Andrew & Ella
Ella and Andrew met at an adult services program. Both have cerebral palsy. Both are confined to wheelchairs. And together they have celebrated more than 30 years of marriage, living life and loving it with continued support from UCP Seguin.
Tony has an engaging smile, a positive attitude and a great sense of humor. He also has cerebral palsy severe enough that he operates his motorized wheelchair with his head and uses assistive technology to communicate. Like everyone, he wants a rich life, full of work and play, family and friends. He’s played in adapted bocce ball tournaments across Illinois, and he enjoys that. But he wanted something more — he wanted a community job. UCP Seguin worked with him to craft a resume, hone his work skills and connect with employers until he landed a job as a greeter in the Town of Cicero’s Public Safety Offices. He likes the work — and the paycheck — but most of all he likes the self-respect that comes from playing a valuable role in his community.
Like most of her generation, Georgia texts, emails, posts on Facebook and listens to music. She loves basketball and bowling, and not long ago she took the prize as Illinois’ top golfer at the Special Olympics State Championship. Georgia was born with Down syndrome. As she made the transition from school adulthood, she wanted to keep excelling in all areas of her life. And that’s just what she’s done. With an assist from UCP Seguin’s community employment services, she landed a job at Trader Joe’s. Her spirit and hard work stood out, and now she’s in charge of the nonalcoholic beverages department. Cheers.
Beryl has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Getting around with her power wheelchair, she lived comfortably with her mother, Grace. Then one night a fire broke out in their home. Shaken but unharmed, they went to stay with Beryl’s personal-care assistant, Liz. Together, they confronted a long-delayed decision. Beryl’s mother moved into senior housing, while Beryl remained with Liz. Today, Beryl works in the bus dispatch center at a UCP Seguin adult services center. She takes classes in cooking, gardening, computers and woodworking. Once a week, she heads over to her job at a café in Oak. She even handles banking and grocery shopping for her mother. The fire could so easily have ended her life. Instead, it opened a new chapter, one that grows richer every day.
Olga and Jerry have a lot in common. A zest for life. A gift for working with people. And a romance that’s lasted through nearly 20 years of marriage. One more thing: Both of them have cerebral palsy severe enough that they use wheelchairs to navigate the world. Time was, their disability might have kept them apart. But with help from UCP Seguin, they have a home specially adapted to their needs. And they have jobs they love at Seguin Gardens & Gifts and Seguin Auto Center. Olga and Jerry have so much. But most of all, they have each other.
Jerry & Olga
Cameron was worried about aging out of special education. His parents were worried, too. Would he be stuck at home all day with nothing to do? Building Bridges to the Future put their worries to rest. Cameron started going to UCP Seguin’s adult day services the day after he turned 22, and having nothing to do is not a problem. He’s getting vocational training in the Portillo’s Learning Kitchen and washing cars in UCP Seguin’s auto center. Most importantly, he’s finding his way as an adult in the world.