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Dom
Received the 2019 Disability Employment Awareness Award

Dom might use a wheelchair, but his heart is in the community. Through his dedication and discipline, Dom has been able to live his dream of a career in law enforcement. His passion for protecting the community was recognized when he received the 2019 Disability Employment Awareness Award.

As a child, Dom was infatuated with superheroes, specifically Wonder Woman©. Even today, Dom enjoys watching superhero movies, collecting action figures and memorabilia, and showing off his collection. Dom had a passion for protecting the community at a young age, and he emulated the superheroes he saw on the big screen through his interest. This developed his fervor for law enforcement.

Throughout his life, Dom faces the challenge of his physical limitations and most significantly, his non-verbal communication. Because of his uncommon non-verbal communication, many people do not give him the opportunity to communicate – unless they make a dedicated effort to speak with him based on his methods. His cognitive capacity was often hidden from the world, yet Dom was hungering for an opportunity to further educate himself. Dom lives independently with 24/7 supports he receives from Progressive Employment Concepts (PEC) and Strategies to Empower People (STEP). He communicated his desire to go to school, and each of his Supported Living Agencies helped him realize his goal to enroll in law enforcement classes at Folsom Lake College. PEC became vital to Dom’s future success by providing personal community-based support. STEP was instrumental in helping Dom actualize his accomplishments. Upon meeting the required accreditation, Dom ambitiously sought a position in law enforcement and was offered a Community Services Volunteer position with Citrus Heights Police Department in 2012.

Before he could start his position as security at Sunrise Mall, Dom needed to pass his background check. He said the process was very easy, adding jokingly that his background was clear, so what could they possibly find? He began volunteering and quickly became a star within the community, earning the hearts and respect of the Citrus Heights Police Department.

With the success came recognition, and Dom was presented with the 2019 Disability Awareness Award on October 10 at a ceremony held at the California State Capital.

He accepted the award surrounded by friends, family, the Citrus Heights Police Department, his Service Coordinator, Julie, as well as the Citrus Heights Mayor, Jeannie Bruins, and the Citrus Heights Chief of Police, Ronald Lawrence. Dom was overjoyed, shocked, surprised and hopeful to have been selected for the award. He had not expected to receive such recognition, and expressed his hopefulness because he wants to inspire others to strive for their dreams.

The impact Dom has made in the lives of each of these individuals, including the Citrus Heights community, is astounding and inspiring. Dom wants to continue his work with the police department, and is grateful that they were willing to give him a “hand-up,” not a hand out. Dom has shown his devotion and work ethic every day to his role as a Citrus Heights Police Department Community Services Volunteer.

In addition to his career, Dom is an avid fan of Stars Wars, Star Trek, and sci-fi movies. Dom also is a fan of the Green Bay Packers. In his room, Dom displays his sci-fi collection and his shrine for the Green Bay Packers. Dom is a jokester, playfully teasing his family and friends. His vibrant personality is evident through his desire to communicate. Dom likes to travel and plans to go on a cruise in March 2020. He lives a full life and enjoys having new experiences anywhere between riding the backs of camels to enjoying the latest superhero movies.

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