Contributed by the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities
He’s only gotten a few paychecks, but Licking Heights graduate Charlie Stumbo is enjoying the benefits of his first full time job.
The 21-year-old started his job, cleaning at the Defense Supply Center Columbus — through Goodwill Columbus— on July 19. “It’s been good,” Charlie said. “I’ve gotten to meet new people who work there.
The Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ transition youth and employment supports teams helped connect Charlie with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, Functional Training Services Inc. and other resources he needed to be successful.
His journey to employment started early, with support from his parents Paula and Fred Stumbo. He enrolled in the Individualized Transition Education to Careers program at C-TEC during high school and then participated in a two campus based transition programs at Ohio State University, the Student Transition Education Program and Project Plus.
Both programs gave him the opportunity to work with a job coach and experience multiple internships. Over two years, he worked at Kennedy Commons, the Blackwell Inn, Morrill Commons, the OSU RPAC and several other locations.
“That gave him good job experience and good life skills too,” Paula said.
After receiving his high school diploma in the spring, Charlie was able to get his drivers license, with support from OOD. He connected with Functional Training Services which helped him secure his job at DSCC.
When he isn’t working, he’s active in the West Licking Warriors Special Olympics team. He’s getting ready to start bowling and enjoys participating in track and basketball. Lately, he’s been able to spend more time with his friends from Special Olympics, playing Xbox games.
His mother said she’s thrilled to see him becoming more independent. “He won’t have to depend on Mom and Dad, although he knows we are always here for him,” she said.
As parents, she and Fred want to make sure Charlie and his younger brother Greg, who is also supported by LCBDD, have the resources they need to be successful.
“What’s going to happen when Mom and Dad aren’t around?” she said, “That’s why it was it was important for us to hook up with the board so they have a support system in place. Now they know the board is there, there are people that will always be there to support you.”