January News

Did you know?

The Virtual Catalyst Rehab Telethon is only 1 month away!

To get involved call us at 419-774-6710

Click HERE To Support The Telethon TODAY!

Panda Express Telethon Fundraiser

Catalyst Life Services will be hosting a fundraising event at Panda Express on January 10th!

To participate place an order through Panda Express in Ontario on January 10th, 2022 and be sure to bring in a flyer that is either printed out or digital. While you’re placing your order be sure to let them know you are ordering for the Catalyst Life Services Fundraising event!

20% of proceeds from customers that bring in this flyer, will be donated to the Catalyst Rehab Telethon!
Click HERE To Print Your Flyer

Chipotle Telethon Fundraiser

Catalyst Life Services will be hosting a fundraising event at Chipotle on January 19th!

To participate place an order through Chipotle at the Ontario location on January 19th, 2022. While you’re placing your order be sure to let them know you are ordering for the Catalyst Life Services Fundraising Event!

All proceeds from customers that bring in a flyer or say they are ordering for Catalyst, will be donated to the Catalyst Rehab Telethon!
Click HERE To Print Your Flyer

Congratulations on Your Retirement 

We congratulate Donna Stout on her retirement after 27 years, as well as Candy Rush after 23 years!

They will both be greatly missed! Catalyst wishes them the very best of luck on this exciting milestone!

Community Support

Catalyst Life Services is so grateful for 33 Forever’s generous Christmas contribution.

33 Forever was able to gift our clients, who were unable to be with their families over the holidays, with a Christmas dinner and gifts to help spread holiday cheer!

Thank you 33 Forever for your continued support in our effort to serve the community.

Catalyst Life Services would like to thank NAMI for their generosity in giving back to those in our Oasis Peer Center over the holidays!

NAMI was able to give back to those in recovery by spreading Christmas joy and offering a smiling face to our community.

Thank you NAMI for all you do for Catalyst Life Services and our community!

December News

Did you know?

Only 8 more weeks until the Catalyst Virtual Telethon!

And there are many ways to get involved!

1. Create a Facebook Fundraising Page

2. Join a Phone Bank

3. Businesses can have a dress down day

4. Businesses can set out a change jar or have a ’round up’ option for customers

To get involved call us at 419-774-6710!

2022 Catalyst Rehab Telethon Chair

We are excited to announce that Doc Stumbo is joining the Catalyst Rehab Telethon Committee as Chair. Doc has a long history with Catalyst Life Services. He was on the board at The Center for Individuals & Family Services, Inc. for 18 years when they merged with The Rehab Center to form Catalyst Life Services. While he worked at GM, he would help connect employees and their families to counseling services at our agency. Doc has been involved in helping raise funds since the first Telethon and helped facilitate companies and unions working together for this special event. Doc believes deeply in the mission of Catalyst and says, “You really don’t know when you need help, but when you do, Catalyst is always there for you.”

Doc Stumbo was born in Mingo County, West Virgina. After serving in Vietnam, he moved to Ohio and has been a resident of Richland County for more than 60 years. He retired from General Motors, serving as Public Relations liaison for both the plant and the United Auto Workers in the Mansfield area. Doc recently retired from Graham Auto Mall in Public Relations. He has served on more than 20 boards, including: The Salvation Army, CACY, Toy Time, United Way, Richland County Home, The Center, Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, Richland County Health Department, the Richland County Mental Health Board, and many others. Stumbo is instramental in organizing the Make a Difference Food Drive every year for area food pantries, and has helped organize the Dash to the Goal in partnership with United Way.

Welcome Doc — We are honored to have you spearhead this initiative!

Agents of Change

Click the image above to hear Alyse Schroeder, SUD Residential Supervisor and Detox Referral Manager. Alyse shares how the holiday season can be the hardest season of the year for many people.

Linda Linn’s Retirement 

We congratulate Linda Linn on her retirement after 49 years!

Although she will be helping us as needed, she will be greatly missed! We wish her the very best of luck on this exciting milestone.

Richland Gives

We are so grateful to our community!

We received a total of $2,551 for Richland Gives which will go toward helping us continue our life-saving services!

July News

Did you know?

Minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to receive quality care.

Poor mental health care access contributes to poor mental health outcomes among minority populations.

For mental health support call our 24/7 Helpline 419-522-HELP (4357)

Click HERE to watch a video about National Minority Mental Health Month

Sparking the Conversation

Click HERE to watch Elaine Surber and Erin Schaefer as they represent Catalyst Life Services on the show Sparking the Conversation.

Learn More About WIOA

WIOA stands for Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act and it is giving individuals ages 18-24 so many new resources and opportunities to make their way into the workforce. If you or someone you know is interested in this WIOA program please contact Stephanie Jakubick at 419-774-2250!

Click HERE to read an article and learn more about the option offered for transitional youth support!

Behavioral Health Urgent Care

Catalyst is preparing to welcome the new Behavioral Health Urgent Care on August 2nd!

Check out the flexible hours offered for those seeking help in the community!

Catalyst at the Carrousel

Click HERE to learn more about our community event at the Carrousel on August 6th! Stop by and visit our team members to learn more about all of the services Catalyst has to offer and enjoy a night of fun!

Oasis is Reopening


LAST CALL! Today is your last opportunity to register for the Catalyst Life Services Golf Scrammble that is hosted by Mid-Ohio Area CLC!

Click HERE to lock in your spot and register now!

June News

Did You Know?

Progress Industries has been serving the community since 1964 providing employment opportunities to individuals with barriers to employment. Chan Stevens was integral in the start of this workshop 57 years ago and has had a huge impact ever since.

Click HERE to read a recent article about Chan Stevens and Progress Industries!

Photo provided by Mansfield News Journal.

Chan Stevens – Catalyst Hall of Fame
On Tuesday June 15th, Chan Stevens was the inaugural inductee into the newly formed Catalyst Life Services Hall Of Fame. Chan Stevens began his lifetime of exceptional work at the age of 16 by transporting children with disabilities to and from their treatment appointments. Chan has provided dedicated service and efforts where they count most, by chairing two successful capital campaigns benefiting much needed new and updated facilities. Chan has been giving to his community for most of his life and has served as an integral member of the Board of Trustees for 57 years. His virtue and wisdom will leave an indelible imprint on Catalyst Life Services and the many we serve in our community. 

Click HERE to learn more about Chan’s life and successes!

Golf Scramble

The Golf Scramble is hosted by Mid-Ohio Area CLC

Register by filling out a registration form and bringing it into Catalyst OR register online by clicking below!


Join us at the Richland Carrousel  on August 6th from 6PM to 8PM to get the chance to learn more about the services offered at Catalyst while enjoying free snacks, beverages, carrousel rides, face paint, balloons, and more!

Coming Soon

Stay tuned to learn more about the Behavioral Health Urgent Care services that will be available at Catalyst in the following months. The Behavioral Health Urgent Care will allow for immediate access for initial assessments and brief, solution-focused counseling Monday through Saturday and two evenings per week, on a walk-in basis.

A Message From the CEO

Catalyst would like to thank you for your continued partnership and support of the agency. We are grateful for the trust you have given us to support the community in such critical ways. We wanted to inform you that last week, our agency completed a 3-day survey facilitated by the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitative Facilities (CARF). CARF is an international gold standard accreditation, in which our program standards are reviewed by professionals who determine if the agency is meeting over 3,000 key standards.

These standards look at many areas, including: Finance, Human Resources, IT, Health/Safety, Leadership, Governance,  Vocational Services, Mental Health/Substance Abuse Services and programming, Audiology and several other areas.  We are proud to share that Catalyst received zero findings during this review, and were found to be 100 percent compliant with all standards. Our lead surveyor shared the rarity of an organization having zero findings, stating that “it is almost unheard of.” Our CARF surveyors stated “Staff at Catalyst are professional, caring, competent and take pride in their work.”  The CARF surveyors referred to Catalyst as “the flagship organization in our area.”  We are proud of our results and the quality services we provide to the community and so we felt it important to share this success with our partners, stake holders, and funding sources. We look forward to another year of serving the community.

What does CARF accreditation mean for the public? 

