Donny Stewart

Donny Stewart

The Ability Center’s newly revamped Life Skills Program is turning our consumers' vision into reality.

Donny Stewart entered the Next Steps Summer Program, a component of Life Skills, with very specific goals to gain independence. The result? Donny’s spark of confidence and increased self-sufficiency will stay with him as he enters college and beyond.

As with most young adults, Donny is no stranger to the pressures of growing up. Living with autism adds obstacles to breaking through social barriers.

Donny reveals, "Something that worried me was being able to successfully live on my own. I am so thankful I was able to be a part of the Next Steps Summer Program. I was given the tools and help I needed to reassure myself that I am capable of successfully living on my own.

At the Next Steps Summer Program, I saw how everyone never let their disability become master over them. I know I've already done a lot, in terms of overcoming my autism, but it gave me hope that I could do even more."

The Next Steps Summer Program delves into what college and dorm life is really like. Cooking, laundry, and meal preparation are components of the five-week experience at the University of Toledo. Donny built life-long friendships at the summer program with other local students with disabilities. Connecting peers who tackle the same challenges is a fundamental part of our youth transition programming.

Donny is now attending Monroe County Community College where goes to school full time and works part time. He is now comfortable speaking in front of a class during presentations and he does well with time management.