LARCHWOOD, Iowa (KCAU) — If you have a talent, share it with others. That’s a life lesson that Rachel Langenhorst said her parents emphasized to her at an early age.
“My dad modeled that very, very well and did so much volunteer work and just different things to make the community better, so it’s just kind of been a part of me to give back as much as I can,” she said.
She lives in Larchwood, Iowa, but is originally from Rock Valley. Her dad was a teacher and she followed in his footsteps. After earning a master’s degree in education technology, Langenhorst’s first job after college kept her close to home.
“I was hired right back by Rock Valley, right where I graduated from and I was able to work in the special education room for four years along with some amazing people and it was really neat to work alongside several of my former teachers who I just incredibly admired,” said Langenhorst.
Now she works for Stages Learning, which is an autism and cognitive delay curriculum company.
“I’m allowed there with so many opportunities to speak with districts, teachers, special education directors, ABA clinics, etc., so I can help them, equip them with what is necessary to really do their work more efficiently,” she said.
Her dedication to helping others is not exclusive to the classroom. Langenhorst has spent the last 18 years working as a first responder with Larchwood Community Rescue Squad.
“We’re always on call meaning we don’t have a schedule,” said Langenhorst. “If we’re available and the pager goes off, we answer the call day or night. It’s been really rewarding to be able to help the people in the community.”
Langenhorst and other rescue squad volunteers also go to youth sporting events to help in case someone gets injured. The group also hosts blood pressure events as well as bicycle safety days.