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Spotlight on Ernst Guillaume

Lamentably, I am leaving my second home. Yes, I mean it! Ability Counts, Inc. has been my second home for 5 years. I remember when I met with Claudette on my first day (June 24, 2013) and she introduced me to Veronica Zepeda and the rest of the team (Debbie, Sandra, and Tiana).

That day was a triple culture shock for me: new to America, new to American workforce, and, most importantly, new to people with developmental disabilities.

However, three months later, I fell in love with the population and the rest of the team! I am saying this genuinely, this population changed my life. They taught me that life is not just about driving a nice car, living in a luxury home, or earning a fat paycheck, but to do something that is greater than who I am. For that, I am so grateful!

I learned so much from almost everyone, knowledge and skills that shaped professional careers that I will take with me everywhere I go. I will always be grateful to people like Claudette, Victor Sr., Leticia Gutierrez, Mo Gaji, and Ability Counts, Inc. as a whole.

It also was a privilege for me to work with the SEP Case Managers and employees such as Tiana, Lorrie, Sarah, Brenda, Judith, Diane, Blake, Julian, Gema, etc. Also, it was my honor to directly team up with the WAP coaches: Veronica, Rosie, Karina, Ingrid, Yvette, Wade, Yolanda, and Maricela to serve more than 200 hardworking people with developmental disabilities.

All of you are very valuable to Ability Counts, Inc. I hope you continue knowing how much of an influence you have on these people’s lives and how valuable you are to the success of the company.

-Ernst Guillaume

Spotlight On: Blake Shimshock

ACI: How long have you been with Ability Counts?
Blake Shimshock: I have been working for ACI for 8 years as their Multimedia Instructor.

ACI: What got you interested in this field of work?
Blake Shimshock: The director at the time and I spoke on the phone and he asked if I was still making independent films and doing photography. I said yeah. He then explained to me that he wanted to start a media enclave.

ACI: What’s it like working with people that have disabilities?
Blake Shimshock: Working with our consumers is rewarding to me. I like how they get really excited when I show them how to do something cool with the cameras or in editing. It’s cool to watch their skills grow and how they work together as a team.

ACI: What are your hobbies and things to do outside of work?
Blake Shimshock: Well as most people know, I’m an independent filmmaker. Outside of the day job as they say, I do a lot of filming and still photography. I’ve been doing lighting and camera work for other people’s independent films. I also draw digital art. I am also writing a few Sci-Fi Fantasy screenplays.

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