Success Story: Riley

RILEY is attending Terra Community College and studying hard to earn his Power Technology Degree.  He wants to fix farm machinery in the future.

He is a great student who said he just needs to learn in a different way.  Riley said the guidance he receives from the disability center at Terra and his professors, along with help from Ottawa County Board of DD, has helped him succeed in his life.  Last semester his GPA was 3.5, something he (and we) are very proud of!

Riley is a very motivated and busy guy. In addition to taking college courses, he is employed at Christy’s Corners Cafe in Elmore and at a small packing factory in Genoa.  He shared that he likes the people he works with. He looks forward to getting up in the morning and loves going to work.   Sometimes Riley has problems interacting with people due to his autism. He feels that being surrounded by people that encourage him at work, in the community and at home is one of the best things people with disabilities could have.

In his free time Riley participates in track and field, softball, and basketball through the Ottawa County Board of DD and Special Olympics of Ohio programs.  He really enjoys his teammates and coaches, especially Coach Zack and Coach Ray.

Riley said he is very lucky that his bosses, coworkers, family, teammates, coaches, and his intervention specialist are in his life.  One of the things he wants others to know is that people with disabilities can lead normal lives. They want to go to school, work, or just be part of the world.   They just need to concentrate on things that they can do!   “My ability is so much bigger than my disability.”

Success Story: Jeremy

JEROMY is an incredibly focused man. Pair this with his strong work ethic, and it makes for a very full and active life for him.

He is a Tech Ambassador and is also a founding member of the self-advocate group SASSY (Self-Advocates Sayin’ Something, Yeah!) at Ottawa County Board of DD.

Project STIR (Steps Towards Independence and Responsibility) is a leadership training led by and for people with disabilities. Jeromy has worked his way to being a trainer for Project STIR and helps give his peers the tools to advocate for themselves, work with others, and gain leadership skills.

During the covid pandemic Jeromy planned and led two virtual fun activities each week for We Thrive Together. This is an organization that believes that no one should suffer from isolation or loneliness. When their virtual schedule was downsized after pandemic restrictions were lifted, Jeromy decided he wasn’t ready to stop providing virtual activities. He now hosts his own personal podcast.

Jeromy enjoys sports and music. He has his own DJ business, Road Dog DJ, which allows him to share his music with others at conferences and parties. He is on the basketball, softball, and bowling teams for the Ottawa County Rockets. Jeromy is also a member of the Shriners and had a lot of fun volunteering his time a few weeks ago at their circus.

He works several days a week at a local convenience store, where he unloads the trucks and stocks the shelves. In his spare time Jeromy likes to go to casinos, movies and hang out with his friends.

Success Story: Lily

Lilly is making great progress in the Early Intervention program working on developmental milestones. She loves spending time with her family and friends, playing peek-a-boo and ball toss.  She loves Frozen and just celebrated her 2nd birthday.

Success Story: Gabby

Gabby was very recently named as an alternate for the Ohio Special Olympics swimming team for the 2022 National Special Olympics Games.   She finished in 1st place at the 2020 State Winter Games at Bowling Green State University.  

Success Story: Jeannie Kimmel

Jeannie Kimmel has found success at the end of a journey that started before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world for many. She began this journey to find a job she felt was useful and would make her happy. During this time, she learned she was important and should feel she was “more than a number.”  Today she is working at the local Wal-Mart on the maintenance crew.