Rena has been working for the Arc of Loudoun since 2007. She began as an instructor at The Aurora School, a school for children with developmental disabilities; primarily autism. Since 2011, she’s worked at the Open Door Learning Center, an intentionally inclusive preschool for children with and without disabilities, located on the Paxton Campus. When speaking about her career at The Arc, Rena becomes emotional.
“I love doing this because I know I’m helping somebody and making their life better,” she says. “I can really see the growth in children, and I see them open up and blossom–it’s a wonderful feeling…I love it!”
Rena constantly sees changes in the children because of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. She’s experienced children who never even said “Hi”, to now interacting with their peers on the playground and initiating conversations. Her favorite thing is to see success! She says ABA therapy changes people’s lives. And when parents tell her what a difference it makes– that’s one of the goals, knowing that it’s making a difference in people’s lives.
“It makes me so happy!” Rena exclaims. “Moreover, knowing that the children will now be able to thrive in the community because of schools like Aurora and ODLC, it’s what keeps me motivated.”
She hopes that The Arc will continue grow even bigger and reach out to more people.
“There are programs, but there are no programs like this,” Rena states. “I would hope in the next 50 years, The Arc expands into different school districts, different counties, and even different states! There is no limit on what The Arc can do to help the community!”