Price and Jan Serak share
both a friendship and a passion for helping others that has resulted
in their co-founding and co-directing the Wisconsin Family Assistance
Center for Education, Training & Support Inc.
WI FACETS grew out of their
collective experience trying to negotiate the educational system
to accommodate Charlotte's son's orthopedic needs and the needs
of Jan’s autistic son. As they discovered the resources
that would help their own children, the two united to provide
this information to other parents through statewide workshops,
parent counseling, resource referral, and support related to
early conflict resolution.
In addition to their work through
WI FACETS, both Charlotte and Jan provide board training and
strategic planning for non-profit organizations, mediation
services for organizations around Wisconsin and hours of support
other organizations as well.
Charlotte has devoted countless hours to WI FACETS’ mission,
beginning with when she was learning about the services her two
and a half-year-old son needed to overcome his physical disabilities.
The more Charlotte learned, the more she shared. “Part
of the advocacy program then was for participants to, in turn,
help another family,” she says. “That’s when
I became hooked.” As for the future, “I think I will
always provide volunteer support for parents who have children
with disabilities,” she says. “I am also developing
a private mediation practice which should sustain me during my
golden years.” In the meantime, she’s getting plenty
of experience through her work with Marquette’s Center
for Dispute Resolution and the many organizations with which
she is involved.
Jan serves in various state and national leadership positions
and as an active committee member with numerous organizations
related to her work in advocacy and mediation, including the
Autism Society at regional, state and national levels. Her enthusiasm
has only grown as she has seen her work make a real difference
in the lives of children with disabilities and their families.
To work and life, she applies her special formula for success:
Passion + Knowledge + Network + Family + Faith. “Family
is foundation,” she says. “My husband and our two
sons, Jeff and Ben, are my joy and keep me grounded and aware
of the need for time away from work. My faith in God makes it
all possible and meaningful.”