Have you ever met someone so endearing that they made you reflect on your own life? Am I the best I can be? Do I treat everyone with respect and loyalty? Do I make it a mission to improve the lives of those around me? If you haven’t experienced this self-reflection yet, be prepared to.
In the heart of Summit County, there’s an Akron resident named Jacob. For many years, he has utilized the services of Summit DD to contribute to his hometown. “Jacob is aware he has a developmental disability. But it never stops him. He’s not afraid to step out and do it!” shared Nick McCoy, Jacob’s Service and Support Administrator (SSA) at Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board.
As an SSA, Nick listens to Jacob’s needs and connects him with a network of service options in Summit County. From early on, Jacob wanted to work in the community and earn a paycheck. When he expressed those needs, Jacob received training to use the Metro bus line independently. “He was open-minded and now knows the bus routes better than me,” commented Nick. This level of independence has also contributed to 12 years of successful employment at Concordia at Sumner, a senior assisted living facility.
“He’s very, very kind-hearted—he will go to extreme lengths to make someone happy, and it’s a great trait,” commented Chef John Cetorelli, Jacob’s boss at Concordia. “Once he learns something, he can repeat that procedure a thousand times the same exact way—that’s a nice thing about Jacob,” Chef John continued.
Outside of work, Jacob uses Metro to attend numerous activities in the community with his family, peers and his girlfriend of 15 years. “Sarah has got a crush on me. She loves me very much. I’m very loyal to her and she’s loyal to me,” said Jacob with a grin. When asked if they’re going to get married in the future, Jacob replied “…too soon to tell. I got to get approval from my mom and her parents. I don’t like to rush into judgement for myself and for Sarah you know.”
For years, Jacob has also made it his mission to support the efforts of Summit DD. He’s volunteered during the levy campaigns, and on a quarterly basis he enjoys luncheons with various staff. “I like to keep everything alive with Summit DD,” shared Jacob. “They’re respectful, loyal to the support, and very excellent staff.”
“He has such a strong feeling towards being part of Summit DD as a whole. He helps out in any way, shape and form…it’s very important to him. He’s one of the best volunteers, best workers—that’s all Jacob. He cares about everyone. He’s a very heart-felt individual,” commented Jacob’s SSA Nick.
Jacob’s successes are built on a strong premise—a foundation of friendship in our community. “Community is to support and help people out a lot…like a team,” shared Jacob. “Friendship is loyalty to each other—to look out for each other.”
So when you embark on your day, take into consideration Jacob’s ideals. Because not only will you begin to see the world differently, you will also help make it a better place for all.
Visit SummitDD.org/My-Story for Jacob’s video.