Jason is a man with vision. He lives in a rural Levy County area and saw a need. People with disabilities in this community had limited choices and not much of a chance of reaching their goals or fulfilling their dreams.
He began by opening a gift shop, and has not only created a place for his friends and family with disabilities to craft and create, but also formed a strong networking resource where he can be an advocate for them.
You see, Jason, too, has disabilities. He was born with Down Syndrome, a hearing deficiency, and is legally blind. At six weeks old, it was suggested that he be placed in an institution. He was later diagnosed with over 300 airborne and food allergies and had to undergo aggressive medical therapy until the age of five. In 1999, he was diagnosed with auto-immune liver disease and diabetes.
Through all of this, he perseveres. He has been working at various locations of Regal Cinemas, Inc. since 1998, and has used that money to finance the Angels are Forever gift shop, which he opened in 1999.
He has created positions and jobs within the shop for his friends with and without disabilities, such as clerical work, building maintenance, and landscaping. His positive work ethics and long-standing position with Regal Cinemas, Inc. has also assisted him in networking jobs in the public sector with a variety of businesses in the communities of Levy, Alachua, and Gilchrist counties.
Jason was not given much of a chance when he first came into this world, but without the small chance he was given, the people in our community would have missed out on all of the opportunities they now have.
Submitted by Anonymous