Rebekah Hintzman started her career watching dogs at her family home in the summer. That started her passion for dogs and encouraged her mind for small business. She started as a kennel manager at a local shepherd breeding facility in her home town which she gained her love for German Shepherds and training. Then went on to apprentice under a local dog groomer her senior year where she eventually started her own dog grooming business.
Director - Special Needs/Child Development
I have been actively involved in the disability community for as long as I can remember. My brother has multiple diagnoses, including autism. Watching his struggles and perseverance firsthand inspired my career choices. I worked as a camp counselor at Camp Evergreen, a local respite camp. I also have worked as a residential and respite caregiver for Individual Growth Services, Paragon Community Services, and Sheboygan County Health and Human Services. I have been a special education teacher since 2015, and most recently, I earned my Masters degree and Director of Special Education and Pupil Services.
I am continuously looking for more ways to actively advocate for increased support, awareness, and equitable experiences for people with disabilities and their families in our community. That being said, I was immediately impressed with Pawsitism’s mission. I remember volunteering at one of the organization’s earlier events and saying to Rebekah, “I wish there had been something like this when my brother was younger!” It has been amazing to watch the positive impacts Pawsitism is making, both directly through providing support to the families that are receiving service dogs, and indirectly through the network that is being created by connecting those families and the dogs with each other and with the community. It would be an understatement to say I was excited to be presented with the opportunity to actively contribute to those positive impacts moving forward.
I want to see the community outreach continue to grow, which would lead to two changes. The first change would be a wider network of support and comraderie for families of people with disabilities, including but not limited to autism. The second change would be a wider range of community awareness, acceptance, and inclusion. Our community is taking positive steps towards making events more equitable and accessible for people with disabilities, but we still have a long way to go, and Pawsitism and its members can be powerful advocates and change agents.
Director - Child Counselor/Development
Working with Pawsitism is a family approach. My background is in counseling and education so I am enjoying working directly with the children and offering any advice I can or support to parents.
I love animals but especially dogs and I also have a huge heart for helping others. This opportunity allows me to educate myself more about dog training and the amazing things these dogs can do to support the families, but also to educate the community and help families.
My hope is that we will become a household name, educating the community about service dogs, children with autism and all the things parents and the children need to be supported. Personally in my role helping the families, I hope to gain a stronger knowledge of the needs of the children we are helping and how to best support both the children and the families.
Tamara Pool was born and raised in Sheboygan. She attended James Madison Elementary School until 4th grade because her parents wanted an immersive educational experience that focused on the inclusion of special needs children. As a result, Tamara grew up knowing that people with disabilities could do anything with the right tools.