Having worked his entire adult life, Christian had to change his career when he began losing his vision. At first he struggled with his new disability, but he wasn’t held back by it. His sister-in-law Caroline describes him as
...the type of person that if he wants something, he goes after it, and he doesn’t give up.
Christian worked with his local vocational rehabilitation (VR) office to learn new skills and prepare for the job search. He completed nine months of training at the Workforce and Technology Center near his home in Maryland. There he learned about housekeeping, groundskeeping, and floor maintenance, and how to perform those tasks with his changing vision.
In addition to the job skills training, Christian worked with his VR counselor Nick to prepare for an employment search. Together they wrote a résumé and cover letter, practiced interviewing, and started benefits counseling training.
Together with VR, Christian persistently searched for work and found an ideal position at Johns Hopkins University, maintaining floors and coordinating trash disposal. Christian quickly impressed his new manager with his skills well as his determination.
Within a week of completing training at Johns Hopkins, Christian was working independently. He loves his work and values the health, dental, and vision benefits, along with vacation and sick time.
These benefits not only help Christian, but also his family. He is close to his nephews, his brother James, and his sister-in-law Caroline. They describe him as a good role model for his nephews, and highlight how loving and supportive he is.
Christian encourages others to persevere when times get hard:
Life is going to hit you with many a thing, but it’s not about how hard life hits you. It’s about how long you stay down. If you have the heart and the desire, the will and the want, to change your life and to make your life better, you can do it.
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The SGA Project is funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education Grant # H235L100004