Mary Janick-Smith, M.A.

By Stand Up, Inc. | Employment Specialist

May 13
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.


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