Salem, Oregon. – Bridges Oregon announces several new hires to our culturally and linguistically specific and responsive statewide nonprofit organization. We were recently awarded with new funding through the Oregon Department of Human Service’s (ODHS) Domestic and Sexual Assault Survivors Program. We welcome Callia Berg and Nicholas Miles as they join with Al Mascarenas and Sammi Weethee in our Domestic and Sexual Violence program. In addition to our press release on June 13, 2023, Erica Brown is the 5th and final employee to transition to Bridges Oregon from Partnerships in Community Living, Inc (PCL). She will work closely with the Executive Director to foster collaborative state and local business relationships with a special focus on organizational development and future programs. Finally, we were able to employ our very first Accounting Manager after years of utilizing contractual bookkeeping services. We welcome aboard Samuel Townsend to manage and maintain the agency’s finances.
Bridges Oregon is pleased to introduce the newest additions to our team: Callia Berg, Erica Brown, Nicholas Miles, and Samuel Townsend.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Hard of Hearing Specialist
(she/her/hers, hearing, fluent in American Sign Language [ASL], Latina)
I was born in Nevada and grew up in a military household. I moved all over California, and also lived in Hawai’i for a few years. I started learning ASL when I was 11, then went to college to study it and I learned how to be an appropriate ally to the community as a hearing person. My educational background also includes Psychology and Gerontology. I am excited to be your advocate in whatever ways fit your needs.
Director of Business Development and Programs
(she/her/hers, hearing, fluent in American Sign Language [ASL], white)
It has been a long and winding road to get here! I had my first introduction to the deaf community at age 19. I became close friends with a Deaf colleague who spent endless hours teaching me ASL. As I developed close friendships within the deaf community, I was led to Western Oregon University’s Rehabilitation Counseling Education program and became a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselor with a focus on Deaf/HOH populations. After 9 years with VR, I was able to transition to a nonprofit organization, Partnerships in Community Living Inc (PCL), where I had the privilege of working in partnership with other Deaf individuals to develop programs that were culturally and linguistically accessible for the deaf community. After 10 years with PCL, I made the jump to Bridges where I am looking forward to using my ally powers to educate our state and local business communities to accomplish the goal of equitable access to jobs, resources, services and programs that support deaf Oregonians.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Independent Living Specialist
(he/him/his, Deaf, fluent in American Sign Language [ASL], white)
Born deaf and raised with a deaf sister in Portland, Oregon, I have always had a passion to provide assistance to the deaf community with finding resources that are needed. For many years, I have provided support as a Deaf Interpreter and a caregiver. With the experience of working in the hearing world as a welder for many years, I understand the struggle, the barriers and having to advocate for myself and all that is required to do so. I am highly compassionate and motivated to use my skills to benefit and provide greater access to resources in the deaf community.
(he/him/his, hearing, BIPOC)
I am from Harlem, New York and was raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I was adopted at age 5 into a military family. Throughout my childhood, I had an affinity for music which developed into a love for DJing and have now invested 15 years into my craft. In 2018, I settled here in Oregon and began my professional career in the finance industry as a freelance tax repairer, student loan processor and bank teller. Following the events surrounding the death of George Floyd along with the passing of Florida’s “ Don’t Say Gay” bill, I began to heavily focus on advocacy for the LGBTQ and BIPOC communities. Although I am new to the Deaf community, my advocate and social justice heart is wide awake and ready to learn. I want to thank the Deaf community for letting me be a guest in your space.
About Bridges Oregon:
Bridges Oregon is a nonprofit for Oregonians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing or face other communication barriers. It is in our mission to facilitate equity, inclusiveness, and to provide a bridge to opportunities through advocacy, education, and communication.