May 12, 2022 By Jordan Moffis, CDHD Interdisciplinary Trainee Congratulations to our graduating CDHD student trainees! We would like to extend a congratulations to five graduating student trainees finishing their degrees this May. Mykala Weremecki, Kiana Woods, Suzanna Winter, Julia Montenegro and Jordan Moffis will be receiving their degrees this weekend. Before they join the ranks of college grads, we sat down for a Q and A with all the soon-to-be graduates about their time at the CDHD and their plans for the future. Congratulations, Mykala Weremecki How long have you worked at the CDHD? Mykala: I've only been at CDHD since January 2022, for my final semester at the University of Idaho. But in my brief time here I've learned so much and can't wait to apply that knowledge. And what are some things you've learned in your position? Mykala: I'm a trainee with IATP, and I've had the honor of working on a couple projects. This includes Tools for Life where I was able to instruct trainees on where we needed help. I'm also working on a V-CAP project that allows vaccine sites and long-term care facilities to communicate with people who have a disability in an effective manner. We provide resources for these sites to have a better understanding of disabilities. It sounds like you were busy! What was your favorite memory of your time here? Mykala: I have really enjoyed working with all the trainee projects and I am looking forward to attending more in the future, such as Courageous Kids Climbing on April 30. Tools for Life was a big event for me because I was able to meet people all around Idaho who have a disability and listen to how they can advocate for themselves and learn about what people have already done. What did you study at the University of Idaho? Mykala: My bachelor's degree is in recreation, sport and tourism management, with an emphasis in recreation management. I have a double minor in outdoor recreation leadership and Spanish. So, what’s next? Mykala: I was recently hired part-time at Fort Boise as an Adaptive Recreation Leader, so I will be moving to Boise and working with Boise Parks and Recreation. I'm excited for this opportunity because I get to spend time with the community and work with people who have a passion and drive to make programs accessible. Congratulations, Kiana Woods How long have you worked at the CDHD and what projects did you work on during your time here? Kiana: I've been at the CDHD since mid-January 2022. I took over the Adaptive Movement classes for the spring semester. I have always been curious about how physical activity might improve one's overall health. I enjoy moving and feel that everyone should have the opportunity to do so. This project enables everyone to get involved in a welcoming and inclusive environment. In addition to the weekly sessions, I was able to bring the Adaptive Movement sessions to the statewide Tools for Life Fair in March. We're so happy that you continued the Adaptive Movement classes! What was your favorite memory in your brief time here? Kiana: I have so many different memories from my time at the CDHD that I will cherish for a long time. During my adaptive movement sessions, I always look forward to seeing everyone and talking with them. Going to training seminars was, however, one of my favorite memories from my time here. I always enjoyed hearing about the projects that the other trainees were involved in and learning more about the CDHD. Everyone that works here has such a strong commitment to what they do, which I admire. You're graduating with a degree in Exercise, Sport and Health Science with a minor in Pre-Health Studies. What are your post-graduation plans? Kiana: After graduation, I intend to continue my education in graduate school. I will be starting a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at the University of Utah on June 1st. This program will last three years, after which I plan to return to the west side to practice. Congratulations, Suzanna Winter How long have you worked at the CDHD? And what projects did you work on while you were here? Suzanna: I've been working at the CDHD for just over a year. I started in January 2021, in the middle of my junior year. When I started at CDHD I worked on CORE and helped with various projects, supporting other trainees. After a few months I started working on Disability Advocacy Network of Idaho (DANI). I've been running their social media, creating posts around things that will affect individuals with disabilities and how they can advocate for themselves. That’s awesome! What's your favorite memory from working at the CDHD? Suzanna: One of my favorite things has been participating in artAbility and interacting with all the participants. I'm also incredibly grateful for having a space to learn more about working in the professional world, and for everyone who has been willing to help me grow as a young professional. What did you study at the University of Idaho? Suzanna: I'm finishing my degree in human development and family studies. I have studied a lot about how individuals develop as they grow up, and the various development theories. And what do you plan to do post-graduation? Suzanna: After graduation I am going to continue to work at the CDHD while I grow my connections and decide where I want to work long-term. Congratulations, Julia Montenegro How long have you worked at the CDHD? Julia: I've worked at the CDHD for just three short months – four by the time I graduate. During your time, what project(s) did you work on? Julia: I focused on planning the Palouse Family Fair – Walk and Roll event for the community. This role involved all parts, big and small, of the planning process. From getting the permit for the space we used to writing a grant! The event was planned collaboratively with myself, Families Together and Palouse Alliance. That’s great! Do you have a favorite memory of your time at the CDHD? Julia: My favorite memory during my time here is probably when I got the email from Olivia that we were awarded the grant I wrote. It was such an amazing feeling! With your degree in psychology and human development and your minor in mathematics, what do you plan to do next? Julia: After graduation I will be working in the health insurance industry for about a year. I'd like to gain more experience and save money, while working towards my long-term goal of being an event coordinator for a children’s hospital! Congratulations, Jordan Moffis How long have you been at the CDHD? Jordan: I've been working at the CDHD for almost two years now. I began in the summer of 2020. Time flies! What projects were you working on during those two years? Jordan: Since beginning at the CDHD, I've been on the CORE team working as the Dissemination Trainee. I work with my supervisor to create social media posts for both Instagram and Facebook. We aim to disseminate important, fun and informative content to the disability community in Idaho. This past year, I've also helped with the student-led artAbility project, writing a grant, helping at workshops, and getting ready for the eighth annual showcase. And what is your favorite memory of your time here? Jordan: This is a hard question because I have many great memories from the past two years. Overall, I would have to say that what I will look back on most will be working with the other trainees and building my professional skills. The support that the trainees get from staff and their fellow trainees is unmatched. I have been able to expand my knowledge about the disability community and connect with them through projects that the other trainees have led like Adaptive Movement, artAbility, Courageous Kids Climbing, and more. I have also been able to create and lead my own campaign that gave me skills I would otherwise not have. What did you study at the University of Idaho? Do you have post-graduation plans? Jordan: I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting and Digital Media, with minors in communications and women, gender, and sexuality studies and a certificate in equity and justice. After graduation I will be staying in the Palouse area to gain more experience in my field and then I hope to move to Portland to continue my professional development in digital media. From everyone at the CDHD, congratulations, graduating trainees! Thank you for your time and hard work. We have seen your talent and dedication first-hand, and we are proud of everything you have accomplished. We wish you the best of success as you start the next exciting chapter of your lives.