Daniel C. always delivered when he was in the classrooms of the ChildBridge Center for Education and now eight months after leaving the school, he continues to deliver in all new ways.
As the ChildBridge Center for Education celebrates 10 years of changing lives, Daniel stands as one of the school’s greatest success stories having found community employment with FedEx in Arizona, thriving in Special Olympics and living an independent lifestyle.
While Daniel lives with his mother in Arizona, he needs very little support in his day-to-day routine. He works four days a week at FedEx as a package handler and loading and unloading trucks, uses public transportation to get to and from work and other community establishments and has quickly made friends in his new community.
“It’s amazing, it really is. I can sit back and relax while he goes to work,” Daniel’s mother Heather joked. “He loves going to work and working holidays and getting double pay and all those benefits of a job. FedEx believed in him straight away. It’s been really amazing.”
Daniel’s success has come as no surprise to Jessica Kingji who worked with Daniel for his entire 6 years at the ChildBridge Center. Jessica said Daniel’s people skills and work ethic always made him a role model at the school and he always believed in himself despite adversity.
When Daniel first came to the school, he had experienced bad bullying at a traditional high school and there was concern that bullying could have led to bullying tendencies in Daniel when he came to ChildBridge.
But Jessica said the reality was the complete opposite and Daniel’s gentle nature allowed him to thrive working with staff and his classmates.
“Daniel is an ultimate success story and when corporations like FedEx provide these life-changing opportunities, it really restores faith in our work,” Jessica said. “It is a team effort and Daniel was blessed with a family that understands and supports him. It is one of the stories you always strive for.”
Daniel said he has loved his job so far and sees himself continuing to work there for the foreseeable future. There are other employees with similar disabilities and Daniel said that helped make the transition to the workplace easier.
When he isn’t working, Daniel is often playing sports and still excelling in the Special Olympics. While at Little City, he competed in the World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Now, he is preparing to travel to Florida to try out for the Team USA Special Olympics basketball team. Heather said she could not have imagined a better result for her son after his time at Little City.
“He’s happy to have his job and his friends,” Heather said. “It has been a wonderful community and they’ve really accepted him. The people love him here and he is doing amazing.”