My Personal Fundraising Page
My name is Cindy Vaquera. I am a mother of two girls and a boy. I began working with TASC close to 5 years ago. TASC became my family close to 3 years ago. The reason I mention my children is because TASC has become their home as well. My kids have helped on volunteer days and have attended events and fundraisers as well as know a great chunk of co-workers and clients. They have been loved and supported with me, which is what makes this a unique, family-oriented company that I love.
When I began working with TASC, I was 5 months pregnant with my third child. At that point I had never worked for a community-based company that worked with adults with disabilities. I had experience, but no type of experience can compare to the invaluable experience that I gained with TASC. I started with TASC in a 1:6 ratio that means I was responsible for 6 clients. It was very challenging for me as first because every individual has their own personality; and I quickly found out that most of the time it conflicted with another client's personality. I was the referee at times, the peacemaker. My clients taught me so much…they were the most loving, affectionate, caring, patient people I had ever met.
I felt very loved and spoiled by my co-workers and clients. Every good morning to me included a good morning to Zoey, which was in my belly at the time. I was completely spoiled my clients and co-workers threw me a baby shower where parents sent gifts to my baby. Handmade cards were written and a lot of warm hugs were given. Even on my hardest of days, my clients would be there for me and the patience they had was amazing. On transportation training days when I was 8 months pregnant, I felt so tired to continue walking. Thankfully, my clients showed lots of care and would slow down and wait for me to take a break. I felt so much love that it was so easy to give it back.
A few months after I came back from maternity leave, I was offered a promotion that entailed working with a 1 to 1 client. I was so scared to take on this new responsibility because I didn't know if I could do it. With a 1:1 client the work is a bit more intense. There is a plan you have to follow and a certain way to do things. I was in that role for about a year and a half. I became extremely attached to my client and I learned so much from him. I don't think there is a way for me to ever repay everything that client taught me. It wasn't easy, but believe me but it was worth it.
Well after a year and a half of me working with my client there was a new opportunity that was offered to me. TASC used to share one big van between groups – then one van became two. With the company growing quickly, the two vans turned into 36 vehicles for 36 different groups. These vans allowed staff to pick clients up from their homes and drive them to their daily activities and then drop them off at home. There was 7coordinators,36 vehicles and close to 3 different programs. Managing all of this with all of their extra responsibilities was a hard task. That is where I come in, with the help of a few amazing people that believed I could handle the job I became the now known "fleet manager". I was learning quickly, and I was so excited to grow that I was going to make sure that I did everything possible to get things done and get them done right. It has been a challenge but I continue to learn how to manage our fleet and provide all of the needed support to our drivers, coordinators and directors.
While I was mainly in the office coordinating the vehicles, I missed my clients and my interaction with them. I knew I eventually wanted the opportunity to coordinate groups. With the help of many individuals, that goal I had set for myself came true. But honestly I could not have done it without the people that believed in me and advocated for me. I didn't believe in myself the way they did. I was scared but now I manage the fleet and coordinate 3 of our CIT groups. I enjoy this challenge and I continue to grow and learn. Everyone at TASC that I know helps me when I am lost or confused. I am constantly learning and growing and my passion for what I do grows as well. I lead the CSUN and Valley groups. All of my clients have a very special story and very special place in my heart.
So you see, TASC is a lot more than a non-profit organization. TASC is a family. TASC supports individuals in ways that no one can understand. TASC supports families and their employees. TASC truly cares and loves what they do. Every director, coordinator, coach, BCBA, and employment specialist puts their heart and soul into helping our clients. We are all stronger together and we all have our stories and love for our clients. Every party, event, fundraiser, job opportunity, volunteer opportunity, cooking class, music therapy, art therapy, and many more things we do here at TASC take time and are done with so much love for our clients. We love what we do but we need people to join the family and support us so we can support our clients and continue to offer these essential opportunities. We are a non-profit and we fundraise to help continue our services to grow, serve and continue to spread the love and hope.