At age 19, Charles Slone sustained a severe traumatic brain injury when he was run over by a front-end loader at work. The accident also resulted in multiple orthopedic and internal injuries, contusions, and lacerations. Since the accident, Charles has required an enormous amount of medical and rehabilitative treatment, including 22 surgeries. He was unable to work at all for almost 10 years, and there were times during those years that Charles thought his life was basically over. In 2007 Charles came to VGS for work adjustment, training, and placement services and was placed in a job in the mailroom at the IRS-Cleveland Center. This job has been the affirmation of recovery that has in fact saved Charles’ life by giving him a sense of worth and accomplishment again. While he has suffered some pain management and endurance issues due to his physical disabilities, Charles has gained the self-confidence and the perseverance to meet those challenges head on and carry on with his work every day.

Through his hard work with VGS, Charles was able to re-enter the workforce after 10 long years of trying to get his health back and not being able to work. The job opportunity he was given at the IRS through VGS’ Social Enterprise has enabled Charles to provide financial stability for himself and his family and has allowed him to regain his self-esteem. Charles is once again contributing his time, his talent, and his amazing positive outlook to others. He always has a cheerful attitude toward his work, he consistently exhibits outstanding customer service and organizational skills, he has an excellent attendance record, and he has achieved superb job knowledge over the last three years.  With his exceptional work ethic, Charles is a valued part of the IRS mailroom team and sets a fine example for others as someone who chooses to focus on his abilities rather than his disabilities.

Charles says he’s grateful for his work—a truly amazing sentiment when you consider all he’s been through.  He loves being able to take care of his family, especially his newborn baby girl.  Charles is making his brighter future a reality!

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