DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Entering the workforce is an important step in anyone’s life, and for people with disabilities, it’s even more crucial to find the right fit. United Rehabilitation Services works with teens to prepare them for the professional world.
Like most 17-year-olds, Dillon and Darian Rosenlieb are enjoying their first taste of responsibility and financial freedom.
“When I got my first paycheck, it was really nice,” Darian said. “To have, like, my own money for once.”
However, their journey to this life milestone is more unique.
Dillon and Darian are quadruplets. Born in 2004, the boys and their two other siblings arrived at 30 weeks, making them preemies. At around a year old, the boys were diagnosed with cerebral palsy, turning their stories into ones of perseverance and overcoming the odds.
“I’ve always had people say I couldn’t do anything, and then I proved them wrong,” Darian said. “I get to interact with people, and I basically get to be my own boss.”
With the help of United Rehabilitation Services, both teens were a part of a summer work program. After one-on-one meetings with a job coach, Darian landed his gig at West Social Tap & Table.
While his disability affects his right side, it has little to no impact on his list of responsibilities, the grunt work of running a food hall: Bussing tables, sweeping the floor and taking out the trash.
“I’d say the hardest part is when we get really busy, and it gets really overwhelming because people keep coming in,” Darian said.
However, his work ethic does not go unnoticed.
“Every time we give him something where he can grow, he grows,” Cheryl Dillin, West Social Tap & Table co-owner, said.
Dillon also knows hard work. He runs the front desk at the Bergamo Center for Lifelong Learning in Beavercreek, keeping track of who comes in and out of the building.
After participating in the summer internship program, URS prepared Dillon to find a workplace that could accommodate his physical limitations, but his homelife has also shaped his worldview.
“It’s kind of weird for me to grow up in two different communities,” Dillon said. “Like, the disabled community and the able-bodied community. It’s given me a different perspective that I don’t think most people get.”
Given how well they have done in their first jobs, it’s no surprise Dillon and Darian are planning for what’s next.
“My dream is to be like a sportswriter or a sports broadcaster because sports have always been a big part of my life,” Dillon said.
So far, Dillon has received a scholarship to attend Ball State University, and he was accepted into Wright State University.
Meanwhile, Darian is studying criminal justice at the Greene County Career Center and said he hopes to study the field in college.
To hear more inspiring stories about people overcoming the odds like Dillon and Darian, you can join 2 NEWS for the annual URS Telethon, which is set to air Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You can watch the livestream here.