Our Team


Denisa Brooks, M.S. C.T.R.S.
Director of Recreational Therapy, Indiana University

Denisa currently works in Franklin, IN. Denisa has led projects in adaptive sports grant writing for the community of Columbus. Denisa oversees the recreational therapy department.


Elizabeth Terry, C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana University

Elizabeth currently works in Muncie, IN. Elizabeth is a strong advocate of people with disabilities, using her experience to raise awareness to the general public.


Kade Patterson, M.S. C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana State Univeristy, Indiana University

Kade currently works in Greenwood, IN. Kade is a military veteran who has dedicated his life toward the support of others.

 


Mary Corpe, C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana University

Mary currently works in the Valparaiso, IN area. Mary is an experienced recreational therapist with youth at risk, mental health, and developmental disabilities.

 


Priscilla Laird, C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana University

Priscilla currently works in Bloomington, IN. Priscilla is familiar with many aspects of Medicaid waiver supports, as she also does work in the residential settings.

 


 

Brett Becker, C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana University

Brett graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Recreational Therapy and experienced firsthand how important interacting with a CTRS can be. I have worked with individuals with a wide variety of disabilities and other chronic illnesses. I am passionate about providing the best life using leisure activities. I especially like using outdoor in my treatment approach!


Kennedy Keown, C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana University

Kennedy currently works in Bloomington and Bedford, Indiana. She is a powerful advocate and supporter for individuals with disabilities using her lifetime of experiences with her own family and 6 years working in residential services. She has made it her soul dedication to promote and improve quality of life for all. Kennedy currently works with the teen and young adult population. She also has a minor in General Music Studies and is proficient in 9 instruments.


Jaime Sieczko, C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana University

Jaime graduated in 1999 from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Recreation with an emphasis on Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Psychology. I have worked in Long Term care, Mental Health, and have 15+ years of experience in the community-based waiver program serving individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. In my personal time, I enjoy traveling to the beach and camping with my family (husband, daughter, and a son), attending the kids’ sporting events, dance competitions, and scouting activities. I love to go running in the outdoors, hiking, gardening, and spending quality solo time in my hammock reading a good book on occasion.


Lauren Paxson, C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana University

Lauren is an Indiana University graduate and currently works in Bloomington, IN. She has worked with individuals with disabilities for many years and is a dedicated CTRS. Lauren is always finding new and creative interventions to help support her people.

 


Patti Whitener, C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana University

Patti is a dedicated therapist and mother. She has supported her people for many years. Patti is also our company CPR instructor. Patti provides many active and healthy outings to her individuals.

 

 


Reagan Willhoite, C.T.R.S.
Recreational Therapist, Indiana University

Reagan graduated from Indiana University and completed her internship with us. She currently works in the Bloomington area. She has worked in the service industry since she was 15 years old providing supporting to all individuals. She has a great work ethic and people skills.

 


Andra Raney, LPN
Nurse

Andra assists our administration in training Direct Support Professional staff in the area of medication administration. Andra’s diligence and passion help others serve our patients with thoroughness and accuracy.

 

 


Noah Goble
Direct Support Professional, Corporate Compliance Officer

Noah works in Columbus, IN. Noah is active at the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Columbus and is dedicated to supporting others.

 

 


Ebony Okuleye-Ash
Direct Support Professional, Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus

Ebony currently works in Columbus, IN, where she is also employed as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher for BCSC. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from IUPUC in Elementary Education. In addition, Ebony serves on the National Down Syndrome Congress.

 


Norma Mendez
Direct Support Professional

Norma has 17+ years experience supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. Norma works part-time with Assisted Independence, while also working through the local school system. Norma’s tenure is unmatched. Norma is reliable, trustworthy, and thorough. Norma’s care and compassion for the individuals she supports is strong, as she has built strong bonds. Norma is fluent in English, American Sign Language, and Spanish. Her organization and time management skills are exceptional!