For those being served, CARF accreditation means that the CARF-accredited service provider is committed to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, respecting preferences of individuals (cultural or otherwise), and providing the best quality of care possible.  It also shows that the accredited organization values the feedback and input of their clients and is accountable to the community.  Accreditation demonstrates that a CARF-accredited service provider has made a specific commitment to put the needs of their residents at the center of everything they do and that they respect the rights and individuality of its clients. 

May News

Did you Know?

The average individual waits 11 years to get mental health support and services. You don’t have to wait!

Call 419-756-1717 between 7:30am – 9:30am, Monday through Thursday, for Open Access! If you are in need of Mental Health or Substance Use Services, Open Access will allow you to be assessed by a Clinician that very same day! 

To learn more about our Open Access hours click HERE.

Nicole Kimble, the Adult Mental Health Program Director, shares about the mental health services offered by Catalyst and why it is important to bring awareness to mental health during mental health month and beyond.

Wellness Wednesday

This event is open to the community and is entirely free! Come to the event if you are:

– Looking for mental health supports or desiring to maintain wellness
– Curious about telehealth services
– In need of support for family members
– Interested in vocational services
– Interested in substance use treatment options

Narcan Training: 12:45pm & 4:30pm
**Dr. Bocka and Catalyst staff will be presenting hands on Narcan training with kit, answering questions about addiction, and providing hope.

Free COVID Vaccination Clinic: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
**the vaccine clinic will have an ASL interpreter available for the entire time.

*Parking is in the back of the building.
For questions or to RSVP for the Narcan training, call 419-774-6710

Open Interviews for Counselor Assistants

Catalyst Life Services is expanding their services and has increased opportunities for Counselor Assistants. These positions are ideal for individuals looking to grow in the field of mental health and drug and alcohol services. Under general supervision, the Counselor Assistant provides crisis intervention, phone services, initial access
services and mental health/AOD assistance (including monitoring self-medications and daily living skills) to clients in our residential treatment facilities.

Our Counselor Assistants receive extensive training, coupled with hands on learning from highly experienced Counselors and Therapists. Training dollars available to assist individuals with obtaining their CDCA.

Full-time, 40 hour a week positions are available, as well as part-time positions.
Shift differential is given for 2nd and 3rd shift as well as on the weekends.
*Qualifications: High school diploma, auto insurance, and an Ohio driver’s license with an acceptable driving record required.

If you are interested but unable to attend either of the open interview
slots you can call or email:
Trena Jacobs @ 419-756-1717
Mandi Whitlatch @ 419-526-6102

Mental Health for Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Free Mental Health/AOD training opportunity on live webinar on the following dates: 5/7, 5/21, 6/4, 6/10, 6/25.  The training, Providing Culturally Appropriate Mental Health Care to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals was made possible by a grant through the Ohio Department of Mental Health.  This training has 6.5 CEU’s.

Community Support

Congratulations to our vocational department for once again being awarded the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) contract for youth services. These funds, totaling over $353,000, go toward helping youth with barriers reach their employment and educational goals.

Click Here WIOA Richland County on Facebook

We are so proud of our vocational department and all the amazing work they do!

Stay Safe Together

Catalyst staff wore blue to work on April 14th in support of April being National Child Abuse Awareness Month.  Richland County Children Services theme this year is “Staying Safe Together”. The most important thing we can do to help children thrive is to support families before they reach a crisis.

February News

Did you Know?

The 30th Annual Catalyst Rehab Telethon was a huge success!

We went off-air at $115,000 and have now received more than $123,000 in pledges! We are so thankful to ALL who were involved!

30th Annual Catalyst Rehab Telethon raises over 123,000 and counting!

Click the image above to read about the success of the Telethon! Hear from the CEO of Catalyst, Laura Montgomery, as she shares how grateful she is to the community and to all who were involved!

Melissa talks about the power of collaboration and philanthropy as she reflects on the incredible success of the 30th Annual Catalyst Rehab Telethon.

Telethon Success Stories

Click to watch these amazing testimonies of strength and perseverance as each one of these clients came to Catalyst with a specific need and desire to be the best they could be.

Open Access

Call into Catalyst between 7:30am – 9:30am, Monday through Thursday, for Open Access! If you are in need of Mental Health or Substance Use Services, Open Access will allow you to be accessed by a Clinician that very same day! 

