The Founder of Empowered Services, John Marvin, has provided the Story of Empowered Services.

Background 

In high school, I worked with a class of kids with special needs. I would work with them, preparing them for Special Olympics and helping them with job and life skills. When I graduated high school, I had a young lady with special needs walk behind me and a young man with special needs walk in front of me so I could assist them during graduation. This idea is something that I’ve been passionate about for years. For three years, I was on the Special Olympics Oregon planning board. I have worked as a provider, but most of my work has been volunteer work. I have a mentor who started an agency in another county and encouraged me to start my agency. I am so glad I listened to him. My background is in ministry as a pastor and missionary, yet I feel that I have stepped into my destiny. I love what I do, and my greatest joy is seeing when our providers and families have a great connection, the needs are being met, and support is given to bring greater independence.

 

Why the Name Empowered Services?

When I started the agency, I had to decide what I would name the agency. I came up with many different ideas, but I finally decided to call the agency Empowered Services. Through the years, I’ve worked with diverse populations of people such as the homeless, overseas doing disaster relief, as a pastor and a missionary, and I was in Haiti after a severe earthquake. I found a fine line between helping someone and enabling someone. You can come alongside someone, and you can help, and then you help them again, and then you help them again, and the next thing you know, you’ve created the dependency where they can’t function without your help. Through the years, that’s not what I’ve wanted to do. I tried to come alongside people to assist them to see greater independence. So, I came up with Empowered Services because that’s exactly what I want to do. I want to empower people. Sometimes it’s easier to do a job yourself that needs to be done, but that’s not helping the person. Instead, we come alongside, and we teach, and we train the life skills that are needed. What that looks like for each customer is different; for some, it might be learning to tie their shoes; for others, it might be budgeting and shopping, and still, for others, it might be learning to navigate the bus system or finding a job.

 

Why The Mountain Logo?

When I was working with the person designing our company logo, I told them that what I wanted for the logo was a mountain. They wondered why I wanted a mountain. I wasn’t sure. They had other ideas of helping hands, people, or linking arms, but I just kept seeing a mountain. When I began to think about why I came up with the idea of the mountain for our logo for our company, it finally came to me. A few years ago, I was on a journey with my pastor. We were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Timberline Lodge to Cascade Locks. Along the journey, there were times when I felt like giving up. There were also other times that he felt like giving up. So, I remember him saying, ” Come on, you can do this, ” and he encouraged me along the journey. As I began to think about the logo, I realized that we are all on a journey, and there are ups and downs along the journey of life. There are mountain peaks and valleys that we go through, but it’s a lot easier to navigate when we have somebody walking beside us. That is how I came up with the mountain logo. It symbolizes that we are all on a journey; it’s not always easy. We have hills and valleys, but along the way, it helps to have somebody walking with us to help us.

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