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Story of Deanna Everhart

Deanna Everhart

We recently shared a post about Deanna Everhart’s new role as ComEd’s Ambassador and her current accomplishments. The story below was featured in this year’s Annual Report, and gives you a picture of her progress up to date!

Deanna Everhart remembers vividly what it was like to be picked on as a child. Called “slow” or “retarded” by classmates in school due to her being in special education classes, she struggled to fit in and make friends. It was her father who gave her a boost in confidence, telling her that she could make something of herself. Although he has since passed away, she never forgot those words of encouragement.

After high school, Deanna experienced a number of setbacks, including a death in the family. Her mother had moved away and her brothers were serving in the military, so she had no one to look out for her. No one, that is, until Envision Unlimited came into her life. Deanna, now 29, lived in a CILA (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) with Envision for several years and now, with the support services and skills she received at the Halas Day Center, lives on her own in an apartment on Chicago’s South Side and is thriving at her job doing janitorial work at a Department of Human Services office building.

Deanna’s dream job is to work at the Shedd Aquarium or Navy Pier and she wants to help other people with disabilities in the same way she’s been helped. She hopes her success story serves as an inspiration to other people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “If you have a child with a disability who needs help, that wants to get out and be independent, wants to get a job in the community, Envision is for them. It will help them with their developmental skills. They will succeed in this agency, they will progress. Envision will help them achieve their goals.”

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