Community Support

The 15th annual “Will Tube for Food” event to benefit Catalyst Life Services, was held at Snow Trails Vertical Descent Tubing Park during Glow Tubing on Wednesday, Jan. 20th. Click to read more about this successful event! 

Click the image above to read about the passion and generosity of a woman, the collaboration of many and the power of a purse.

November News

Did you know?

The Catalyst Rehab Telethon first started in 1992 at WMFD TV.  This year is the 30th annual Rehab Telethon! Over these past 29 years we have raised $2,498,016!

What is your role and how long have you been involved with the Telethon?

This will be the 6th year that I will be serving in the capacity as Chairperson for the Telethon – the last three years and I also had a stint of a similar time frame years before.  In various capacities, be it fundraising, participating as a host and as a donor, I have been part of this event for at least the last fifteen years or so. 

What made you choose to get involved/why are you passionate about this cause?

 Providing critical physical and behavioral healthcare programs for our community has to be our number one priority, as we can bring about positive changes in the lives of so many.  Catalyst Life Services plays a vital role in our area to provide much needed services. 

How is this year different than previous years?

This year is special, it marks the 30th anniversary of this successful event.  This year we will bring the community together virtually to allow for social distancing guidelines set by the state. It’s ironic, we are going to a taped, studio setting made possible by the great people at WMFD-TV, just like the first year back in 1992!  We will still have entertainment and check presentations and community guests but it will be handled remotely or in some cases pre-recorded. 

Why is donating to the Telethon more important this year than ever?

The need is ever greater, given the physiological and psychological toll the pandemic is taking on our daily lives.  We hope this event will continue to help fill in the funding gaps for those in need especially this year as mental health concerns and substance use continues to rise during this uncertain time.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

There is no greater feeling in this world than the satisfaction of helping others by giving generously!  We are very appreciative to the longtime donors that have faithfully supported this long-standing event and look forward to attracting new donors this year.

The 30th Annual Catalyst Rehab Telethon is officially set for Saturday, February 6, 2021! Your help is needed now more than ever and we hope to make the 30th Anniversary of the Catalyst Rehab Telethon a great success!  Since 1992, the Telethon has helped to ensure that The Rehab Center (now part of Catalyst Life Services) can continue to provide services to individuals in need throughout North Central Ohio. Since we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to eliminate the in person celebration at the Richland Mall this year but will continue the tradition as a televised production so you can still “Watch it Happen” on WMFD-TV all day from 11am -8pm. We will celebrate 30 years of the Catalyst Rehab Telethon and hope you will tune in!  We would appreciate if you would keep us in mind as you plan for the year-end and/ or your 2021 charitable giving budget.  As the need for our services increases during this uncertain time, your donation will have a huge impact on providing life changing benefits to those in need.  You don’t have to wait until the Telethon – your contribution in any amount would be very appreciated. For your convenience, you may donate online by visiting www.catalystlifeservices.org/donate/.

Please contact Melissa Drozda at 419-774-6710 with any questions or if you would like to know about sponsorship opportunities!

A Catalyst Success

     “Aveon is going to accomplish great things in life, especially with his mindset and determination. There is nothing he cannot do!” shares Employee Specialist, Taylor Salisbury. Taylor has been Aveon’s Employment Specialist since November 2019. She has helped to find several job opportunities for him and has continued to remind him of the great potential his future holds.

    Aveon Grose is a client of Catalyst Life Services and started in the WIOA Program in June of 2019. He started the program with a mindset of wanting to better himself. Although he was only 15, we wanted to get a head start and learn how to earn and manage his own money.

    “The WIOA program has opened me up to new opportunities, pushed me forward and helped prepare me for the future,”Aveon says.

    Taylor Salisbury has worked to place Aveon on a worksite that would best fit his skills and interests. Aveon is currently working at the WIOA site: Black Belt Pro Fitness, a martial arts and fitness center. During the summer, Aveon participated in the Taekwondo program as a counselor. In this position, he taught young students the basics of Taekwondo. This experience helped him to look at things differently and he found himself working harder than he had before.

