biggest achievement is all  the connections and relationships I’ve built with the children I’ve met since working at Rainbows,” Alejandra said. “They motivate and inspire me to be a better person, educator, and advocate. They remind me to enjoy the little things and find joy wherever you are. It’s truly a blessing.”

When school is in session, Alejandra’s workday starts at scho0l helping kids get off the bus. Then they have breakfast and work on the child’s individual goals. Alejandra supports them during classroom inclusion times. “It’s something different every day, but I try my best to make sure we are always having fun, and the kids feel loved, seen, and heard.” Alejandra’s favorite part of working at Rainbows as a DSP is giving parents a break. She has seen how much they do for their kiddos, and knowing she provides a little relief for them makes her feel like she is making a difference.

“My favorite memory at Rainbows is the first time I worked with one of my kiddos, and we were driving around, and I let him play music,” Alejandra said. “He put on The Climb, by Miley Cyrus, and asked me to sing with him. I thought it was silly at first and hesitated, but I joined him, and we both sang at the top of our lungs.” Now every time Alejandra steps in the car with this child, it’s a karaoke session. “Nothing else matters in those moments, and it’s one of the few times I truly feel present and not in my own head overthinking about life,” says Alejandra.

Alejandra loves to read and has recently started reading poetry. She also enjoys gardening and taking care of her plants. “I love to go thrifting in my free time by myself or with my best friend.” Alejandra’s work family has always been there for her during difficult times. They give her the best advice, and they all share the love of supporting students with special needs. “They understand me on a different level without any judgement,” said Alejandra. “I wouldn’t be here without them; they are my support system.”

By Megan Bailey, Volunteer Writer

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