Employment with the support needed for success.

Our Group Supported Employment (GSE) program is a competitive program that provides paid employment for individuals with developmental disabilities who are ready for employment but require some support. Individuals must apply and interview for open positions and if hired complete orientation. During employment, they meet regularly with the GSE Lead DSP that provides needed support for success in their position.

This program is a natural next step for those in our Transition to Employment (TTE) program. However, individuals do not need to complete our TTE program to apply for GSE.


Office Assistant

Helps teachers with project tasks including using the copy machine, laminating, labeling, paper cutting, stapling, paper clipping, basic computer use, and other tasks.

Adaptive Activities Assistant

Helps Adaptive Activities Facilitator with tasks including cleaning and preparing PE equipment, preparing art materials, and assisting during PE and Art lessons.

Maintenance Assistant

Helps maintenance team with tasks including cleaning, delivering packages, assisting with assembling equipment, and other tasks around campus.


ASHLEY WATZKEDirector of Day Treatment, Transition, and Employment


As the Director of Day Treatment, Transition, and Employment Services I oversee a variety of programs within our organization. I train and assist staff throughout their day, I make great efforts to best support all staff so they can best serve our consumers.  My job is not only to train and support our staff, but to ensure our programming is the best it can be.

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, morals and support L.I.F.E. offered to not only the consumers but also to staff. I felt privileged to become and serve as a teacher in the academy, later growing into Student Services Supervisor. I’m lucky to serve on our Leadership Team, with many other individuals.

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 8 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.

HEIDI RIFFLELead Employment Coordinator

Career History

In 2014 I started working at a group home not knowing that years later I would still be working in this field and loving it. I joined the L.I.F.E. team in 2019 where I worked part-time assisting in Transition to Employment and part-time as a Direct Support Professional in the DTA. In 2021 I got the privilege of running the TTE program full time with both a class in the morning and the afternoon.

Teaching Philosophy

I believe every person has the potential to learn and grow. I like to find creative and fun ways to help different people learn in different ways that work for them.


In 2016, I moved from Minnesota to Arizona with my dog, Moe. My parents, sister, and my niece all live here too. I get to spend a lot of time with them. I also have a brother who is in the Army.  When I’m not at work, I am usually working on some type of craft or going to a concert.

JULIE SWEETGSE Lead Direct Support Professional


As the GSE Lead DSP I facilitate 3 jobs the consumers have around campus.


  • 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.

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

call us at 480-621-8361 EXT 136 or complete this form

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