How a Job at Endeavors Unlimited Revealed Terrence’s Contagious Smile
Last Updated: 04 Nov 2022
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For Terrance, providing for his family as a single father who is also deaf, employment was a challenge. But a job at Endeavors Unlimited changed him—and us.
At Endeavors Unlimited, we provide life skills training, and supportive employment opportunities for differently abled people.
Our employees are amazing workers with alternative sets of skills—former Veterans who have exceptional leadership skills while also grappling with PTSD; people who possess an incredible work ethic and a Down syndrome diagnosis; and people who can brighten an entire room with their smile, yet struggle to hear the laughter they produce.
Rather than see people for what they can’t do, we seek out their strengths and allow them to shine. Through this methodology, we have found that, when given the chance, differently abled people can excel in ways they never imagined.
Terrance is one of these incredible stories—a single father and a caregiver for his elderly mother, Terrance is amazingly dedicated to providing for his family.
However, he is also deaf, communicating primarily in American Sign Language.This means that Terrance is often left with a huge language barrier everywhere he goes, which can make employment challenging.
Before coming to Endeavors Unlimited (EU), he was working a housekeeping job at a hotel. While he was grateful for the work, the job left him miserable. “I felt isolated because of my disability,” Terrance said. There was no one to help him connect with others or communicate properly on the job. Functionally, this made the job difficult. It also meant he was socially isolated.
“It was an awful life,” said Terrance.
Terrance was not able to reach his potential because he was not given the tools to succeed in a world built for typically abled people. Thankfully, we were able to connect with Terrance six years ago.
When he began work on the landscaping team, he had a slow start, according to his manager, James Bower. “He really had to be directed from day to day,” said James. “He was very timid when working on a mower or a piece of equipment.”
The transformation that has taken place since those early days has been almost indescribable. “I have tears in my eyes thinking about it,” said James. “He is so reliable and completely transparent and just such an honest God-driven man. He can do anything and everything asked of him, and he has a great attitude while doing it.”
Terrance is now the Landscape Lead at Ellington Joint Reserve Base, a huge Federal Government contract for EU. He is admired and respected by his team and supervisors; his relationships are strong; and most importantly, he is happy with his work and the life he’s built.
“EU makes my life better,” he said. “I enjoy the landscape work, and [James] encourages me to be a better person.” To anyone considering connecting with EU, Terrance is adamant that it’s a good decision. “I would recommend that anyone join. Their program for adults with disabilities is amazing and provides so much opportunity.” He says he has grown into a better person as a result.
James is adamant: Terrance does good work, period: “Not ‘for a disabled person,’ but for a person.”
Though Terrance has a different set of abilities than typical people, EU has given him the opportunity to show his strengths, which, according to James, are absolutely extraordinary.
James explained that one of his greatest strengths is his attitude. Everyone knows Terrance because of his smile.
“The absolute greatest thing about Terrance is his never-ending smile and happy-go-lucky, let’s-go-get-it-done mentality. He is just the nicest, most talkative, and most enjoyable to be around with his laughs and kidding around,” said James.
His incredible attitude has made a world of difference, and our team and organization is better because of it. “Terrance has made an impact on our customers and team as well. He tears down barriers and impacts lives positively,” said James.
Anyone looking for an employment opportunity with our Endeavors Unlimited team can view job openings here.
Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services. For more information, please visit www.endeavors.org.