As early as my senior year of High School I have been involved with Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania in one aspect or another. For all but one of those years I have been involved in Union Station Clubhouse. While not housed directly within the Fayette Campus itself, I had the privilege of visiting again after several years as I have worked employment placements over the years. Today, I was honored as one of twelve Outstanding Achievers for 2018. While I never want to accept recognition for anything I do. I however, realize that I have accomplished two pretty cool and big milestones within the past nine months.
One was obtaining independent housing. While I have attempted to do so by visiting available units twice in my Adulthood, both on spur of the moment decisions and not with any true planning. However this was different as I was connected to a housing specialist, who sought out and obtained applications. Five months and one day after I made mailed the application, I received a phone call from the community manager and graciously accepted offer. Being independent now for nine months has given me the opportunity to find my individuality, something I am continuing to learn and process.
The other was yet another milestone and that is obtaining a driver’s license. While my mom was a advocate in me obtaining it and having obstacles during the process, I didn’t let that get in my way, I persevered and overcame the challenges brought forth.
With both achievements, it has been a long and intense nine months. After the ceremony I was asked of future plans. I have decided that for the next six months to take it a little easy. No, I’m not becoming lazy or not slacking in required duties. However, I have overcome several obstacles over the past decade that with myself feeling better about myself and my life I have decided to take additional time for myself. Yes, I am going to fulfill my necessary components of life, both paid and unpaid. I just want to take time for me to delve in and discover my true self and true identity.
Nonetheless the Clubhouse program has been a true asset in my life for several years now an will continue to be for some time. As such it is in a state of renewal that I very much want to be apart of. They have and continue to play a major part in not only my recovery, but in everyday life. I feel indebted immensely to each and every staff person at the program who has taken the time to make me the successful member of not only the clubhouse, but not only society and community they have molded me to be.
My journey has been uplifting at the clubhouse. From sitting in the corner and watching movies the first day, to achieving each and every milestone. One specific one that will be forever etched in my memory is when the program director visit the entity that would become my employer to seek job placements for individuals such as myself. The direct supervisor of these positions would be a family friend who had seen me from time to time at the program and system events blossoming from the child she remembered time ago. She had previously overseen another program that is no longer existent and invited me to become involved as a volunteer. She was adamant on bringing me on board. I at the time had no intention of working and just spending the remainder of life with total reliance on entitlements. However, the program director of the clubhouse have had and continue to have a bond since the day I became aquatinted with him and I am forever grateful. He always puts my physical and mental health first and foremost and makes sure all needs met before chartering new territory, like this for instance.
Anyway, I hesitently accepted and I continue to work today and my talents and skills are used frequently.
Don’t give up, never forget where you were and if you think, you will go places you never dreamed of.