Jessica Vacca, Work Readiness & Employment Specialist, Missoula
I recently graduated from the University of Montana (UM) with a Bachelors of Social Work. My college internship placement was at Disability Services for Students at UM where I learned the importance of students’ self-advocacy. In summer, 2016 I co-organized a transition camp at UM for high school students with disabilities called Movin’ On in Montana. My focus there was on the importance of empowering students with knowledge of resources for success in post-secondary education. My introduction to formal Independent Living (IL) philosophy began when I started as a peer advocate at Summit in April, 2016 before being hired and starting as Summit’s Work Readiness Employment Specialist in October, 2016.
I live in the Bitterroot Valley where I have a horse, dogs, and many more critters. In my free time I enjoy being outdoors bird watching, huckleberry picking, star gazing, and spending time with loved ones. I have been excited to join the Summit ILC team and look forward to developing and increasing Summit’s involvement in employment with an emphasis on youth in transition.
Dayna Guffey, Independent living Specialist, Kalispell
Hello! My name is Dayna Guffey and I am so happy to be working at Summit’s Kalispell Office as an Independent Living Specialist. Born and raised in the metro of Kansas City, I couldn’t get to Montana fast enough after graduating from the University of Kansas! I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Sociology and have a passion for working with people. My work history has included working in the hospitality industry, state offices in Helena, and eight years as a special education teacher. I have housed numerous homeless teenagers over the years and am proud to say many have stayed in touch. My daughter lives in Whitefish and my son is in Los Angeles. I make regular trips to Glacier, and Yellowstone holds a special place in my heart as well. For me, there is nothing more incredible than the mountains of Montana-hiking, camping, road-tripping and romping in the snow is a dream come true!