Programs for Exceptional People
John enjoys everything about his job. "I like everything" was his quick response to the question that had barely left this interviewer's lips. His sense of order and organization allows him to plow through boxes upon boxes of material in a single day.
John works Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at the Lowery Group, a Hilton Head Island-based company noted for their fantastic restaurants frequented by residents and tourists alike. He is responsible for putting together packets of information to be distributed to local hotels and rental properties. His friends and family frequently joke that he would work on Saturdays if they let him.
On Tuesdays, John goes to PEP.
PEP stands for "Programs for Exceptional People." Clients of PEP are residents of the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton area suffering from lifelong disabilities. Some are diagnosed with mental retardation, autism, or other developmental disabilities. Some have gone through traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. After 21, the public school system is no longer responsible for providing services to these individuals so this is where PEP steps in. PEP stresses independent living skills, job training, community inclusion activities and rehabilitation support, and provides employment services
"John has a great schedule to look forward to," said Katie Barrett, PEP's Executive Director. "It provides a nice balance." She went on to describe the numerous social activities that also vie for time on John's schedule, activities such as cook-outs, proms, bowling, and cheerleading practice - the latter of which has earned John and his fellow cheerleaders two medals.
John's father wholeheartedly agreed, "After 21 there is not much out there, so PEP has been a great resource for its clients and a godsend to parents."
John's schedule is a busy one - busy by an average person's standards. But John is not average; he is "exceptional."