During the first week of training, we often ask the new team members to draw what would make them a happy Ascender. I love seeing everybody’s answers, and it’s often ensuring their kiddos are happy and just having fun. My answer, though, since I’m not with kiddos anymore, is being able to work with my team, whether that’s the people and culture team, the party planning committee, or the DEI Council. I’m not typically one for larger groups. I tend to be quieter and take a step back, but I love to observe and listen to what people are saying. I love to look around the room, whether in person or virtually, and see who showed up, talked, and shared their ideas. I love it even more when people bring different ideas to the table because they learned something from their culture or somebody has a diverse background in something else, and they can share what they learned in the past with everybody in the present. The diversity and the group, whether large or small, make me a happy Ascender.

As time passes, you see change and hope that difference is for the better. Here at Ascend, we continue to get 1% better. After working at Ascend for over three years, I have seen Ascend grow in so many unique and incredible ways. One of those ways is by embracing our diversity. We have many families and Partners at Ascend from different countries, cultures, and places throughout the United States. As an RBT, I enjoyed learning about my client’s culture and where their families are from. I often share this with new partners now that I am a training specialist. During the new partner’s first week, we discuss what culture is and how to respect another person’s culture.

Another way we have been able to embrace those different cultures is through our DEI Council. At Ascend, we understand that our diversity makes us stronger. Learning about another person’s culture, we can understand where someone else may be coming from. As a company, we are creating conversations to help expand our knowledge about the people we are working with and supporting. Our mission at Ascend is to Transform Lives, and that can only happen if we understand the lives we are working with.

So this month, as we reflect on how our diversity makes us stronger, think about the people who you are around. What can you take away from a simple conversation? Does your local library have resources to help educate on different cultures? Maybe even sharing a book about Autism with a friend may help someone else understand that things can be so diverse even with a single diagnosis.

Written by D.S.