Thirty-four-year old city resident Scott Troisi gets up and goes to work at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday like most of us. He rides the bus to work and takes on whatever task is assigned to him by his supervisor - from assembling parts to packing envelopes or applying labels to products.
In addition to his 30-hour work week, Scott loves participating in sports, especially swimming, bowling and volleyball. He helps out around the house with laundry and attends church at St. Boniface every Sunday where he loves to listen to the choir sing.
So, what's so different about Scott?
City resident Scott Troisi, above, a participant of Hope Enterprises, steps off the bus as he heads to work one recent morning.
He is mentally challenged.
Most of us don't think twice about going to work or going about our daily routine; however, for Scott, those typical daily activities do not come as easily.
Scott has been a program participant of Hope Enterprises since he was an infant. Hope enhances the lives of people with developmental disabilities from birth through adulthood by providing them with responsive programs and services.
Scott lives with his mom and dad, Mary and Bob Troisi.
"He loves going to work at Hope," said Scott's mom, Mary. "We considered other places of employment and he would have nothing to do with it. He just loves it there and he loves riding the bus on his own to go to work."
"The Vocational Rehabilitation program at Hope Enterprises is designed to assess the vocational, behavioral, and independent/self-help skills of mentally challenged individuals," said Tina Beach, production manager at Hope. "The program provides a supportive atmosphere in which individuals are exposed to a variety of activities to help them improve skills in needed areas. Habilitation services are offered, which include vocational evaluation, the student transition program, vocational training and work opportunities, classroom instruction, and volunteer activities. The overarching goal is to assist individuals to achieve the highest degree of self-sufficiency possible."
"The staff at Hope is wonderful. They are very nice and they work hard," Mary added. "They have made a really big difference in Scotty's life."
"Our courage and enthusiasm is a direct result of watching people reach their maximum potential as they assume a better place in society," said Dr. Jim Campbell, president of the nonprofit. "In all areas of programming, our various departments strive to provide services based on need and personal choice."
"Scott is fairly quiet, but he asks many questions about happenings at Hope. He likes to know what's going on," Beach said. "He is always eager to work and gladly accepts any task we have at hand."
Scott recently won gold medals in bowling and volleyball, according to Mary.
"He always seems to have practice or competitions in one of the sports he enjoys," she added. "His most recent trip was to Juniata College for a Special Olympics bowling event. He enjoys life very much and thanks to the support he receives at Hope, he does not let his condition slow him down."
Hope Enterprises is one of the 44 human service programs in Lycoming County funded by United Way. Through its annual funds distribution process determined by community volunteers, United Way allocated $60,000 to Hope Enterprises based on community needs and program outcomes.
"Transportation costs are very expensive," Campbell said. "Some of our individuals use public transportation, a few have private transportation, but the vast majority of the people we serve need our help to get here. The funding we receive from United Way allows us to transport them safely to and from work."
"Hope Enterprises gives their people a sense of purpose and teaches them basic life skills," said Scott Lowery, executive director for Lycoming County United Way.
"We are happy to be able to provide funding to support their mission," Lowery added.
For more information on Hope Enterprises, call 326-3745 or visit www.heionline.org.
For more information on Lycoming County United Way or to support the campaign that funds more than 40 human service programs like these, visit www.lcuw.org or call 323-9448.