High Contrast

Donnell Evans is a busy man with clear goals for his future. "I would like to go back to school and finish my degree in Communications and Media Studies at MCC. In five years, my goal is to have a job. I haven’t found a girlfriend yet, but I’m working on that now," Donnell says with a smile. In ten years, Donnell would like to be married, start a family, and hopefully have a good career.

Donnell EvansOriginally from Brooklyn, Donnell and his mother moved to the Rochester area 15 years ago. Donnell encountered LDA through recreational events and then joined Friends Helping Friends, a self-advocacy group. Now he participates in several Starbridge programs, primarily focused on skill development to help him achieve his educational and employment goals. Donnell says, "Starbridge is a good organization. It helps you grow and develop friendships along the way."

In his leisure time, during the warm weather months, Donnell enjoys going to concerts, festivals, and sporting events.

Recently, Donnell moved from his mom’s house into a house he shares with a roommate. He found it overwhelming at first, but he is getting used to being on his own.

Donnell worked with Lucy Palma, a Residential Habilitation Counselor in Starbridge’s Supportive Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA), throughout the transition. Lucy says, "Donnell surpassed every goal we set. He has become very independent. He arranges his transportation and goes to all his appointments on his own. I really enjoy working with Donnell."

Donnell is proud of how he has faced that challenge.


This article originally appeared in Champions, Issue 1, in Summer of 2016.