ILS Success Story!

The CIL is proud to highlight Danny, a devoted consumer over the past 12 years, who will always be part of our CIL family. Danny’s success story is one of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of community support.

He began his journey at the CIL in 2012, seeking friendship, employment, personal growth, and independence. Overcoming challenges with support from various CIL staff, such as Mark, our CORE Services Director and Terri, our ILS Coordinator, Danny has blossomed into a remarkable individual, defying barriers and embracing life’s challenges with quiet strength. When Danny needed some extra peer support, Mark provided great life advice, and shared strategies about how Danny can move forward successfully.

Throughout the years, he participated actively in various CIL programs and groups, including Independent Living Skills, Money Management classes, Power Groups, Peer Support interactions, and the Lunch Bunch Social Group. Even amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Danny continued to participate in ILS groups and other activities, and still checks in virtually to this day, showcasing his adaptability, and commitment to personal growth and community engagement.

One of Danny’s significant milestones was his successful employment at Gator Landscaping in 2013, a testament to his hard work and the support he received from the CIL’s Employment team. In 2021, his life took a joyous turn as he married Bethany. Their move to Tennessee and the arrival of their beautiful daughter added new chapters of happiness and fulfillment to Danny’s story.

As for future goals, Danny states, “We built a large greenhouse in our backyard, and plan to start a plant nursery business, while I continue to take care of our daughter.” Danny’s story is a testament to the transformative impact of community organizations like the CIL, where individuals like him find not just support, but also a platform to thrive, grow, and embody our mission, empowering themselves to achieve their goals for independence. His journey reminds us that resilience, kindness, and perseverance can turn dreams into reality, making the world a brighter and more inclusive place for everyone.

ID: The graphic has a dark blue background and 4 photos. The top left photo is a picture of Danny and baby Mary sitting in his lap in the front seat of the car on their way to visit family in Florida (2/2024), when they stopped at a gas station. They are both looking lovingly at each other. The bottom left photo is a picture of their family (Danny, Bethany, and baby Mary) at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Gainesville, Florida for Mary’s baptism (2/2024). The top right photo is a picture of Danny, Bethany, and baby Mary in front of their family home in Knoxville, TN (1/2024). It is snowing and everyone is bundled up in winter gear. The bottom right photo is of Danny wearing his Captain America uniform at their house in Knoxville for Halloween (10/2022).