Aveon is now 16 and will be going into his junior year this school year. He has already been offered several college scholarships for football. Aveon shares that he is still considering these different college offers, but knows, no matter where he ends up, he will become a physical therapist. He desires to help other athletes and possibly act in the role of a Trainer.

    Aveon is currently in Driver’s Education, working to obtain his driver’s license. His schedule is also filled with football practices and games as well as track and basketball. Although his load is heavy, he has still managed to receive satisfactory grades in his high school classes. He also continues to meet with his employee specialist, Taylor Salisbury to stay on track to reach his goals.

    Aveon shares that the WIOA program has helped to shape and prepare him for the future. For those students who share the same desire as Aveon and want more for themselves, he encourages them to be the best they can be.
    “Continue to wake up every day, keep working and strive for better things,” Aveon says encouragingly.

    No matter what the future holds for Aveon, his determination and hard-work are bound to push him toward success and endless potential. And for those around him, may they see his example, believe in themselves and work for their dreams.

Holiday Tips

Click the image above to hear from the Director of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services, Tanya Haga. She shares many tips on how to gather safely for the holidays and better include individuals with hearing loss.

Helping Kids Cope with the Holidays During a Pandemic

This has definitely been a strange and stressful year for kids and families. The upcoming holidays are likely to be particularly challenging. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions:

1. Make your plans in advance, if possible, and tell your kids what’s happening, when and why. Kids can adjust to lots of changes, but uncertainty and indecision increases stress and anxiety.

2. Try and retain as many traditions as possible, even if in a modified form. Make an extra effort to connect by phone, Zoom or FaceTime with friends and relatives you’d normally see.

3. Consider cooking familiar dishes from past celebrations.

4. Make sure kids understand why this year is different and why people aren’t traveling as much as usual. Gear your explanations to their age and developmental level using words and concepts they can understand.

5. If kids get moody or frustrated, acknowledge their feelings in an open, honest and consistent manner. Let them know that lots of people are working hard to bring the pandemic to an end as quickly as possible and that they will be able to travel for the holidays and visit relatives at some time in the future.

*Tips created by David Fassler, MD, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

The Executive Director, Erin Schaefer, shares some tips on how to stay mentally healthy during the holidays which can be a very stressful time for many.

*To find out more about help and hope for the holidays you can view a video created by the KnowitB4uneedit Campaign HERE.

“This group works together as a team to oversee compliance areas at the agency. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all that they do!”

– Denise Carson, Performance Improvement Director, Catalyst Life Services

Community Support

Thank you to the Women’s Fund for supporting our Women’s Residential Treatment Program. Support for this program was provided by a grant from the Richland County Foundation. The mission of the Richland County Foundation is to improve and enhance the quality of life in Richland County through strategic philanthropy and community leadership.

Additionally we would like to thank the following individuals:

Norm Shoemaker and Carl Neutzling on behalf of the Mid Ohio Area Labor Council AFL-CIO, for their donation of 2 picnic tables. 

Jai Merina for her donation of 2 picnic tables.

Kyle Bierly for her donation of new heavy duty bird feeders and bird seed. 

Eat for the Cause

Mark your calendar for Saturday, December 5th, 4-8pm!
By eating at Chipotle, you can support our cause!
Simply show them a virtual or paper copy of the flyer below or simply mention you are eating to support Catalyst Life Services! We will receive 33% of the proceeds! 

Mark your Calendars!

Richland Gives is a time of community collaboration as individuals and businesses come together to support the mission and work of Richland County non-profits. 

You can view our page and donate to Catalyst Life Services HERE.

October News

Did you know?

Our Vocational Program has been providing assistance to those with barriers to employment for 53 years. Progress Industries offers many opportunities to those searching for employment who might have a barrier limiting them to accessing a job otherwise. 

Mitch shares about the Vocational Department and the 4 main services that are offered. Over the past several decades, the vocational department has adapted and grown to serve the needs of our clients.

Click the image above to watch!

Click here to view the 4 main categories of services the Print & Embroidery Shop provides and learn how your purchase can impact the community. 

Q1: What is your role at Catalyst Life Services and how long have you worked at Catalyst?

