Meet the Policymakers with Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno

Governor Kim Guadagno addressed members at a Meet the Policymakers event last month during the Chamber of Commerce of Southern NJ luncheon.

Heather Cooper, Resource & Development Director from Values into Action, NJ attended the event.


Lt. Gov

Ripples 2/22/17

from Patty Kowalchuk
Values into Action – NJ, Managing Directorripples-3

When I was a kid, I asked a lot of questions. I have a memory of my grandmother asking me why I was asking her so many questions (how’s that for irony?) I also remember my mother demanding to know why I always had to ask so many questions (perhaps even more ironic). Looking back as an adult, it’s likely that at least some of their pushback to my questions must have been because they didn’t have the answers, or perhaps they did and didn’t want to talk about it, or perhaps there was a “need to know” basis where I was on the outside looking in. Whatever the case, I certainly trust that their responses (questions) were coming from a loving place and that they were not trying to be unkind. This week’s ripple talks about the importance of questions and that not all questions have immediate answers. Maybe some questions never get answered. When they get asked, however, they lead to growth. Enjoy!

Click here to read this week’s Ripples.

Community Mural Project

We’re excited to share that a mural created by Values Into Action, along with the Burlington, NJ community, is on display through the end of December at the Library Company of Burlington. The mural project theme is “What community means to you in a picture.”

Burlington library mural

Great job to all the wonderful artists who participated in this project!

If you can, stop by and see the mural for yourself.  Click here for library location, hours, etc. 



Kim Campbell: A Noteworthy New Jerseyan

David Cooper, Heather Cooper, and Patty Kowalchuk of Values Into Action New Jersey would like to acknowledge Kim Campbell as a Noteworthy New Jerseyan!


Kim Campbell started with Values Into Action in New Jersey last May, having never done support coordination before and also, coming from another state and its own service delivery system.  Nonetheless, Kim brought a sense of commitment to our values and a strong sense of social justice to her new role.  Kim has a unique perspective, a willingness to learn, and a tireless effort to provide support for families.  Her passion for the individuals she supports is what drives her to go over and above the call of duty.  Less than a year into the work, she continues to rise to the occasion when challenging circumstances present themselves.  She doesn’t get bogged down by the challenges but instead embraces them as an opportunity to learn more.  Kim remains positive and is a benefit to the families that she supports.   She is also a benefit to the NJ team – while soft spoken and generally reserved, Kim doesn’t hesitate to speak up when she has something to share and is always up for a team building opportunity.
Having Kim on the NJ team has paid off, and we are thankful she is part of it!

Art in Action

Values into Action NJ “Made their Mark” at the 45th annual Wood Street Fair in the home town office of Burlington City, NJ.
 Mural photo
We enjoyed engaging the community in mural art project that will be displayed locally in the upcoming month. The community “left their mark” using various media and materials to add a creative splash of energy to what will become a Mural composed of all the drawings from many people that were at the fair. Values NJ participated in partnership with artist Zina Umyn from Eureka Arts.
Hanging on the wall above the mural is the “RIDING THE WAVE” painting completed by Values into Action NJ staff as a team
experience also with Zina Umyn.
Using arts as a way to experience community is something we all can enjoy!
Heather Cooper
Service Director
Values, NJ

Values into Action NJ “Made their Mark”

Values into Action NJ “Made their Mark” at the 45th annual Wood Street Fair in the home town office of Burlington City, NJ.
Values NJ participated in partnership with Artist, Zina Umyn from Eureka Arts.Made their Mark
We enjoyed engaging the community in mural art project that will be displayed locally in the upcoming month. The community “left their mark” using various media and materials to add a creative splash of energy to what will become a Mural composed of all the drawings from many people that were at the fair. We look forward to sharing the pictures of the final piece in the upcoming weeks.
Heather Cooper
Service Director
Values, NJ

Values Into Action NJ Sponsors Disability Awareness Training

Values Into Action NJ and Niagara University are excited to introduce the First Responders Disability Awareness Training (FR-DAT) program to the state’s first responders.

Niagara Disability Training article

The ability to respond to individuals with disabilities has posed varying challenges to emergency responders across the country. High profile cases have exposed the need for more involved awareness and education regarding the characteristics and challenges some individuals pose. As the population increases and more individuals are active in the community, the need to ensure accurate and appropriate response is critical.

Endorsed by the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and control and NYS DOH EMS, this program provides valuable information and resources while introducing NU’s comprehensive Train-the-Trainer program. Currently being conducted in New York and Arkansas, FRDAT is the only program in the nation that covers ALL disabilities that may challenge emergency responders and allows the department to own the customized curriculum and conduct the program per their training schedule. For more information and to access training evaluation summaries, visit our website at

“All in all, I was very glad that I signed up for this training. I also believe that when I bring this info back to my department, and other local departments, that my EMS peers will also feel the same benefits and growth from this knowledge. I was also appreciative of all the talking points which are included.” - Mary Mott East Hampton Village (NY) Ambulance Certified Instructor Coordinator

“Props to NU for putting together a wonderful and comprehensive course and resource guide for us to use and implement in the field.” – Emanuel Caras Scarsdale (NY) Firefighter/EMS

Dozens of first responders attended the first training held at Middlesex Co. Fire Academy June 9th. The presentation was conducted by NU FRDAT’s Project Director David Whalen. Dave has been training a multitude of service providers and first responders in disability awareness for the past 11 years and has been working in the field of disability service/education since 1986.


Values Into Action looks forward to another “Train the Trainer” session in October.

This project is funded by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities.


Parents of developmentally disabled express concern in East Rutherford

MAY 28, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2015, 12:32 AM

The mood inside Tao’s Restaurant in East Rutherford on May 7 was light. Music played as those in attendance casually helped themselves to a breakfast spread of fruit, bagels and coffee, and mingled before the start of a presentation geared toward addressing the state of affairs for children and adults with disabilities. But the message from presenters stood in stark contrast to the casual atmosphere.

Parents of children and adults with disabilities gathered to voice their concerns regarding issues confronting the disabled which they say include weakened and disappearing case management services, the decrease of housing opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities and a failure to enforce Federal Special Education Law. In addition, concern from parents and those in attendance stemmed from the New Jersey Statewide Transition Plan (STP) for adults with disabilities.

Read full article here.

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