20 Under 40: Madeline Landgren finds joy in helping others
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Thirty-two-year-old Madeline Landgren wants to help people.
As director of adult programs at Horizons Specialized Services in Steamboat Springs, Landgren has found happiness and joy in working with adults who have significant needs.
Horizons provides support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across Northwest Colorado. Landgren, who is part of Horizons’ five-person leadership team, oversees residential programming in Routt and Moffat counties along with specialized living services in Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Grand counties.
“Sometimes progress is slow,” Landgren said, “but if you show up every day to work towards a goal, you can make an incredible difference.”
Through her work at Horizons, Landgren has helped many adults with cognitive disabilities overcome challenges to living independently. And she applauded the work Horizons has done to help lead to those successes.
“It’s important to really keep people engaged and involved in their own life trajectory,” she said. “And making sure those decisions are made because it’s important to the person and not just because it’s convenient for the providers.”
She said that is an area where Horizons excels.
Deirdre Pepin, who also works for Horizons, nominated Landgren for this year’s 20 Under 40 class. In a glowing nomination, Pepin described her co-worker as “a perfect leader for the nonprofit world.”
“(Landgren) operates with equal parts emotion and intelligence,” she said.
Name: Madeline Landgren
Profession: Director of adult programs, Horizons Specialized Services
Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology; master’s degree in biomedical science from Colorado State University
Pepin recalled an instance when Landgren worked with a man who required a wheelchair, eventually helping him progress from walking 10 feet at a time to accompanying Landgren to a restaurant without needing his chair.
Landgren’s approach, Pepin explained, is one of compassion and understanding, and she never backs away from a challenge.
“She is an empathetic and a patient problem solver,” Pepin said.
Being a millennial, Landgren said her generation is full of innovators who are facing a turbulent time.
“I think we have a lot of people that are coming together to reconcile that conflict and find new solutions,” she said.
And that’s how Landgren’s employers at Horizons feel about her: a tried and true problem solver with extensive knowledge and credibility.
The busy mother of two, who in May had her littlest one, Evelyn, extends herself out into the community, as well.
A resident of Hayden, Landgren serves on the board of Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA and recently participated on the design advisory group for the new Hayden School District campus.
Landgren moved to Routt County, originally living in Steamboat, when she was about 10 years old. She attended middle and high school in the county and had a traditional Colorado upbringing, participating in winter sports and growing to love the outdoors.
After high school, she attended Colorado State University and eventually went on to live in Montana.
She and her husband, Michael, who was formerly part of the Craig Hotshots, decided to move back to Routt County about five years ago. Part of that decision was to be closer to family but also because she couldn’t deny her attraction to the area.
“You grow up in a community and you can’t truly appreciate it for what it is and you take a lot of things for granted,” she said. “I didn’t realize the level of community that we do have, where people really come together. I think we’re a really giving community and everyone comes together to help each other. It’s beautiful.”
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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