Check out our newest newsletter where our amazing Executive Director, Dr Kendra LaRoche speaks on the resiliency of SNSC!

The Special Needs Support Center is Pleased to Announce the Hiring of Kathy McCarty.

Kathy’s new fresh start as SNSC’s Youth Coordinator.

Kathy recently relocated to the Upper Valley with her husband and joined SNSC as the Youth Coordinator. She has years of experience with children with special needs. She adores her new home, making great food, discovering beautiful places as she explores all the Upper Valley. Kathy is a welcome addition to the SNSC community.  She is noted for her teaching, artistic abilities, story telling, and her innate empathy and compassion. Kathy’s planning an already full SNSC calendar to include creative and engaging events for our youth. Kathy’s Youth Programming is a shared experience: creative, safe, and social must haves that are a whole lot of fun. Kathy has a way of enjoying and enjoining people to share great experiences.

Dr. Kendra LaRoche (she/her) comes to the Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) as a leader in the education world with over 20 years’ experience, the most recent as the assistant principal in charge of special education and behavior at Manchester Elementary/Middle School. 

Kendra was a first-generation college student who worked her way up to masters’ degrees from both Harvard and Middlebury, as well as a doctoral degree from SNHU. This experience fueled her lifelong passion of working with historically marginalized populations.  As a Rowland Fellow in 2011, she addressed equity, the “elephant in the room issue” and radically changed the culture and climate of Burr and Burton Academy. Since that point, she has worked with schools and districts to focus their thinking on issues through data-driven decision making. While others also work with data, her strong emotional intelligence and commitment to spotlighting local culture gives her work a lasting change.

 While data-driven decision making describes what Kendra does, the hiring committee was most impressed with how she did it- through relationship building. She brought restorative justice practices to her previous organization and plans to do the same at SNSC. Her training in this area allows her to lead staff through difficult conversations and situations that focuses on building trust and open communication. Trust is a fundamental building block of SNSC’s work, from its programming for children and adults to its advocacy work with schools. 

The Special Needs Support Center is a group of individuals and families throughout the Upper Valley and beyond who proudly work together to create a community where people with special needs, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, can live their best lives. This dovetails beautifully with Kendra’s passions. Kendra’s past three decades of work has been laser-focused on what she refers to as her “big WHY”, or the compelling higher purpose that pushes her to action. Her “big WHY” is the belief that all people can find success. This fits perfectly with SNSC’s vision that “all people with special needs, and their families, have opportunities and support to pursue their goals and aspirations”. 

The Special Needs Support Center welcomes Dr. Kendra LaRoche and looks forward to a productive future working together for all people with special needs and their families. 

Kendra and her family

SNSC’s own Emma Woloshin is appointed as the Advocacy Program Coordinator

A hallmark of SNSC’s 40+ year history is its special needs advocacy with the trained and committed volunteers who work on behalf of special needs speople within the legal and educational systems as advocates. The advocates help every special needs person find their way and place within the complexity of the system. Be it getting through the maze of legal terms and filings, or precise classes, teachings and supportive care within the education system, or any other service outside the classroom, Emma coordinates the SNSC Volunteer Advocates to help. The advocates are known and trusted sherpas of day to day care for a special needs loved one. Emma’s role grows upon her five plus years at SNSC to now work with SNSC very special volunteers while working to better integrate within the systems themselves. Emma is known as a teacher, as program designer and lead for the ever popular Camp Aspire. She is a team builder, mentor, a sounding  board, a teacher, a friend, and the beacon of light that help every family, caregiver or special needs person take their best steps now including with their SNSC Volunteer Advocate.


Do you want to spend your summer in the beautiful Upper Valley? Are you looking for a fun way to make lives better for families? Teaching campers the skills to succeed in arts, sports, and life? Come join us at Camp Aspire! For more than forty years the Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) has worked to create a community where people with disabilities can live their best lives. We are looking for a leader who can live out our values and support our vision for the future of SNSC.

The employment dates are Monday-Friday from 8:30-3:30 for the last 2 weeks of June (6/19-6/30) & first two weeks of August (7/31-8/14). The starting salary is $3,000.

Responsibilities include:
● Supporting kids to be part of the group
● Behavior management support
● Collaborating with team members
● Flexibility
● Able to set clear boundaries and role model expectations

About Camp Aspire
Join our team for a truly special experience at our summer camp! Camp Aspire is a free camp for children with disabilities ages 6-16. We are looking for someone with experience working with children with disabilities, who is looking to be part of a collaborative team and is energetic and patient.

To apply:
Please send a resume to
Job Type: Full-time, Temporary
Pay: $720 per week

For more than forty years the Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) has worked to create a community where people with disabilities can live their best lives. We are looking for a leader who can live out our values and support our vision for the future of SNSC.

The organization serves people with disabilities and their families throughout the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. SNSC Offices are in White River Junction, Vermont.

Experience in client centered community services. Special education, social work,
human services, or business administration experience are welcomed.
High level of organizational, verbal, and written communication skills.
Budgeting and financial skills.

Key skills:
Commitment to SNSC’s mission and values while modeling collaborative practices.
Oversight of organizational and financial operations, and development of public and
private funding sources including grant writing.
Ability to work closely with the board of directors through strategic planning, effective reporting, and collaborative problem-solving.
Engagement with community organizations both public and private.
Proven day to day strong working relationships with staff, participants, volunteers, and community groups.
Ongoing assessment and response to changing needs based on SNSC’s strategic and
participant and family centered goals.
Program development and oversight for a broad continuum of participant and family

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.
Flexible work hours including some remote work options are available depending on
skills and experience.
Benefits include earned time off, health care reimbursement, retirement matching, CSA shares, employee loans, wellness benefits, and more.

