June 8, 1998
Our story this week is a special event, because we are launching two learners stories on the Internet, and you can read their stories as well as hear them, with the proper audio program as shown below.
Gerry Juzenas worked for 8 years in his church's workshop, the last three years as an assistant supervisor. Recently, Gerry lost his job when funding for the workshop ended. Though he misses the people, his life is full with other activities. He is in demand as a speaker and seminar leader for groups who want to learn more about self advocacy. He also chairs the Self Advocacy Caucus of the B.C. Association for Community Living and helps produce The Voice, a newsletter written by and for self advocates. Gerry is particularly proud of his work with The Voice, which he helped found in 1988. Gerry loves to travel. He has been on trips throughout Canada and the U.S. and hopes to travel in other parts of the world in the future. About three years ago, he reconnected with his step brother who he hadn't seen in many years. Since then, he has met many other family members. The part he likes the best is being an uncle.
Play an audio version of this story
Id like to tell you what my life is today. When I was drinking I didnt know how to say no. Afraid of losing friends. When I had a problem with my Dad, I didnt talk about or express my feelings. I found out that I had brain damage when I was born. I wanted to have a girlfriend but didnt know what to do---no one taught me about how to be in a relationship. I had a bad attitude like getting mad at my friends, finding out that I was handicapped. Not getting along with my Dad---what could I do to make him feel better and make up with him and forgive him too?
Mom, I have changed. I havent had a drink of alcohol for about eleven years now. Also now I know how to keep my friends and know how to have relationships with women. And, I have forgiven my Dad. I want to tell you too, that Im involved with Lower Mainland Based Community Service where I am the president and Im a Director-at-large at British Columbia Association for Community Living. I have been on the Self Advocacy Caucus for 5 years. I have also been on many trips.
All of this I told you so you can be glad and proud of me too.