Nick Carlin

Nick Carlin

Nick moved to California from Texas for a career in renewable energy. When things didn’t go quite as expected, Nick came to the Department of Rehabilitation in 2013. He was assigned to a job developer at Diablo Valley College who worked with him to secure a position at the U.S. Mint.

Carlin: I work at the U.S. Mint. I’m a mechanical engineer, I have a PhD from Texas A&M. I came out here to California and started working at a renewable energy company in Concord. Luckily, I had already started working with Monica out in the Antioch office. And so, by the time I finally got laid off in December 2013... we had already started the paperwork and the process was going. She hooked me up with a job developer at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. And so he said yeah, I got this job at the Mint... you could interview for it... tomorrow if you want? I was like, alright.

I have muscular dystrophy; it’s a progressive muscle disorder, so it gets worse as you... as you get older. In college I was still able to walk around okay. It was getting hard, but when I started looking for work and you know, employers were seeing that I kinda had a lot of troublegetting up and down from chairs and stuff, I think that might have been hurting me. We went to the Department of Rehab in Texas--your version in Texas-- and they started helping me get wheelchair, which is this wheelchair in fact. Basically the first interview I went to in a wheelchair, they hired me. That...that was it.

DOR: Do you think having the wheelchair makes you more confident?

Carlin: Oh yeah, I’m not worried about falling down and not being able to get up all the time. Yeah; absolutely.

DOR: If you were having that much difficulty, why were you still resisting?

Carlin: Pride. You have to understand it’s a long process. I've been, I had been walking, my entire life. You know... it’s... but now it’s slowly going away and so it, it’s something you really try to hold onto as long as possible. 

Julio Jefferson

Julio Jefferson

Debbie Deniz

Debbie Deniz