Jimmy’s journey with The Ability Center began in 2017. Cooking/nutrition, financial management, sex education, and personal safety are just a few of the Youth and Transition classes Jimmy has mastered. Throughout these classes, he socialized with many peers, leading to lasting friendships.
In 2018, Jimmy enrolled in the Next Steps Summer Program, a unique summer experience where students stay on the campus of The University of Toledo while working during the day. “I remember how shy I was when I was in the room
with new Ability Center consumers, but I eventually became so motivated to answer every question,” Jimmy said.
“During school, I never liked to raise my hand unless the teachers asked me a question, but I felt so comfortable during this program.”
After completing the program, Jimmy decided it was time for him to learn how to live independently on his own. With the help of Lucas Board of Development Disabilities, he was approved for his own apartment. “Once I got approved to live in my apartment, I felt amazing and happy,” Jimmy said. “I am not fully independent yet but that’s okay. I’m still learning.”
The Ability Center connected him with resources to furnish his apartment and offered resources to learn skills like meal preparation, budgeting, and time management to make sure he continued to take care of himself. “I thought I would live with my parents for the rest of my life,” Jimmy said. “But one night I realized I wanted to become more responsible and more independent. You never know what you will achieve in your life. I never thought this would be my life and I’m truly happy about it.”