MACON, GA — Talking with Daniel Aaron, you''d never guess his life has been full of barriers. He admits he wasn''t always as optimistic about his future as he is today, according the The Telegraph.
Aaron suffers from partial facial paralysis caused from not receiving enough oxygen in the womb. "I could hardly breathe. I was born real sick," the 28-year-old said.
After spending three years looking for work, Aaron said his confidence and self-esteem was wearing thin.
That changed in November 2008 when his rehabilitation counselor told him about a new custodial training program being offered by the Helms Institute, a part of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia.
Cindy Stone, coordinator of the Goodwill program, developed the coursework. She contacted the Cleaning Management Institute (CMI), an organization that provides education, training and career opportunities for maintenance professionals, the article stated.
Stone, who has 15 years of experience in custodial operations and management, took CMI''s curriculum and adapted it for individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities, the article noted.
"This class allows people to get a short-term certification that they can take out and get work right away," said Stone. "The only requirement is that applicants score at a fourth-grade level on their entrance exam."
According to the article, students leave with a diploma in the custodial training field and can also acquire national certification through CMI.
The program is open to everyone, but most of the graduates — 70 percent — have a disability, the article added.
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