Charlotte, NC, August 7, 2020
It wasn’t an easy journey but 53-year-old Tommy Laws worked hard and the support staff from Easterseals UCP never gave up on his dream to graduate from college.
Tommy graduated from Central Piedmont Community College with a certificate of completion from the I-LEAD program (Independence and Literacy Education for Adults with Disabilities). This special program provides specialized education and transition courses to help gain skills to achieve independence, employment and being part of his community. Tommy, who lives with cerebral palsy, began the program in 2002.
Over the years, Easterseals UCP paraprofessionals BeLinda Bishop and Reid Henighan with the Individual and Community Services program, supported Tommy by urging him to attend classes and complete his assignments. Meanwhile, they worked on daily living skills such as assisting with cooking, cleaning, money management and hygiene.
Reid said, “You can achieve what you choose to. All you have to do is put that front foot forward and continue doing what you want to do. Disability does not play any part in getting an education.” Reid, who has been supporting Tommy for seven years, had tears of joy during the graduation. Throughout the years, Reid has been Tommy’s paraprofessional and his best friend. “This is a great milestone for Tommy to achieve. I’m proud of him!”
Once the pandemic comes to an end, Tommy plans to look for a job and get back out in the community. Easterseals UCP is proud of Tommy and the Individual and Community Services staff for yet another success!ABOUT EASTERSEALSEasterseals provides meaningful and exceptional services so that children, adults, and families living with disabilities and mental health challenges can live, learn, work and play in their communities. Kathy.Edgerton@eastersealsucp.com(O) 919-865-8660 | (C) 919-208-0621