Meet Kelley Peterson

Kelley Peterson is the director of participant services at the Center of Hope. We asked Kelley to give us her thoughts on her time at the Center.

How long have you been at the Center? 18 1/2 years

Please describe your role at the Center. I am the Director of Participant Services so I oversee anything participant related like implementing new programs, intake and discharge, SDA services, etc.

Why did you choose this field? I had worked with my mom one summer during college taking care of a boy with a lot of physical needs and intellectual disability. That spurred my interest in the field and then with my degree in psychology and my enjoyment of working with people it was a great fit!

What advice would you give someone who is interested in working at the Center? This is the best job i have ever had!  No two days are the same, you get to work with amazing people that become family and also help people learn and gain new skills.

What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years? The state’s vision for our participants and what they want in life is very skewed. Not all of our participants want community jobs or to go on outings, they should get a choice as to what they would like to do with their day. It has been a big change from when I started, a lot of participants did production work five hours a day for sub-minimum wage, but now our participants are earning minimum wage which is a great accomplishment. I think the variety of programs and choices we are offer continues to grow and expand each year, which is also a positive change!

What keeps you at the Center? My relationships with all the participants and their families and staff, we feel like one big family!  I also love to see the smiles on the faces of the people we serve and the difference we make in their life.

Anything else you’d like us to know? The Center is an amazing place to be or to support so if you would like to know more or are interested in working here please reach out!


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