Meet Sophie Gaziano

Sophie Gaziano is the transition outreach specialist at the Center of Hope. She started at the Center in 2016. We asked Sophie to give us her thoughts on her time at the Center.

Please describe your role at the Center. As the transition outreach specialist, I work with students in the Rockford high schools, starting as early as 15 years of age (Freshman) up until their 22nd birthday and when they age out of their educational program.

I work with them and their families to access the community. One way they might access the community is coming to Barbara Olson Center to attend a half or full day. To help them along the process, I provide tours of Center of Hope, along with the help of Sue Rohl, participant services/nursing assistant. If there are days that the Center needs some extra hands, I can also help where needed.

What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years? The biggest change I’ve seen over the years are the amount of IEP meetings I attend via Zoom. Also, that COH has fewer people since years past.

What keeps you at the Center? I enjoy being a resource to those families who need guidance and support. I enjoy seeing our participants get to be a part of something that is helping them reach their goals beyond the educational system. I love seeing them be as independent as they are able. My fellow colleagues are pretty cool, too.

Anything else you’d like us to know? I love birding and enjoy watching all the birds at my feeders in the backyard. The pandemic got me really interested in it and I saw birds in Rockford I never knew existed. I also drove to Chicago early one morning to catch a rare sighting of a hummingbird only typically found in Mexico.