All Posts by Stand Up, Inc.

About the Author

Jul 08

Gina Robinson

By Stand Up, Inc. | Employment Specialist


Gina Robinson


Employment Specialist

Prior to working at Stand Up, Inc. I worked in various social service positions in different areas of the county. In South Carolina I worked as a Health Educator for the Department of Health and Environmental Control. In Wisconsin I worked as a Financial Eligibility Specialist for the Wisconsin Works (W-2) program and I worked as a Title IV-E Eligibility Specialist for Wisconsin’s Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.

Why did I choose this field? I became an advocate for others initially because my mother suffered from mental illness and I inherently wanted to protect the part of my mother that I knew to be loving, engaging and was a vital part of her community.

Favorite Quote:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails….” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Hobbies:

Church ministries, running..ok maybe like walking and spending time with my husband.


May 13

Mary Janick-Smith, M.A.

By Stand Up, Inc. | Employment Specialist

Picture of staff

Mary Janick-Smith, M.A.


Employment Specialist

I have previously worked in a variety of roles providing mental health services to individuals and families through a Community Services Board, in family homes and in a hospital setting. I supported people who have neurological and sensory processing disorders, medical, physical and intellectual challenges as a Psychologist at Central Virginia Training Center and, for nearly two decades, I operated a community-based Day Support program.

As a DS Coordinator I established and maintained community partnerships that enabled Day Support participants to regularly engage in challenging and meaningful activities. Ongoing activities included adaptive skiing with Wintergreen Adaptive Sports, gardening with Hill City Master Gardeners, creating and exhibiting artwork in community locations, acting as big brothers and big sisters for elementary school students, walking and brushing horses at a local farm, etc. Unlike typical Day Support programs, I welcomed and successfully provided therapeutic services to people with challenging behaviors including people on the ASD spectrum.

My passion for supporting people with challenges to achieve maximum independence has led me to Stand Up! When done well, Day Support provides people with meaningful activity that increases personal satisfaction and allows people to positively contribute to the world around them. However, the ability to experience oneself as fully adult is compromised while one is completely dependent on others.

It is important for those who have the skills and desire to work to have opportunities to have paid employment. Customized employment provides an opportunity to use one’s natural gifts, develop new skills and relationships, and earn income all of which empower choice and independence.

I am delighted to be creating customized employment at Stand Up, Inc. It is a pleasure to be doing so with management and co-workers who share with me a gentle, patient, optimistic, determined spirit and the skills to accomplish this outcome for as many people as possible.

Hobbies:

Walking with our dog, hiking, backpacking and traveling to new places. I enjoy art in all forms especially paintings and creative healthy foods.


Nov 28

Lynchburg Va. Project SEARCH Student Lands Dream Job

By Stand Up, Inc. | Transition Services

Patrons of Blackwater Coffee Company wait patiently in line as a young dark-haired man prepares a list of drinks made to order. He maintains a pleasant demeanor, even as the line at the counter inches out into the mall's open area. They see his sharp, precise movements as he skillfully mixes various liquids together, pouring them in their cups without spilling a drop. This Lynchburg Va. Project SEARCH student's movements bring to mind a well-oiled machine, dutifully completing each task in a quick, timely manner.

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Nov 19

Janie Blankenship

By Stand Up, Inc. | Employment Specialist

Janie Blankenship


Employment Specialist

Janie is and organized and disciplined professional with extensive background in Human Services and Psychology. She received her dual Bachelors of Science in Human Services and Psychology with Cum Laude status from Old Dominion University in 2016.

Janie seeks to utilize her education and work experience in a position to support individuals, families, and the community.

Favorite Quote:

“Nothing can keep you from reaching your goals. Do It!”


Nov 14

Paige Boardwine

By Stand Up, Inc. | Portfolio

Paige Boardwine


Regional Supervisor/SW VA

Hello! I graduated from Concord University with my Bachelors in Psychology in 2015. I am originally from McDowell County, West Virginia but moved to Tazewell Virgina soon after I graduated college to find better employment. I am now a Regional Supervisor for the Southwest Area.

I chose this field because I have always had a passion for helping others. Since working for Stand Up, I have grown to be a better person because of what this job has shown me. My customers have taught me so many things and shown me, as well as others, that the "impossible" is possible. I absolutely love watching them succeed and watching them gain confidence in themselves. I honestly cannot think of one aspect of my job that I do not enjoy.

My previous job experience was a waitress. One of my favorite things was being around people and helping them with the things that they needed. I love to see people smile, and one way to do that is to make your customers happy!

My hobbies include being outdoors. I love to hunt, fish, kayak, etc. I also enjoy playing tennis and hiking.

My favorite quote is:
You are you, that is truer than true, there is no one alive who is youer than you - Dr. Seuss



Email: [email protected]


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