Now a happy, healthy young woman, a new homeowner, a wife, and a new mother, you may never believe that Jamie once had many struggles.
With a father in the Air Force, Jamie’s beginning was anything but ordinary. She was born while they were stationed in Turkey. In the first two weeks of her life, Jamie traveled from Turkey to Israel, then to Germany because of birth complications. Her mother knew something still wasn’t right so they moved back to the United States when Jamie was about one and her father was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Even after complications at birth, it wasn’t until Jamie was two years old that she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and then endured several surgeries. As she grew, so did her challenges. In the 90s, there were not many public programs for young people with disabilities. Jamie’s parents made sacrifices so she could attend private school and receive the services that she needed. This sparked a lifelong desire to work with individuals with disabilities. Jamie never let anything hold her back. She graduated from high school and enrolled in college at University of Rio Grande.
Four years later, Jamie earned her degree in Behavioral and Social Sciences and was connected with a Careers for People with Disabilities (CPD) Employment Specialist. CPD was a program Columbus Speech & Hearing ran for over 40 years that provided vocation services for people with disabilities. CPD set Jamie up with a Community Based Assessment. This assessment provided information about Jamie’s aptitudes, abilities and preferences to determine if a specific employment opportunity would be a good match. Only days after graduation, Jamie started a temporary position at Lawrence County Board
of Developmental Disabilities. She quickly learned the ropes and excelled in her position as Assistant Administrator. In less than a year, Jamie was promoted from Assistant to Service Administrator. When asked about finally working in her dream job, Jamie couldn’t be happier, “I love it. I love working with individuals. It’s wonderful.”
And she has no plans of stopping there! Jamie’s goal is to continue to pay it forward – by working with individuals with disabilities, and find the balance between her career and her new family.