Thank you for your continued support!
As 2022 nears its end, we want to take a moment to thank you for your support and for believing in the work we do. This year has been one of significant growth and accomplishment for Disability Network Southwest Michigan – and it’s all because of you!
The power of your generosity has empowered our disability-led team to partner with individuals, not only to connect them to community resources they need to achieve their goals, but also foster their confidence, dignity, and self-direction.
When Zach met with our team, he faced a number of barriers that weren’t allowing him to live up to his full potential. He was overwhelmed and experienced intense panic attacks, which interfered with his life.
His friends and family would often have to help him make decisions and assist him with even simple tasks. Zach’s mental health needs kept him from driving, despite having his driver’s license. He had difficulty keeping a job because of the intensity of his anxiety attacks. It was a lot for Zach, and he felt defeated.
Just like all of us, Zach wanted to lead a meaningful life, contribute to his community, and have a job that he enjoyed and where he could grow professionally. His anxiety was so severe that it was impacting his ability to achieve his dreams.
During his first meeting at Disability Network, our team quickly recognized Zach’s potential and encouraged him not to give up on his dreams. Together they went to work to address his mental health needs and build skills to be successful in the workplace. Disability Network helped Zach sharpen his employment readiness skills such as communication and professionalism, plus skills to speak up about his disability-related needs.
With the help of Disability Network, Zach’s confidence grew, and he could now imagine a brighter future. He put his new skills into practice and started setting and meeting his own goals. He attended a vocational school and even though his anxiety was a big challenge, he stayed persistent and adjusted to dorm life. While he continued to take care of his mental health, he found success in his classes and later started a part-time, after school job, all while being supported by the staff at Disability Network.
Zach discovered that he had a passion for mentoring students to reach their goals and that passion led to a Teaching Assistant position at his school. After graduation, Zach was hired by the State of Michigan as a full-time employee. He lives in his own apartment, takes pride in his job, and even drives himself wherever he wants to go. Zach was also encouraged by his former teacher to apply for an instructor position.
Most importantly, Zach takes great pride in his accomplishments and shared that his father is very proud of how far he has come. His future continues to shine, and we will continue to work alongside Zach to support his dreams.