I am the Assistant Director of Vocational Services and have been in this position for about four years. In this role, I oversee the vocational programs assisting individuals with job placement services. I started as an employment specialist in 2015 working on the WIOA grant helping transitional aged youth with overcoming barriers to their employment and educational goals.

Q2: What might a ‘typical day’ look like to you?

Every day is very different. I do a lot of problem solving with my staff when a particularly difficult client situation comes up. Right now, we are into our annual audit preparation phase, which means that I am spending a lot of my time reviewing closed cases and validating performance measure data.

Q3: What do you like most about your job?

Client successes! I love being able to share in our client’s success and seeing their joy. I also love developing new programs to meet the needs of our clients. We have amazing community partnerships and I love being able to collaborate together with our fellow service providers and business representatives.

Q4: What do you think most people do not know about Vocational Services?

The programs have grown so much recently that it’s hard to keep track of all of the new and exciting things we have going on. Check back with us frequently as things are constantly moving and adapting to the needs of our clients. The workforce development industry is in a very unique state right now and we have a number of exciting developments on the horizon.

Q5: Anything else you would like to add?

If you have someone who is thinking about work, but isn’t quite sure yet, PLEASE send us a referral. A trained employment specialist will guide your client through the process and explain the benefits to working with us and the opportunities available.

You can fill out a referral form here.

Meet the WIOA Team

What do you like best about being an Employment Specialist?

“I like meeting with the families first. I get a better understanding of what the clients barriers may be and see what can be done to help overcome those barriers. Building relationships is the most important part of the job. I am the first person to meet with the families, so I give them the understanding of how the program works and how as a team we can best help the client. The best part of the job is seeing the change, successes and milestones the clients have achieved from our first meeting.” 
– Bob Nelson, CCME Coordinator

“I love helping others, it has always been a passion of mine.  I love giving individuals the resources and drive to reach their full potential.  A lot of times, others cannot see what you see, so helping others to open their eyes to their own potential is magical.  There isn’t anything better than seeing others succeed and knowing that you had a hand in someone’s success.  This is why I am a social worker and why I was continue to help others every day.” 
– Casey Gowitzka, Lead Employment Specialist

“What I love most about being an Employment Specialist is being able to support my clients through the journey of 
preparing for their future. I enjoy being able to set goals with clients, at the beginning stages, then being able to support 
the client while they work through the steps to achieve that goal.” 
– Chelsea Loveland, Employment Specialist

“My favorite thing about my job and this program is seeing my clients succeed. No matter what they want to do I am there to support them in whatever way possible to help them get to where they want to be and to see them achieve that goal after all the hard work they put in is the absolute best. Whether it is someone who just wants to get their first job and then 
seeing the excitement they get when they receive their first check realizing that they just worked and earned their own money.. I love it. Showing youth and young adults that no dream/goal is too large and anything can be achieved.”
 – Taylor Salisbury, Employment Specialist

“I have always been passionate about working with youth.  I am so proud of my clients when they work so hard to achieve their goals.” 
– Stephanie Little, Employment Specialist

“What I enjoy most about being an employment specialist is watching my clients achieve their goals.  It’s very 
rewarding to be able to help them identify their strengths and provide them with the support and 
encouragement they need to be successful.” 
– Brittany Moyer, Employment Specialist

“I love showing my clients that no matter our circumstances, success is always possible if we are willing to work hard, 
embrace change, and learn from our mistakes.” 
– Michelle Gower, Employment Specialist

Community Support

Thank you to the United Way of North Central Ohio serving Crawford, Marion, & Wyandot Counties for awarding us a grant of $1,000 to Catalyst Life Services for the Deaf Services Program!

Eat for the Cause!

Mark your calendar for Friday, November 6th!

By eating at Panda Express, you can support our cause!
Simply show them a virtual or paper copy of the flyer below, and Catalyst will receive 20% of the proceeds! 

Mark your Calendars!

Richland Gives is a time of community collaboration as individuals and businesses come together to support the mission and work of Richland County non-profits. 

Your financial gift can have double the impact! if we are one of the first 15 non-profits to raise $1,000, we will receive a matching grant of $1,000. Giving begins on November 16th.

August Newsletter

Did you know?

