Matt’s Success Story
Published in 2020
In 2014, Matt took stock of his life. He was receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because hearing loss and other medical issues had interfered with consistent employment. For years he had struggled to make ends meet on an SSDI check. As an ambitious gentleman, he was eager to move beyond the limitations of relying on SSDI. “I always wanted and planned to work,” he says, “…to be productive, build a career, and earn more money …”
Michele’s Success Story
Published in 2013
Michele learned to navigate the road through young adulthood in a body that became increasingly uncooperative. Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, a hereditary disease that causes progressive weakness, compromised her mobility, but not her ambition. Few opportunities pass her by, and Michele discovered one that seemed like buried treasure. It was an opportunity that allowed her to find her calling and create her path to independence. That opportunity came in the form of Social Security’s Work Incentives.
Jesus’ Success Story
Published in 2017
Jesus has a singular passion for helping people fulfill their potential. Much of this passion grew out of the help and encouragement he received from family members and clinicians when he faced a rare set of challenges as a boy.
Jesus was born with spina bifida, a type of congenital disorder in which the bones of the spine don’t form properly around the spinal cord.
Shileta’s Success Story
Published in 2017
Shileta listened intently to the distressed high school student in her office who described a “rudderless” feeling hanging over her like a cloud. The student was anxious about not knowing what to do after graduation. Shileta knew she could help.
As a staff member of the DC Center for Independent Living, Shileta spends much of her time guiding youth with disabilities through self-discovery and life planning.
Walter’s Success Story
Published in 2018
It was “Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day” in 2002 when Walter first marveled at the campus where his mom worked. The bell tower, the scenic lawns, the stadium, and the bustling dining hall at Cornell University all felt alive. That day, Walter decided to find work on campus and contribute to the diverse fabric of Cornell’s community.
As a child, Walter struggled in school. He was born with a developmental disability and had to work hard to acquire skills that came naturally to most of his classmates.