His extroverted nature wasn’t always the case though.
From the time he was one year old, Maurice was non-verbal and his parents struggled to find answers when their happy little boy stopped talking and making sounds. They finally received a diagnosis of autism when Maurice was six years old.
An immediate concern for Maurice’s parents was how to help him succeed in school.
At age seven, Maurice started attending the Easterseals Therapeutic Day School where he received not only an education, but also speech, language and communication therapies until he transitioned to a mainstream public high school and graduated 13th in his class.
“We walked in and knew it was right,” said Jennifer Snell, Maurice’s mom. “That’s when Maurice just took off. We could see a change in him the first week of attending Easterseals.”
While Maurice was a client of Easterseals for 10 years, he thrived by participating in sports and honing his communication skills.
In 2007, he was selected to be a national representative of the organization to share his story. After graduating from Saint Xavier University in Chicago with a degree in Liberal Studies, Maurice couldn’t shake the feeling that he was meant to help others like him find their voice.
His dream job was to work for Easterseals and his dream came true when he was hired in 2006 as an administrative assistant for what is now the Easterseals Academy.
Maurice has held many positions with at Easterseals including his current role as a Development Coordinator. In addition to his job responsibilities that include planning fundraising events, he is a mentor to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Easterseals Academy.
“Easterseals has changed my life and I am so excited to come to work every day and help kids in similar situations,” said Maurice. I get such joy helping others especially kids and their families.”
Maurice doesn’t let his autism limit him.
He’s a singer in a band as well as a pianist, avid golfer, loyal White Sox fan and a friend to everyone he meets.
“I believe in Easterseals and I know firsthand how this organization has helped many children and adults,” Maurice says. “Easterseals has brought me a long way.”
Maurice’s passion and advocacy for people and families living with disability is evident not only in his work but also in his interactions with people on a daily basis.
He wants to make sure more families come to know the great resource that is Easterseals.
“Easterseals has set me up for success,” said Maurice. “And as I continue to work for Easterseals, I can be a role model and inspiration for others like me.”
Find out how we're helping adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, like Maurice, achieve their goals every day.