Clarence, a 24-year-old St. Louis City resident, has made significant strides in his personal and professional life with a lot of hard work and support from the St. Louis Office for Developmental Disability Resources’ Targeted Case Management (TCM) department. After completing his degree in Information Systems and Technology from the University Missouri of St. Louis’ Honors College in 2022, Clarence successfully embarked on his professional career, securing a position at a Fortune 500 company. He has since thrived and been invited to participate in multiple national conferences.
These accomplishments are rooted in Clarence’s commitment to personal growth. However, the hard work and skill-building began long before entering the college classroom or workforce. Clarence participates in the Eastern Missouri Autism Project (EMAP), a program that provides access to services like DD Resources’ Targeted Case Management. His Service Advocate helped him address personal goals involving socialization and overcoming concerns with bugs and fire. EMAP funding provided Clarence with the opportunity to attend the YMCA’s Camp Lakewood. There, he developed a healthy respect for fire, which enhanced his cooking skills using a gas range and contributed to his overall independence and confidence in household tasks. It also allowed him to learn more about insects and how to appropriately remove them from his environment when necessary.
Additionally, his experiences at Camp Lakewood were pivotal in improving his comfort and skills in socializing with peers. This newfound confidence in social interactions was not only beneficial in a camp setting but also translated to his professional life, aiding in his seamless transition into the corporate world. His journey as a camp counselor over multiple summers before attending UMSL further demonstrates the positive impact of these experiences on his personal and professional growth.
His Service Advocate, Kelsi, has had the privilege of witnessing and assisting Clarence during this period of hard work, personal growth, and professional success.
Clarence’s progress, supported by DD Resources, his advocate, Kelsi, and local service providers, illustrates the significant roles of structured support and personal determination in overcoming challenges and achieving career goals.