Please send resume and cover letter to:

After 5 years of tireless work to further The Special Needs Support Center’s (SNSC’s) mission, vision, and values, Laura Perez, is transitioning from her role as Executive Director. During her tenure, Laura has been the driving force behind SNSC’s growth and success as an organization. A brief sample of her many accomplishments include:

  •  Making SNSC a model nonprofit and expert in our region.
  • Helping SNSC grow stronger financially, operationally, and administratively.
  • Expanding youth services from a few times per month to daily programming and adult services quarterly events to daily social, recreational, and advocacy services.
  • Launching and expanding SNIP, a highly respected safety program in 24 towns around the Upper Valley to help emergency responders identify and safely respond to vulnerable residents with special needs.

Laura’s vision and leadership will be greatly missed by the staff, board, participants, and community partners alike. She’s stewarded the organization through many periods of change and growth with thoughtful, generous, and exemplary leadership. We want to take this moment to thank her for all the time and care she’s put into SNSC over the years! We know the future has great things in store for her and wish her all the best in this new chapter.

A transition team of board, staff, and interim leadership will be working hard to identify SNSC’s future leadership, allowing us to live out our values and support our vision for the future of SNSC.  As we engage in this process, all programs and services will continue as currently provided.   The best legacy Laura leaves is the strong base of programming SNSC offers, which will remain strong.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to share information and updates about SNSC.


The SNSC Board of Directors

Read current Executive Director Laura Perez’s Reflections on finishing up at SNSC

Dear SNSC Family,

I am reaching out to announce my planned transition from the Executive Director role at the Special Needs Support Center.  When I began my work at SNSC I had no idea of the wonderful journey I was about to embark on. Through both the fun and challenging times, our team has always known we could lean on the trust we have for one another to help us deliver on our shared vision of a community where all people with special needs, and their families, have opportunities and support to pursue their goals and aspirations. We have accomplished so much during this time, and none of it could have been done without each other. 

SNSC is in a great place and is ready for new leadership to launch itself into its next phase as an organization. This transition is strategic and purposeful. I’ve been working alongside our staff team and our board, working to envision and bring to life what’s needed next for SNSC’s future. We are solidifying our values and our vision and we are aligning the skills, assets and the opportunities in front of us with a leadership model that supports what the organization we will be in the future.

There are hardly words to express my gratitude for all in the SNSC family. From our passionate and experienced staff,  competent board, incredible self-advocates and participant leaders, parents, the larger disability community, and a dedicated group of donors and nonprofit partners, I say this from my heart, I love you like family. Without you, the organization would not be as strong and vibrant as it is. I am so excited to see SNSC continue to blossom and am so thankful for your willingness to let me be a part of your journey for so long. 

Yours in service,

Laura Perez, Executive Director, SNSC

Read a message from our Board here.

Please submit cover letter and resume to

Hours: Temporary 35 hours a week

Dates: Mid-July to August with the possibility to extend                

The Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) is an equal opportunity employer. We genuinely value a diverse workforce and inclusive culture and aim for a hiring process that reflects that. SNSC encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.

Position Summary

The Summer Program Facilitator will support both adult and child services so that all people with special needs, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, can live their best lives. The Summer Program Facilitator will support SNSC staff to plan and implement programs, interacting with families and community partners. This position will also assist in engaging children in 4 weeks of Camp Aspire. Staff will be flexible, able to supervise children with a range of needs, and be a cooperative team member. Most importantly, this position will require a passion for making a difference and an eager willingness to accept and meet challenges. The Summer Program Facilitator will work within the guidelines, policies, and mission of SNSC and report to the Executive Director.

Position Goal

Program implementation so all participants are supported in a safe environment. To aid in the expansion of camp Aspire and create a positive summer experience for our participants. 

Education and/or Experience

  • Experience working effectively with children and adolescents with a focus on those with disabilities and their families.
  • Other relevant education and experience will be considered.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Commitment to SNSC’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Help children be safe and successful during camp, both inside and outside of the SNSC office.
  • Able to interact with participants of all ages in a respectful and supportive manner.
  • Must be able to work cooperatively with Program Coordinators to support programs and the success of participants.
  • Implement behavior management strategies in accordance with SNSC’s training, policies and expectations.
  • Able to communicate effectively with families and care providers.
  • Collaborate with SNSC staff and volunteers to enrich the qualities of programs.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Must possess a strong commitment to collaboration and effective teamwork within the organization and the broader community.
  • Must be able to support a range of disabilities, including intensive needs.
  • Must be able to communicate effectively with children with disabilities and family members.
  • Must possess the interpersonal skills to engage individuals and families from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
  • Must be able to take positive action in solving problems.
  • Must be able to remain open-minded and willing to grow on the basis of emerging information.


In the 1970’s, the person first movement aimed to empower people with disabilities by emphasizing their individuality and personhood, rather than their disabilities. Person-first language offered a way to do that. In daily conversations person-first language separated the person and the disability and focused on the person. Many parents and professionals have been trained to use and prefer person-first language.
Today many disability self-advocates prefer identity first language, an approach that views a person’s disability as an integral part of their identity. Identity-first language emphasizes that the disability plays a role in who the person is, and reinforces disability as a positive cultural identifier. Identity-first language is generally preferred by self-advocates in the autistic, deaf, and blind communities.
It is important to note that whether a person with a disability prefers people-first or identity-first language is not universal.  At SNSC, we honor that not all communities feel the same way, and individuals within those communities are even more varied. To address this in our organizational writing we use people first and identity first language interchangeably.
If you are unsure as to whether you should use people-first or identity-first language in order to be respectful, the best thing to do is to ask people themselves.