Mark Glaser’s Story of Dedication and Courage

After a diagnosis at age 20, Mark experienced self-doubt and dropped out of Manchester Community College. In 2016, after receiving treatment and counseling from the Schizophrenia Rehabilitation Program at the Institute of Living, an organization with which Easterseals has a collaborative partnership, Mark was referred to our Easterseals Supported Education program.
With Easterseals guidance, he returned to Manchester Community College and secured his associate degree. Mark was determined to achieve more and moved on to CCSU to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Now, ending his Junior year, his academic grades are impressive– straight A’s! Mark has a strong desire to help others. Until this year, he kept his specific diagnosis confidential for fear of a stigma. However, he now feels it is important to disclose his diagnosis to inspire others to continue their education.

Natalie Mendez’s Story of Self-Improvement and Independence

With an intellectual disability diagnosis, Natalie joined our Easterseals family in 2011 in our School-to-Work program. She then participated in the DDS/Adult Day Services program demonstrating limited work skills requiring 1:1 instruction from staff to learn and complete tasks. She was easily distracted with a starting production rate of 22%.
Over the years, with dedicated Easterseals staff mentoring her, she has shown tremendous growth and improvement including: increased maturity and improved attitude and cooperation, few to no job refusals, improved focus on work and teamwork with peers, and more motivation to increase her compensation.
Today, Natalie is a valued member of the cleaning crew for Easterseals EnviroClean janitorial services with solid work experiences both inside and outside of Easterseals. She has elevated her janitorial production rate to an impressive 90% and has increased her hours and compensation. Additionally, she has become a leader in group discussions while demonstrating an improved level of independence and self-sufficiency. Natalie is well on her way to becoming a wonderful candidate for competitive employment in the future and has expressed a desire to work with young children in a day care setting. 


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