Ada — Chickasaw citizen Micah Stringer is a familiar face around the Chickasaw Nation Child Care Center.
Working as a laundry attendant, the 22-year-old diligently completes his daily duties of collecting, laundering, folding and delivering all towels, linens, clothing and stuffed animals for the 200 children at the child care center.
Micah, born with the genetic disorder Downs Syndrome, has worked in the position for more than a year and it is a job he enjoys.
Having Micah on staff gives teachers more time to focus on the children and curriculum. Micah is comfortable around the children and his diligence and warm-personality have earned him the respect of his co-workers.
“I like my job,” Micah said, “I have made a lot of friends.”
He makes a valuable contribution to the child care center thanks to the help of a dedicated team of vocational rehabilitation counselors and staff at the Chickasaw Nation Vocational Rehabilitation department.
Determined her son would not be limited by his disability and to secure a brighter future him, Micah’s mother, Shellie Horton, sought the assistance of vocational rehabilitation services.
“Growing up, Micah attended Ada public schools. He was engaged with other children, made friends and learned valuable life skills,” Ms. Horton said.
But after graduation, Micah was not exposed to much social interaction. He became largely inactive, spending his days watching TV with his grandmother while his mother was at work.
Micah, of Allen, Okla., still pursued a variety of interests such as, music, books, cars, drawing, sports, design and songwriting. He also participated in Special Olympics, but Ms. Horton remained concerned about his overall lack of social interaction and lack of employment opportunities.
“Independent living was not an option for Micah,” Ms. Horton said, “But I wanted him to be out exercising and meeting people.”