Nick, like most young adults, craved a sense of independence that comes from working and living on his own. A few years ago, Nick began working toward his dream by becoming a part of the Upstate Cerebral Palsy Job, Education and Developing Independence Program, where he eagerly learned new skills, like how to use power tools to help with building repairs. This hands-on training enhanced not only his employment skills, but also his social skills both of which are invaluable for his future. Excited to learn more, Nick began volunteering at the Root Farm of Upstate Cerebral Palsy, where he quickly immersed himself in the physical demands of farm life. He enjoyed feeding and caring for the animals, tapping trees for sap and maintaining multiple chicken coops and horse stalls. Nick’s lively and energetic attitude became a welcomed and dependable presence on the farm.
With each goal that Nick conquered, he desired additional challenges and opportunities to learn new skills. Through his ties at the Root Farm, Nick decided to learn how to horseback ride, an activity that he would have previously been reluctant to try. Fortunately, his increased confidence from working on the farm helped Nick to be an excellent rider. He even began assisting with the new, younger riders taking lessons at the farm.
Ultimately, Nick’s determination and hard work brought the independence he deserved. Through the agency supported apartment program, Nick now lives in his own apartment, where he is able to concentrate on his favorite hobby, creating his art. Art is a passion for Nick, and his pieces have appeared on local news programs and in agency exhibits.
Nick’s passion and hard work combined with his creativity, new skills and life experiences prove that dreams can come true!