October 26, 2023

Evan and Corey: Self-Directing Meaningful Lives

Person Centered Services helps connect the Minor family to success.

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For years, Kirsten Minor found it challenging to navigate the complex and often overwhelming field of disability services in New York State. Both of her sons, Evan and Corey, were born with a rare genetic disorder that is frequently fatal for infants.

“Families can’t get anything done without quality Care Coordination,” says Kirsten, who is very grateful to have found a lifeline in Carlene Cassorla.

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Carlene is a Care Coordinator at Person Centered Services who goes above and beyond to make sure that Kirsten and her family stay connected to much-needed services. She works with Evan and Corey through a life planning process that ensures they each have the resources they require. Their life plans also help them identify personal goals, providing direction as they live out their dreams.

“Carlene is efficient and proactive,” says Kirsten. “She’s caring, conscientious, and great with follow-through and feedback.”

“We work well together,” says Carlene, who meets with the family monthly. “Kirsten has trust in me.”

Kirsten, now an expert on the disability services landscape, works as an independent broker. She advocates on behalf of other parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Kirsten is passionate about guaranteeing that her family, and other families she partners with, receive the very best care and support. Care Coordinators like Carlene help make that possible.

Both of Kirsten’s sons have grown into adults who live healthy and flourishing lives. Evan, age 24, and Corey, age 20, are tall, active young men who are making the most of the opportunities that surround them.

Evan loves his work at the Tree Town Café in Penfield, NY. He prepares meals, cooking a range of tasty breakfast and lunch items for customers. Whether slicing up meats for paninis or getting wraps ready to go, Evan is part of what makes the food at the café a local favorite.

Evan continues to develop his jobs skills through supported employment training from Heritage Christian Services, which gives people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the coaching and experience they need to thrive in a work environment. This sets him up for successful employment in his community.

Over the years, Evan has interned in human resources, maintenance, and security roles at different businesses, offering him the chance to try out a number of roles and discover which one is best for him. Currently, his job at the Tree Town Café is the perfect fit!

When he isn’t working at the café, Evan also has many hobbies that his self-directed services empower him to explore. He snowboards through Shared Ski Adventures, pursues his black belt in Tae Kwan Do, and takes guitar lessons at Spectrum Creative Arts. His self-directed services budget allows him to live a full life and Person Centered Services is always there to help connect him to new possibilities.

Evan’s brother, Corey, looks forward to entering the working world once he finishes high school. He has already engaged in work-based learning opportunities, including landscaping around his neighborhood. He receives job coaching through BOCES, which provides him with hands-on job experiences.

In order to become an Eagle Scout, Corey has worked on a community project – creating a Little Free Library in Sweden Town Park, where park visitors can find and exchange books. He is happy to share his talents with others as he prepares for life after high school.

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As part of a volunteer project, Evan Minor developed a sensory room at Brockport Free Methodist Church. This space will provide a calming environment for people who experience sensory issues.

Kirsten appreciates how Person Centered Services is present as a source of support and connection to opportunities for her sons.

“Carlene has walked us through so many things,” says Kirsten. “She’s a rock star!”

Person Centered Services is proudly committed to helping people reach their potential. We’re thrilled to see Evan and Corey participate in jobs and activities that matter to them and make their community a better place!

 

From left to right: Kirsten Minor with her sons, Corey and Evan.
From left to right: Kirsten Minor with her sons, Corey and Evan.