Success Story of William Monteleone
Do you know what a Horologist is? Will Monteleone from Flower
Mound, Texas does and with assistance from DARS’ Deaf and Hard
Hearing Services, he is enjoying his life as one. A Horologist
is one who makes and repairs timepieces, a career that suits
Will because, as he says, “I’ve always had a talent for fixing
things.” Will’s deafness strengthened his resolve to find
employment he enjoys.
Will saw an ad for a Horology program at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas that interested him, especially since the ad said watchmakers are in high demand. He contacted DARS’ Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program and began working with Bryant Robinson, a VR Counselor from Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.
The two worked together as a team to uncover how Will could achieve his goal of getting into the Horology program. He said, “I found the school, the requirements for the certificate/degree, I looked on the Internet and found what kind of jobs I could do with my education and the salary I could expect to earn. I also contacted a local watch shop to observe. I wanted to be sure this was what I wanted to do.”
After researching the career thoroughly, Will and Bryant agreed that this was the career track for him. Bryant helped Will complete his school plan, helped arrange finances for a dorm room at the college and to help pay for the tools required in the program.
Will said he experienced some tough times, but his counselor, Bryant, was always encouraging him to press on: “Some days weren’t easy at school. I was away from home and only deaf and hard of hearing person there. The program was very intense and I had days when I really struggled but my counselor and his team were great. It was a huge benefit knowing that Bryant was ‘in my corner and rooting for me to succeed.’ He and his team were not only there with the ‘accommodations’ side but also with support and encouragement.
In February 2007, Will was the first person who is deaf to graduate with a certificate of Horology from Paris Junior College. Will was immediately hired after his graduation.
Will said of his accomplishments, “DARS gave me an opportunity to start a new phase of my life. I love what I do and I’m good at it. I have such a sense of accomplishment when I’ve taken someone’s cherished time piece and returned it to them, in perfect running order. In addition to that, I am working with a group of people who value me, my work and treat me as an equal.”
Will Monteleone is another employment success story from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. He raves about the assistance and the encouragement from his VR Counselor, Bryant Robinson. Will sent DARS a message thanking Bryant for his work and his support, using a story about a little boy trying to make a difference: “A man walking along the beach sees a little boy throwing starfish back into the sea. It’s a low tide and thousands of them are trapped on the beach. The man points to all of the starfish and says, ‘There are so many; you can’t possibly make a difference.’ The boy replies, as he throws a starfish into the sea, ‘I can make a difference to this one.’ Bryant and his team made a difference and I am grateful.”
Will continues, “For me to be successful I had to do my part but it also depends on the attitude and the support of the counselor, too. I was fortunate to work with Bryant. Counselors have an opportunity to make a difference, to empower a client and allow them to change their life for the better.”
Bryant and the people Will worked with at DARS did just that.
More success stories from Texas DARS