Hannah Jenkins
Direct Support Professional

Hannah is a student at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC). Hannah’s supports are appreciated greatly by those she assists. Hannah is an eager, young, professional. Hannah has been a great asset in helping lead a change for individuals of all abilities to thrive.

 


Payton Koontz
Direct Support Professional

Payton is a student at University of Southern Indiana. Payton is on her way to becoming a dental hygienist. Payton is also an avid horseback rider. Payton’s advocacy for the individuals she supports is impeccable.

 

 


Kymber Perkins
Direct Support Professional

Kymber is dedicated towards supporting individuals with Autism. Kymber is attentive, showing a strong desire to help others.

 

 


Kathy Newland
Direct Support Professional

Kathy is works in Columbus, IN. Kathy is a joy to be around, as she puts a strong effort into assisting those with Autism.

 

 


Sharon Smith
Direct Support Professional

Sharon works nearly everywhere. There is no person more dedicated towards helping others with Autism. Sharon is an expert in communication for individuals with Autism. In fact, Sharon founded the non-profit Sharon’s Web Autism Foundation. Her heart is as big as a lion’s.


Jacob Stephens
Direct Support Professional

Jacob currently works in Indianapolis, IN. Jacob is proven to fight through adversity, assisting those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 


Wendy Kirts
Director of Direct Supports

wendy@assistedindependence.care

 


Emma Boas
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Emma is hardworking and reliable. Emma has a big heart. Emma supports many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 


Laurie Booher
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Laurie is passionate about assisting individuals with disabilities. Laurie has been a member of the Columbus City Council. Additionally, Laurie has helped with many community projects in Columbus, including Freedom Field and the R.E.A.C.H. program.


Evan Carnes
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Evan is currently earning a masters degree in public finance at Indiana University. Evan is an incredibly ambitious young man. Evan’s professionalism is admired. Evan has gathered significant work experience, including an internship with the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities.


Nancy Eagle
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Mrs. Eagle is a retired school teacher who takes her work as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) seriously. Mrs. Eagle recognizes the need for Autism supports in our community.

 


Katie Finke
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Katie is a physical therapist who works part-time as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). Katie is a joy to be around, always sporting a smile and befriending those around her.

 


Elizabeth “Kat” Guyton
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Kat is an outgoing and dedicated Direct Support Professional (DSP). Kat is innovative when it comes to helping others reach independence. Kat holds others accountable and is a valued employee at Assisted Independence.

 


Debra Haza
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Debra is a great advocate for individuals with disabilities. Debra often initiates action to help the Columbus community improve. Debra is also recognized for her incredible help for Native American Indians.


Ruth Ann Jensen
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Mrs. Jensen works as a teacher, but also works part-time as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). Mrs. Jensen is supportive. Mrs. Jensen is organized and always on-top of work.

 


Merideth Kirts
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Merideth is a soldier in the United States Army. Merideth also works as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). Merideth is patient, kind, and caring.

 


Amy Longshore
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Amy is a nurse at Eskenazi Health. Amy supports facilitated communication, which has empowered so many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to communicate freely.

 


Amber Meek
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Amber is dedicated in helping individuals with developmental disabilities. Amber is thorough and does not miss a beat.

 


Paul Norton
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Paul is an outstanding employee. Paul’s selfless character is evident in the unwavering support he provides to individuals with developmental disabilities. Paul is experienced and so appreciated.

 


Dorothy O’Connor
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

 

 


Melinda Sheard
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Melinda is an all-star. Melinda will do whatever it takes to help another person. Melinda has a strong will and determination.

 


Carolyn Shoup
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Carolyn knows how to stay busy. She is adventurous and makes the most of her opportunities. Carolyn is determined is assisting individuals with disabilities to become independent.


Melissa Morrow
Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Melissa a stellar advocate for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Melissa has navigated many obstacles and still succeeds.

 


Zack Mense, C.T.R.S.
Outings Coordinator, Western Carolina University

Zack currently works in Carmel, IN. Zack is a dedicated worker and is often found outside. Zack is the Outings Coordinator and helps make many of our group outings possible. Zack has experience with TBI rehab as well as mental health.