The Butterfly Effect: Fig & Dove's Commitment to the Emerge Center


Inspired by personal experience, Fig & Dove is committed to providing children with autism and individuals with communication delays a more accessible, impactful path to independence.

Shortly after moving back to Baton Rouge from Washington D.C., Colleen’s middle son, Christopher, was diagnosed with Autism. Colleen says Christopher’s diagnosis has kept the Waguespack family “grounded in faith” and given them a “purpose to help other families on the same path.”  As the Waguespacks navigated the world of the Autism spectrum, Colleen saw firsthand the need for a one-stop-shop providing equal access to care, services and therapies in the Baton Rouge community.

Shortly after Christophers diagnosis, Colleen joined the board of the Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation, where Christopher was receiving critical services, as the parent representative on the board.  After sharing her perspective, the board committed to a larger vision to create a comprehensive center for autism in Baton Rouge.  Colleen eventually chaired the board and lead a successful capital campaign, thus creating the Emerge Center.  The Emerge Center is an organization Colleen is passionate about because it provides children with autism and communication challenges access to opportunities that will help guide their futures toward independent success.  Today she serves on their Foundation Board which raises money and awareness for the Emerge Center as well as the Emerge School, a charter school for children with autism.

Colleen has remained steadfast in this mission through Fig & Dove’s philanthropic commitment to The Emerge Center by donating proceeds from our Acrylic Butterflies to the organization. Each Acrylic Butterfly is hand sculpted and painted by Louisiana artist Brad Bourgoyne as a symbol of new beginnings and a reminder to enjoy our everyday miracles. Year-round, these butterflies are available in three cheerful colors and two sizes. This year to celebrate Autism Acceptance Month, Fig & Dove has released Acrylic Butterflies in a limited-edition green colorway.

Colleen says, as the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, “these butterflies remind me of where we started 15 years ago when I wondered if I would ever have a conversation with my son?” Today, Christopher is “a witty, tell-it-like-it-is (often a little too honestly) teenager” who has touched the Waguespack family’s lives in countless ways. Colleen and team Fig & Dove cherish the opportunity to support an organization committed to bringing the same level of quality care and invaluable services to children across Baton Rouge that The Emerge Center brought Christopher.

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