Tell us about you?
After my military service, I really struggled to manage my mental and behavioral health and experienced chronic homelessness. I was referred to the DOR by Veteran Affairs … DOR became a steppingstone to help me gather my footing, providing me with career coaching and creating a long-term plan … I wrote a book called Motivate Your Mindset … showing that moving past brokenness into triumph is possible. I started a business called Brand Vigilante … providing pro bono business and brand development services to community members and local businesses. I graduated with the DOR’s assistance receiving an AA in sociology and psychology, propelling me forward to finishing my BA in Organizational Studies … Most recently, getting accepted into an MBA program with Claremont Graduate University.
How have VR Services impacted you?
Before Vocational Rehabilitation, I worked in IT, which I got into from my military service. I found that I was not as prepared as I needed to be, and due to mental and behavioral health issues could not meet the continued training and shifts of the IT field. Vocational Rehabilitation helped me find a passion and move into an education that has reshaped my employment experience. Employment to me is empowerment and self-determination in being an entrepreneur and business consultant.
What does 100 years of VR mean to you?
There is this quote, “everything we see is the shadow side of life” that has stuck with me over the years. It reminds me of Vocational Rehabilitation and the freedom that it represents. Possibilities and opportunities are always around the corner. Still, sometimes we get so stuck in our minds, thinking about what we cannot do, that we forget what we can. That is 100 years of Vocational Rehabilitation to me. It is 100 years of remembering and looking forward to new opportunities.