Success means different things to different people. A nice house at the lake or beach. A sporty car. Recognition from others. A loving family.
So it catches your attention when you hear a teenager say she wants to be a housekeeper when she grows up.
This young girl’s dream has sparked a beautiful story that will soon be going up in Clemson, SC.
The young girl is thirteen and she has Down syndrome. Anna Mitchell wrote a sweet article, about her(see link here) for the Anderson Independent Mail. Because of Jamison Hayduk’s dream, her father is planning to build a five-story hotel in downtown Clemson.
Rick Hayduk has worked in and managed luxury hotels for decades. He is part of a group of private investors, Good Shepherd Hospitality, who plan to build a hotel where more than half of the staff will be adults with special needs.
The impact this would have on the adults, their family, the hotel’s guests, as well as the community is mind-boggling. When you consider that more than 90% of special needs adults are unemployed, you can see how their success could be a wake-up call to other communities.
One of the reasons they chose Clemson was its ClemsonLIFE program. ClemsonLife is a four-year independent-living program for young adults with special needs. They will partner with the project and the hotel will hire their students who are looking to work in the hospitality field.
Rick says this is a “labor of love.” Whenever someone achieves their dream, that’s a success. And something we should get our communities behind.
I’m a big believer in setting goals, short and long term. Not only do they give us something to focus on, but when we achieve it, we can – and should— take a few moments to appreciate what it took to get us there.