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Victor Blog

Mike Hernandez Inspires Coworkers: "You Get What You Give."

Posted by Victor Staff on July, 20, 2018

Where do you find inspiration? Your church, friends, family? What inspires you when you have a tough week and need encouragement? For Mike Hernandez, he has found that "You get what you give." Offering encouragement and inspiration to his friends and coworkers helps Mike to stay positive and motivated.

The first Thursday of every month, Mike sends out an encouraging text to his friends and coworkers. This is a tradition he started last year and has stuck with. Mike likes encouragement, words of affirmation are his love language. He paraphrased a quote he likes from Zig Ziglar saying, "When you encourage others, you are also encouraged in the process, because you are making a commitment and a difference in that person's life. I try to give out what I want to get."

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Topics: Staff Stories

Victor Staff Story: Mark Callahan

Posted by Victor Staff on June, 19, 2018

Mark Callahan knows a thing or two about working at Victor. He started there in 2001 and after 17 years, the only thing that has worn out is his office chair. Mark is still inspired and going strong.

Mark didn't start his career in mental health and didn't even have a background in it when he started at Victor. Mark was a teacher, and he has always had a strong connection with youth. Mark's best friend was working at Victor and encouraged him to apply. Even though he didn't have any mental health credentials, Victor saw something in Mark that aligned with their values.

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Topics: Staff Stories

Excitement About Victor in Hemet, CA

Posted by Victor Staff on May, 23, 2018

Victor's Hemet office opened in March of 2018 to a community that welcomed us with open arms. Hemet is a city in the San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County, California. One fun fact about Hemet is that the city is known for being the home of The Ramona Pageant. Started in 1923, the play is one of the longest running outdoor plays in the United States. We had the opportunity to speak with the new Executive Director of VCSS Hemet, Alana Dunn.

Although Ms. Dunn is new to the Executive Director position, she has actually been with Victor for over 12 years! She was instrumental in starting the Lake Elsinore site and is now excited about the impact Victor can make in Hemet. Here's what she had to say about their progress:

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Topics: Staff Stories

Joseph Olvera's Client Success Story

Posted by Victor Staff on May, 10, 2018

Joseph Olvera has been working with Victor for over 12 years.  Providing excellent, and passionate service to our kids and families. We are grateful for his contribution and asked him to share a story with us from his many years with Victor. Here's what he had to tell us:

"Upon recalling this particular client I remember driving into a picturesque neighborhood, complete with American flags perched on the eaves of every house above well manicured lawns and flower beds.  I was cordially received into the home with an offering of a bottle of water and baked goodies from the parents.  I felt like if I had asked for warm apple pie the mother would have responded “do you want a crumb topping or just regular, cause we have both”.  As we got to know each other the parents told me about their adopted son who was now 14 and how he had never really connected with any therapist he saw, leaving most therapists to primarily work with them on how to deal with their son.  They shared their hardships over the previous few years in which they “lost control” of him to due to him having another life online and preferring his time on the computer to interactions with real people and how he used to refuse to get off the computer and go to school. This power struggle ultimately resulted in the client being placed in a residential treatment facility where he felt betrayed by his parents for “leaving” him there.  Since returning home they had struggled to build trust with him, set boundaries surrounding preferred activities, and help him learn to take responsibility.

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Topics: Staff Stories

Supporting Youth With Gender Dysphoria

Posted by Victor Staff on May, 01, 2018

At Victor Community Support Services we encourage all of our employees to share their stories of success, progress, or even just a small victory that lets them know they are making a difference for someone.

The need for support services for youth with gender dysphoria is on the rise. These are often complicated situations involving youth that are at a transitional stage of development, families that may or may not understand and social and cultural expectations that may not align with how this young person is feeling.

In a recent paper by Diane EhrensaftPh.D. called Gender nonconforming youth: current perspectives, she says:

The field of interdisciplinary treatment for gender nonconforming children and youth has not just expanded at an astronomically fast rate; to switch metaphors, it has rather been such as a tsunami, with a swell of children and families seeking support and services and stretching existing gender clinics and programs at their seams. This cohort of young people includes those who do not accept the sex assignment given to them at birth, those who do not accept their culture’s expectations and rules about gender roles and gender behaviors, and those who present with a combination of both.

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Topics: Staff Stories

What Our Kids Can Tell Us About Our Jobs: Working at VIctor

Posted by Victor Staff on April, 18, 2018

Susana Cordero started working at Victor Community Support Services 6 months ago. Susana is a Mental Rehabilitation Specialist and works in the Early Intervention program in San Bernardino. Susana previously worked in this same capacity in another clinic for over 4 years before getting the job with Victor. Right away, Susana noticed that things were a little different at Victor, and as it turns out, she wasn't the only one.

"When you're happy with what you're doing you reflect that in every aspect of your life."  - Susana Cordero

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Topics: Staff Stories

What Do You Like About Working for Victor?

Posted by Victor Staff on March, 30, 2018


At a recent staff meeting in Victorville, CA, Executive Director, Carl Mascarella asked Victor Community Support Services employees questions about what they liked about working for Victor. Here's what they had to say.

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Topics: Staff Stories

Advocating for Moms at Local and National Levels: Ahlam Axelrod’s Story

Posted by Victor Staff on February, 19, 2018

Three years ago, when Ahlam Axelrod started to focus her attention on maternal mental health, she would never have imagined it would be a journey that would take her all the way to Washington D.C.  Ahlam is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist for Victor Community Support Services, working in Victorville, CA. In her clinical work, she noticed a high number of new moms struggling with postpartum depression and wanted to figure out how to help this common but largely unaddressed issue.

I have a responsibility in the community to raise awareness, knowing that one out of eight women suffer from postpartum depression.”
- Ahlam Axelrod

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Topics: Staff Stories

Introducing Ed Hackett, CFO of Victor

Posted by Victor Staff on January, 11, 2018

We wanted to take a moment to welcome Ed Hackett to the Administrative Office in Chico, CA. Ed joined us 3 months ago as our new Chief Financial Officer and we have been enjoying getting to know him and the leadership strengths he brings to our organization.

Ed comes to us with 18 years of work as a financial professional in two organizations: Wheeler Clinic in Plainville, Connecticut for 8 years, followed by 10 years at The Village in Hartford, Connecticut, which is where he was working when Victor reached out. The Village was an organization very similar to Victor as they had residential programs, after school and extended day programs for kids, along with community based in-home programs, foster care, and a number of other programs.

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Topics: News, Staff Stories

Santa Rosa Staff Demonstrate Care and Courage in the Face of Fire

Posted by Victor Staff on December, 29, 2017

As we come to the close of another year, we wanted to share a story with you from the CEO of Victor, Douglas Scott. The image of the plaque you see is a “thank you” to the staff in Santa Rosa CA for exemplifying the Victor way during the incredible wildfires that changed the face of Santa Rosa in October. Here is what Doug had to say:

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Topics: Residential and School Programs, Staff Stories

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This blog is a place to share our Victor stories, events, highlight employees and celebrate the success we see in our communities!

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