The disability service provider Rise has given six people its annual Rise’ing Star award. The six are doing big things in their communities. They have overcome obstacles, met and surpassed personal goals to achieve great success.
Taiye Agboola has always had an impressive work ethic and a strong desire to be independent. He began working on the production floor in 2014 through a sensory program for people who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing. While he had occasionally worked at community sites, late last year an opportunity arose to consistently switch from production to a community site at Ajax Metal Forming Solutions in Fridley. He worked through uncertainties with sensory staff support and now works independently at Ajax.
Agboola’s independence and diligent work attitude have allowed him great success. He continues to thrive while overcoming his naturally introverted personality to communicate more with coworkers and supervisors. He shows up early and works until the very end of his shift.
The first task Ryan Courteau took on when he became a Finley’s Dog Treats store ambassador was to “practice his smile” because he hadn’t been out in the community much. He was shy, quiet, and hesitant to engage. But his practice and persistence paid off. He is now so outgoing and social that he was promoted to Senior Finley’s Brand Ambassador. He is an outstanding leader who trains new ambassadors in a fun and supportive way.
Teddy Harrison, Jr. nurtures an artistic talent that has become a great source of pride and joy. He lives with a brain injury sustained during a car accident when he was three years He took up painting through the art therapy program shortly after coming to Rise two years ago and has embraced his talent with extreme passion.
Because he is happiest when creating new and beautiful art, Harrison paints daily. His favorite day of the week is Friday when he paints one-on-one with our Art Therapist, Stacy Gross. He entered his work at the Anoka County Fair, where judges recognized his talent, awarding him a blue and a second-place ribbon.
Jason Heinbuch is a devoted worker and problem solver. Any goal Heinbuch sets, he achieves. He works incredibly well with his coworkers and staff; whenever he notices a problem or sees someone struggling, he’ll be the first to volunteer to help.
He works at Westfall Technik in New Richmond, Wisconsin, where he is called upon to do many different tasks. He loves these new opportunities because enjoys learning new things and problem-solving to be more efficient. He is also skilled at teaching tasks to his coworkers.
Daniel Dooley possesses all the qualities of an accomplished person. He has found meaningful work, is creating the life he wants, and continues to rely on his support while giving back to our community. Currently, Dooley is working at bowling alley and arcade Bowlero, where he takes great enjoyment from upbeat customer interactions.
Earlier this year, he testified before the Minnesota Legislature to publicly advocate for the Legislative Mental Health Network bill Daniel participates in Rise’s IPS supports program in Hennepin County.
Stacey Goede has been a mainstay through some major changes this past year. As Rise transitions production work to community worksites, she has become an expert in the processes of our Cummins Power Generation work teams as this big job moves from internal programs into the community to Cummins. The move has come with much change but Goede has remained professional and dedicated to the work. Goede has become an expert troubleshooter, and learned many new things while going above and beyond communicating the changes at Cummins.