Day Treatment and Employment (DTE)

providing multiple day treatment programs and employment services

Adult Day Treatment (DTA)

Individualized programming for adults to improve functional and independent living skills

LIFE Academy

Day Treatment & Training Afterschool (DTT)

Individualized treatment provided after school hours focused on enhancing social skills


Day Treatment & Training Summer (DTS)

Individualized treatment in a summer camp format focused on enhancing social skills


Transition to Employment (TTE)

Assisting consumers to enhance necessary skills for employment


Group Supported Employment (GSE)



ASHLEY WATZKEManager of Day Treatment and Employment- DTA, DTT, DTS, TTE, GSE
  • As the Manager of Day Treatment and Employment, my job is to ensure we are providing the best service we can while ensuring we are always following the guidelines set forth by the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). I create and follow through with any policies and procedures we need for our programs. I work with consumers, their families, and DDD Support Coordinators to create functional and meaningful goals for our consumers. I train and assist staff in all programs so they can support our consumers in these goals to the best of their ability. I am also part of L.I.F.E.’s Leadership Team. This team meets regularly to discuss ways to continue to improve our services. We work collaboratively in this effort in our unique transdisciplinary approach.
Career History:
  • I have been lucky to work in different settings since August of 2008, serving children and adults with developmental disabilities. I have been with L.I.F.E. since July 2013 where I started as a habilitation provider in the community and then later in the adult program on campus. I quickly fell in love with the values and support L.I.F.E. offered to not only the clients but also to staff and I felt privileged to become and serve as a teacher in the academy, later growing into Student Services Supervisor. I have recently moved into this new role as DTA/DTT/DTS manager. I’m very excited for this adventure and will strive to serve all to the best of my ability.
Personal Teaching Philosophy:
  • “Love what you do and never work a day in your life” - Unknown
  • I have been married to my best friend for almost 4 years now and when we are not at work, you can find us chasing around our crazy wild daughters. In 2015, while I was teaching pre- school within the L.I.F.E. Academy, I had a student that at the time was in search of her forever home. Little did I know this little girl would become a huge part of my husband and my life. We adopted her in 2017 and she is now our daughter! As a family we enjoy weekends at home hanging out with our family and going camping when we can! We absolutely live for football season and the Arizona Cardinals; we won’t miss a game.
HARLEY NOGALead Adult Day Treatment Direct Support Professional
  • My main role is to give 100% quality care to our consumers and to help improve their daily task and life skill goals. I ensure that staffing with consumers are current for both A week and B week. I also assist with any updates on ISP goals to ensure that the monthly goals are current. Another task I am in charge of is setting up outings and collecting any information on outings that may include extra funds (i.e. Phoenix Zoo, science center, movie theater, etc.).
Career History:
  • I have worked at Lauren’s Institute For Education for a total of six years and counting. I began working at L.I.F.E working in the L.I.F.E. Academy with the pre-kindergarten kiddos for 2 years. After that 2-year mark I transitioned into the Adult Program to further my experience and I have been with the Adult Program ever since. I love the family bond that has been created with staff and clients throughout the years and I am grateful.
  • I have a beautiful little girl who is an exact replica of me! She is wild, goofy and just the sweetest little girl ever. I have such an amazing family to stand with me and support the work I do. My beautiful sister, Amanda, is older than me, she is deaf and is fluent in sign language. She has some developmental disabilities but that does not limit her for all the wonderful things she has done. She graduated from a life skills program at Highland High School, she is now at a wonderful DTA where she has learned the value of money, washing clothes, and other great skills. She has saved up an abundance for money that she was able to go to Disneyland 2 times within a year period. She has also independently chosen to go to the gym with her group home provider and complete 15 min on the treadmill, stretches after and will even participate in yoga sometimes at home with her provider. She has formed me into the person I am today and she is the reason why I work where I do. I am so proud of her and I love the bond she has with my daughter; she is always signing to her even on the day she was born she would sign to her saying “you’re so beautiful”. I am so proud of my little mini me because at only a year she is already learning sign and has learned to sign ‘more’ this made my sister so excited. I love my job, life and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.
JULIE SWEETLead of Transition to Employment (T.T.E) Program
  • I teach consumers in the Transition To Employment (T.T.E.) program how to become employable and maintain a successful job. I facilitate 3 jobs the consumers have around campus. I also teach a curriculum that aligns with the AFLS standards.
  • I attended Mt. Hood Community College. Gresham, OR
  • I have over 100 hours of Special Education training.
  • 3 years of Transition training
Career History:
  • I have worked in Special Education for the past 27 years. I have worked in 5 states from K- 12th grade. My favorite job prior to working at L.I.F.E. was as a Transition Specialist for Mesa Public Schools. I received intense training and mentoring to help develop a new transition program for their school district. I came to L.I.F.E. in July 2018 as a part of the transition team.
  • I am originally from Portland, Oregon. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 39 years. I have two children and two grandsons that are the light of my life.
RENEE VALENCIALead Adult Day Treatment Direct Support Professional
Career History:
  • I started at L.I.F.E. 5 years ago and had been working with consumers with disabilities 4 years prior to L.I.F.E. I have always worked in the adult program and enjoy serving these amazing people every day.
Personal Teaching Philosophy:
  • I believe everyone has the right to live a wonderful and fulfilled life and if I can contribute to that process, I’m proud to do so.
  • I love crocheting and enjoy scrapbooking in my spare time.

Contact Us for More Information About L.I.F.E.

call us at 480-621-8361 EXT 127 or complete this form

    AcademyAdult ProgramBehavioral SupportCommunity ServicesTherapyDonationsEmploymentStudentsVolunteerOther