I met Tom when he was a freshman in high school but did not get to know him until his Junior year. I got to know him because he was involved with a project that our center did to show youth with disabilities the importance of community service. This young man had always been told that he would graduate high school and get on SSI and that would be his life, but I, and others here at the Independent living center had higher expectations for him. It took a lot of encouragement and a little assistance with filling out applications and even some work on social skills but Tom is now employed fulltime and has kept that job for almost a year. Not only that, but even though he has graduated from high school, he still helps with our youth service project. The center gave him the support that he needed to become a contributing member of our community and both are better because of it.