By Alyssa Weston
Students and staff who frequent the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center at Youngstown State University may know a rec center student employee, Jeffrey Logan, who has a reputation among many on campus for his happy-go-lucky attitude.
Logan, who has Down syndrome, works at the rec center through the Transition Options in Postsecondary Settings program and is working toward a certificate in physical fitness.
TOPS supports young adults with intellectual disabilities who wish to participate in college, career and community learning experiences.
Erika Campolito, TOPS Program Supervisor, said TOPS aims to prepare participants for independent living and competitive employment.
According to Logan, his responsibilities at work include folding towels and checking students for their YSU IDs.
He said although he has Down syndrome, he can do “anything his peers can do,” which he believes is a misconception many have about people with Down syndrome.
Logan loves the opportunity he has been given to study at YSU.
“[Coming to YSU] was my dream come true. I’ve wanted to come here for a while,” he said.
Campolito, who works closely with Logan on a regular basis, said Logan is “an amazing guy.”
“He is dedicated to his studies, work and internships. He loves hanging out with his friends and helping others,” she said.
Michael Overholt, a junior nursing major, said when he visited the rec center earlier this semester, he noticed Logan’s upbeat personality. He described him as “cheerful and enthusiastic.”
“I was having kind of a down day, in a bad mood … and then as I came to swipe [my student ID] into the rec, I’m greeted by Jeffrey with a huge smile and a high five. His enthusiasm for life was infectious. Suddenly my problems seemed insignificant,” Overholt said.
In Logan’s opinion, he is sociable at work and attributes his positive attitude to helping him meet new friends.
“I normally have a good, positive attitude because I have been positive for a long time. I don’t talk negative to other people,” he said. “I am happy all the time.”
October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month which, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, is a campaign that aims to raise awareness for “disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.”
According to Campolito, in order to break the stigma around disabled people and their ability to work, society should focus on what individuals are able to accomplish, not what hinders them.
“We should always focus on individuals’ abilities rather than their disability. Having a disability shouldn’t stop someone from achieving their career goals,” she said.