Success Stories

2018 New Business Venture Competition

Narrator: Hadley Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship 2018 New Venture Competition. Competition Judge Micheal Bullis.

Michael Bullis: One of the questions that we sometimes get is, why small business? Why are we giving grants and awards to people for small businesses? And I think what isn't really understood is that people with disabilities are 20% plus more likely to be in business for themselves than people without disabilities.

Read more about 2018 New Business Venture Competition.

FCE Student Capitalizes on Prevalence of Mobile Devices

These days, most people have multiple mobile devices including laptops, tablets, MP3 players and smart phones. Hadley student Mark Sky-Shrewsberry realized that there wasn't really a place to store all these devices, so he launched Tech Tamer Woodworks, his business that sells handcrafted, wooden pieces designed to store and protect mobile devices.

Sky-Shrewsberry has Blue cone monochromy, a condition that lowers his visual acuity. He has been aware of Hadley for a number of years. After listening to the "What Color is Your Parachute" Seminar@Hadley with Urban Miyares and author Richard Nelson Bolles, he enrolled in the Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship (FCE) to learn about launching a business.

Read more about Mark Sky-Shrewsberry's story.
Mark Sky-Shrewsberry with his wood pieces

FCE Helps Retiree Turn Hobby Into Business

Merle Johnson

At 67 years old, Merle Johnson believes you're never too old for learning. Johnson lost his vision due to a stroke in his eye in 2002. He went to the Commission for the Blind in Portland, Oregon where he learned to type for the first time. In 2005, Johnson took his first Hadley class, Typing, to reinforce the skills he learned at the Commission for the Blind. He continued to take many Hadley courses including the food series and the screen reader series.

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Veteran Continues to Serve with Grocery Delivery Business

Sean Martin lost his sight in 1991. A lifelong learner who studied to be a lawyer, Martin did not let his vision loss hold him back. Over the years, he has taken several Hadley courses including Introduction to Microcomputers, Internet Basics, Internet: Beyond the Basics and Using Excel.

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FCE Helps Student's Business Plan Come Together

Bonita Dearmond was born prematurely and has been legally blind since birth. She has taken several Hadley courses since 2001, including The Human Eye, Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness and Self-Help Groups. Dearmond has a teaching degree and previously worked as a GED teacher. She has also tutored visually impaired students on an as-needed basis in subjects such as screen readers, other adaptive technology and independent living skills.

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Longtime Hadley Student Utilizes FCE to Chart New Course

Coby Livingstone was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa when she was 21, and her two younger sisters also inherited the condition. In 2004, Livingstone was living in Phoenix and owned rental property that she frequently rented to Mexican immigrants. She enrolled in Conversational Spanish at Hadley to better communicate with her tenants. She went on to take several more Hadley courses, including Diabetes: Self-Management, Macular Degeneration and Using Excel. She was inspired by her sister and fellow Hadley student, Jacqueline Anderson (who was Hadley's 2009 Braille Student of the Year), to learn braille as well, taking Hadley's Braille Literacy 1 and 2 courses.

Read more about Coby Livingstone's story.