John Rock has been involved with Best Buddies since high school. He began looking for a job and was hoping he could combine his love for fitness, as well as helping people in the community. He was scared that he wouldn’t find a position that he was passionate about. After joining the Best Buddies jobs program, he earned a position as a fitness coach at the YMCA of Central Maryland. John finally had a job he loved.
“Best Buddies changed my life by helping me get a job at the YMCA, and I like working because I am able to help people get healthy,” he said. In John’s position, he assists people while they work out. He greets people as they enter and is always there when they need help. In addition, he assists in a children’s fitness program where he teaches exercise and healthy living techniques. All of John’s work assignments are based around his passions.
Being able to earn an income has been incredible empowering for John. He had always dreamt of being independent and supporting himself.
“I appreciate that I can earn my own income. That first paycheck made me feel great about being independent and part of the community. My family is proud of me,” said John. Earning a paycheck has helped him do what he loves, such as cycling and going out with friends.
John hopes that he can serve as an example to the community: “I want other people with disabilities to know that they can be independent and contribute to the community.”
John feels so privileged to work in an environment where he can do something he loves. He is looking forward to learning new skills when it comes to fitness and healthy living. He will use these skills to help the community. Best Buddies Jobs program has empowered John to always follow his dreams.