Eric was nominated because... “He is one of the most deserving people for this honor. He is out and about in our community working hard to develop Adaptive Recreation opportunities for others who may need some additional assistance when it comes to outside activities, gaming and more”.
Originally from Green Bay, moved to Stevens Point in 2008
Originally Eric went to college to pursue a degree in Ministry. He’s always loved children and had a passion for helping kids get through struggles. He enjoys helping children find their voice. He remembers going through junior high and high school where he struggled a lot and someone special took the time to help him. Becauseof someone helping him when he was younger, he wanted to find a way to “pay it forward”. He came to Stevens Point to work at Celebration Church as a children's pastor.He worked there for 10 years and during that that time he made sure that anyone with disabilities was able to be included in his classroom. After 10 years at the church it was time for Eric to move on. He became a special education assistant at McDill Elementary and really loved it, but he still wanted to do more. He applied in June 2018 for a Consultant position at Midstate Independent Living. He loved that the organization focuses on inclusivity, mental health and awareness of what it means to have a disability. As of April 2019, Eric was promoted to Independent Living Program Director. He absolutely loves helping people and finding solutions for those with disabilities.
Eric has a disability called Tourette syndrome and he struggles with depression and anxiety because of it. Oftentimes he feels he needs to hide his disability. However, when he learned to surround himself with the right people, he was able to become more open about it.
Song: “Breakfest at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something or “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down
Food: Chicken Tenders with ranch or barbecue dipping sauce
Book: Anything Calvin and Hobbes
Quote: “You cannot control the circumstances in your life, but you can control how you react to them”- Eric’s Mom
What makes you happy?
Being with his family.
Who’s your hero?
His dad because a lot of the skills and way he looks at life was what he learned from his dad.
What can people from the community learn form you?
Disability doesn’t mean what everyone thinks it means. If we can look past some of the stigmas and biases that we oftentimes grow up with, he thinks we can be more accepting and aware. This acceptance and awareness can lead to an even better community. To admit you need help, is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.
Do you prefer to donate time or money to those in need? Why?
Time because money can only get you so far. He believes his set of skills and the resources he has available can go much further than a dollar.