Did you know that American Sign Language grammar is more similar to French than English?

Tanya shares what Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services is all about and the many services that are provided! 
She also shares how Catalyst Life Services combats the stigma associated with an individual’s hearing ability.

Click the image above to watch!

Q1: What is your title and how long have you worked at Catalyst? 

My title is Deaf Services Coordinator/Interpreter. And Sept 15th will be 12 years.   

Q2: Can you tell us a little bit about the services you provide to clients? 

Deaf services has always provided interpreting, Advocacy/Education, Leadership, Support Services and Summer Youth programming (until this year we took a break due to the lack of kiddos in our area).  

Honestly we do just about everything we can to assist our clients.  Sometimes that doesn’t fall under any of the categories that I mentioned. For example, a client, that has since passed; brought his entire fax machine into the office one day for me to fix it.  If anyone knows me I am not the person to ask to fix anything electronic. All I did was plug it in and turned it on and it seemed to work and he was pleased. He took it home and that was that. 

Deaf Services now offers a few extra programs such as WIP, Case Management & Pre-ETS.   

Q3: What might a ‘typical’ day look like to you as an interpreter? 

There truly is no “normal” day for interpreters. My day can be set when I leave for the day and by the time I wake up my entire day could be different. Maybe I had some office time and then a few medical appointments and some more office time scheduled.  Then I could have gotten a call that was we need an interpreter all day for a work training, or an emergency surgery. Or I could have gotten called out in the middle of the night. I’ve left work literally pulled in my drive and received a call to go back out. I later arrived home from that call and got another call less than 1 hour later and had to go out again. Arrived home AGAIN (lol) slept few a few hours and got up for my normal day.     

Q4: What is one of the most unique interpreting experience you’ve had? 

One of the most unique experiences I’ve had was when I first started interpreting and interpreted my first C-section. As an interpreter, you really have to have the stomach for anything and everything.  It was me having to relay every moment that was happening.  From the first time the doctor was making his incision, to what I was seeing and what the nurses and doctor were saying. Letting her know that they were pulling her child out and what that looked like. Sewing her up and keeping her updated with her child’s status as they cleaned and checked the baby. Imagine being strapped down to a table and not being able to hear a sound, or see what’s happening because there is a sheet up in front of you. Weird, right? That’s the exciting part for me. Knowing we as interpreters give them the experience they should have. The communication.   

Q5: What do you think is something most people do not know about Deaf Services? 

People truly have no clue how much work goes into scheduling for 9 counties.  The coordination of which interpreter can go to what assignment. Navigating time frames of the appointment and travel time. What if the appointment goes longer than expected? What if an emergency gets called in? What if one of the interpreters has to leave because they are sick? So many factors can change our day in a second. I know I constantly inform entities that we cover a large area and we are not always available last minute. However, over the years there has not been much we have not covered. We work hard to accommodate all the assignments we can.  

Meet the ASL Interpreters!

ASL Interpreters share their favorite part of their job at Catalyst Life Services!

“My favorite part of being an interpreter at Catalyst is that every day is different so I never get bored and I can always improve.”
-Tanya Haga

“My favorite part of being an interpreter is working in a variety of settings with people of all ages.”   
– Ruthie Good

 “The best part of being an interpreter for me is the way we can bring light to a situation whether it be a medical issue or mental health issue by finding conceptual ways of bringing that ‘aha moment’.”   
-Kori Serrano

“One of my favorite parts of being an interpreter is the variety of assignments, it keeps me on my toes.”    
-Carleigh Ison

“My favorite part of interpreting is getting to work in a variety of different settings and with different people every day.”   
-Whitney Rotter

 “My favorite part of being an interpreter is that I am always learning new things.”   
-Shelby Mills

  “My favorite part is getting to meet and help communicate with a variety of different people in a variety of different circumstances.”
-Molly Blackford

“My favorite part of being an interpreter is knowing that I’ve turned confusion into understanding by using a person’s preferred language so they don’t have to work as hard to communicate.” 
Diane Schmidt

“My favorite part about being an interpreter is experiencing all of the diverse and unique situations that I encounter and expanding my horizons by learning a little bit about all of the different things that I can.” 
-Rebekkah Broughton

Language Access: COVID-19 Impact

Stay in touch with the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing!

