Janus Work Experience Program Builds Success
By Debbie Laird, Vice President of Development and Transportation.
For Bryan Held, life has not always been easy. Bryan was not able to speak until he was three years old. His parents were told he would never be able to be educated. But that prognosis did not stop Bryan's parents, Ron and Brenda Held. Instead, they exposed Bryan to the theatre and to plays, but more importantly they treated Bryan as though he did not have a disability. They showed continuous compassion to their son and did not put limits on his abilities. Bryan attended school and utilized the skills of a speech therapist throughout school. For Bryan, there were few social outlets, although he did bowl on the Church Bowling League and even learned how to drive a car! Bryan began to attend Opportunities for Positive Growth once a week and enjoyed the interaction. Soon his parents learned about the Work Experience Program at Janus. Since Bryan has difficulty in a more traditional work environment his parents enrolled him into the program. Since coming to Janus, Brenda says the changes in her son have been like night and day. Bryan has blossomed.
Brenda says that Bryan gets up on his own every morning and looks forward to coming to Janus to work. He feels accepted and has made new friends. Suddenly he feels encouraged and is talking about moving to his own home. As a parent, Brenda says that she feels good about Janus and the progress Bryan has made. She said Janus has made a difference in their family life. Bryan is happier, content and confident in his own abilities. Brenda says she would recommend Janus to anyone. Brian has a sister, who works for Linnea's Lights. Bryan was so pleased when Linnea's Lights contracted with Janus to do work at the Janus facility. Bryan is so proud to working with the same company his sister does!
Bryan was recently elected to be the President of the Aktion Club, a Kiwanis sponsored club that provides opportunities for those with disabilities to give back to the community. Bryan's grandfather was the President of his Kiwanis group and Bryan has had his grandfather's gavel for years. Now in his own way Bryan is carrying on the tradition of giving back to the community through Janus. The staff at Janus congratulates Bryan on a job well done and wishes him continued success in his new role as Aktion Club President.