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Ben Tonnis: From a Shy Young Boy to Confident 'Big Ben'

Picture of Ben Tonnis

You wouldn’t know it if no one told you, but you can find Big Ben at a local YMCA. Of course we don’t mean the historic clock tower found in London, but we mean a similarly steady, dependable figure beloved by the populace: Ben Tonnis, one of the finest young workers in the Easterseals Work and Grow program.

Ben Tonnis came to Easterseals through a referral from Hamilton County DDS. We well remember him from his first month: He was shy, he had occasional issues getting along with a peer, his work quality was not particularly good, and his speed was very slow. It was not the most impressive debut.

But, Ben had a strong desire to succeed. He mapped out goals with his Easterseals Service Coordinator, Tricia, and the Easterseals Site Supervisor, Lois. When they all agreed upon a plan, Ben got to work. He worked hard and he worked diligently. And, little by little, he began to improve. First, you could see it as his work quality became better and his speed became faster. That allowed Ben’s confidence to grow. With improved confidence and self-esteem, Ben’s success was like a snowball rolling down a steep hill, bigger and better with each step forward.

Now, when you visit the YMCA, the shy young man is gone. In his place is our “Big Ben,” a friendly young man well-liked by peers and YMCA members alike. He’s a fixture now, always in attendance. His work is done well and on time, like clockwork. He’s dependable, steady, and beloved by all those at the YMCA. It is definitely a big deal!

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