News for Recovery & Addiction Services

July Newsletter

July is National Minority Mental Health Month, created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental health in the United States. We strive to ensure Catalyst is an agent of change in our community for the health and well-being of ALL those we serve! 

Click below to view our video promoting Minority Mental Health Month!

Did You Know?

Our Employment Specialist assist individuals with barriers to employment by assisting with creating resumes, facilitating career exploration, providing interview preparation, computer training, job support, and many other skills to achieve competitive job placement?

Do you think you could benefit from meeting with an Employment Specialist? Call Progress Industries at 419-774-2248. 

Q&A with Mitch Jacobsen

1. What is your title and how long have you worked at Catalyst?    

Director of Vocational Services and I’ve worked at Catalyst for a little over 6 years.            

2. Can you share about some of the services and programs Progress Industries provides?    

Progress Industries is our industrial division of Catalyst Life Services.   

We offer low cost manufacturing solutions to other manufacturers in the Mansfield and Richland County area. Some of the things you might see an employee at Progress Industries (PI) doing might be, assembling flap valves for Gorman Rupp pumps, converting blown film bags for Next Generation Films, performing Quality Control or Inspection on parts produced at Rable Machine, or packaging and kitting components for Warren Rupp.   

A secondary, but equally important component to PI would be our embroidery and print division, which services customers all over the state with embroidered or printed apparel products, as well as vinyl signs and banner products. We have a highly trained team in this division and generally attempt to recruit employees with a high degree of attention to detail and ability to follow instructions from the PI manufacturing floor.

3: How does Progress Industries help clients attain employment?

By giving them the skills needed for success in the workplace. We are not “simulated employment” in the shops, we are the real deal. We teach the hard skills like assembly, quality control and inspection, basic machine operation, knowledge of PPE and safety, shipping and receiving – and we require some of the softer skills like ability to follow instructions and work independently, attention to detail, communication and teamwork. These are the skills that are needed for community employment. These are the skills that are needed for almost any position and our clients can gain them at PI.

4. What do you think is something most people don’t know about Vocational Services?

Our programs have more than doubled in size in the past five years, so it can be hard to keep up with some of the growth and new programs we’re offering.   

Our vocational services are integrated within many other components of Catalyst as an organization. This is a necessity, as we need to be responsive both to the needs of Catalyst as an organization and we need to be responsive to the local labor market and the businesses with open positions. 

We have vocational representatives in other treatment team meetings, providing groups to the unit, meeting with clients who are in the recovery process and seeking employment for long-term stability, as well as a team that is specifically geared toward transitional age youth (ages 14-24). We work with this population to navigate the complexities of the working world and offer some exciting ancillary services such as paid work experiences and driver’s education training. 

5. What do you like most about working at Catalyst?

I love how dynamic Catalyst is as an organization! We are at the forefront of solving major issues on a micro and macroscopic scale. We are constantly developing new programming to meet the needs of the persons served and the needs of the community at large. Working here is one of the most rewarding things, as you have a chance to celebrate the successes of your clients almost every single day. 

6. Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yeah! We are always hiring for the vocational workshop. We have first and second shift positions (8-12, 12-4) and are generally open Monday through Friday. While we cannot accept individuals with a history of violent or sexual offenses, we are generally flexible with other legal barriers to employment and would be happy to discuss an individual on your caseload with you on a more personal basis.

Staff Appreciation

     “Major shout out to our industrial workshop and embroidery and print staff! The past few months have been filled with a lot of uncertainty. However, these staff members have continued to come to work and focus on the needs at hand.  Our customers produce products for the automotive, agricultural, and medical industries, requiring us to stay open and keep up with production to continue keeping shelves stocked and the world moving forward. 

     These staff and clients have put forth tremendous effort in adapting to new safety procedures.Thank you to the production staff and clients, we truly could not do it without you!”

– Mitch Jacobsen, Director of Vocational Services

Community Support

We are so grateful to ‘The Women’s Fund of The Shelby Foundation’!

We are one of the 3 local nonprofits they awarded grants to during the COVID-19 pandemic.