Introducing: Serendipity

Introducing Serendipity

"Serendipity envisions a world in which all children have the right to an education that allows them to succeed. Opportunities for therapeutic approaches are consistently available and responsive to each child’s emotional and behavioral differences. Therapeutic education as a model for meeting the needs of children with mental health issues is valued and supported as a foremost priority. All children facing unique challenges experience acceptance, understanding, and effective pathways to learning."

Serendipity Center News - Turner Sanderman Tour

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Serendipity Shining Stars 2024 - We Belong

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Catching up with Rachel Gardell

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We talked to Lucky Day superstar Senior Producer Rachel Gardell who has been at Serendipity for the past couple of years. This year she worked with a team of people to create two special videos to help share Serendipity's good work with the world.

How did you come to be involved with Serendipity?

I joined the board in 2022 after being encouraged by my dear friends Michael Hsu and current Co-Executive Director Matty Berryessa. It felt like the right time for a deeper level of community engagement and supporting a school as special as Serendipity was a no-brainer.

What is it about their mission that drew you in?

My best friend has two autistic sons and another one of my dear friends has a son who has struggled in the mainstream educational system due to his autism as well. I wanted to support a school that is so committed to not giving up on kids and giving them a safe space to build a solid foundation of skills that will help them succeed in life. They truly are some of the most unique, hilarious, and wonderful kids at that school.

What does the world need to know about Serendipity that you want to make clear?

Serendipity is one school that is doing the incredibly challenging yet fulfilling work in this space and we need more of it. Right now we can only service a smaller number of students and there is a waitlist for students to join but with increased support and funding the reach could expand.

Let’s talk about these edits? Who, What, Where, When and Why?

Jason Roark, Anders Lund, and I were able to be onsite for the filming of these videos, and in a special turn of events our wonderful Editor Kel Marvin joined for the Turner tour video shoot day. We had a blast! Filming took place in February and April.

Any special shoutouts or highlights?

Huge shoutout to Turner who came so prepared for his video with a handwritten script and shooting boards! Also props to Julian who was so much more relaxed and clear on camera this year and big ups to Jayden and Yesnia for bringing so much vulnerability and heart to the videos!

Any BTS insights?

Turner was very concerned with the reflection and the camera being seen in any glass so before every take he would double-check. He can totally have a future in film if he wants it!

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Tucker FULL
Turner Sanderman's boards and shooting notes.

What are your hopes for Serendipity and this project moving forward?

I would love to see so many of the long-term goals of Serendipity come to fruition - a wider understanding of special education (SPED) and individualized treatment for students who need it, legislation passed to open additional Serendipity sites across the state of Oregon, an expanded campus and doubled enrollment.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Please consider finding ways to volunteer or donate to Serendipity or another organization close to your heart to support the important work that they do. Feel free to watch this short video to hear more about them.

….oh…. And what’s up with the Llama?

Rojo is a llama that has come out to Serendipity for YEARS. In the Shining Stars video you’ll see a young Julian and his first picture with the llama and then one 8 years later as a senior. It was a fun touch at the event to have someone familiar with Serendipity and who doesn’t love llamas?!

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