Ryan had no plans to look for community employment, and he was not shy in saying so. Before joining ODC, he had participated in some short-term community jobs that were not very positive experiences.
So for many years, Ryan participated in ODC”s center-based training program, learning how to manage anxiety and maintain focus. He also joined a few ODC work crews, to “get his feet wet” in a community setting.
Ryan then joined CommunityConnect, where he volunteered at local non-profits including the South Wood County Humane Society and the Boys and Girls Club. He was always willing to try new experiences, but wasn’t finding the right fit… until he took a volunteer position at the Stevens Point Parks and Recreation Department, where he found his niche. Ryan’s mom reported how proud he was of his jeans that were muddied from the gardening he was doing.
Now, Ryan is actually talking about where he’d like to work, and is currently working with ODC and DVR to make that community job a reality.
“I remember the day I toured ODC many years ago,” said Ryan’s mom, “and I was ‘over the moon’ about the place! My feelings haven’t changed… ODC has been a safe place for Ryan and has helped him blossom!”
Congratulations, Ryan, on your nomination for ODC’s 2017 Personal Achievement Award!