We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization helping students with disabilities achieve their career goals so that they may gain greater personal and financial freedom. There are few role models with disabilities among faculty and staff on many school campuses. Our mission is to bridge that gap with mentors who understand firsthand the unique challenges that people face as students and job seekers with a range of disabilities.
When Hoa developed paraplegia, we knew no one with that type of disability. One day he saw a man in a wheelchair pumping his own gas for his car. It was just a routine task for this person, but it was a pivotal moment for Hoa. In that instant, he realized "Wow! That's something I can do for myself." It was similar to a moment captured in a photo that went viral where a little girl using a wheelchair stared in awe at a life-size photo of an Ulta model in a wheelchair.
She could see herself up there.
We have met some remarkable people on our journey. These are people whom we greatly admire, and they have volunteered to be mentors. Reach out to them. Ask them how they did it. What gave them the courage to forge their own paths?
photo credit: Carolyn Anderson