Just a few months after his high school graduation, Gabe Beane is on the path to making his dreams come true.
He’s driving, working at Giant Eagle in Heath and preparing to go to Disney World to celebrate both his high school graduation and 18th birthday.
Ultimately he’s planning to live on his own.
While attending Newark High School, Gabe spend four years in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and attended the YES Club for several years.
In 2020, he completed an online Career Exploration program through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. The following summer, after turning 16, he applied for a job at Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken because he could walk there from his Newark home.
Working after school and on weekends, he saved up money for a year and a half with the goal of getting his license.
After he completed all his classroom instruction at Licking Valley Driving School, his team at the Licking County Board of DD, Service Coordinator Tiffany McClain and Transition Specialist Shanay Nye, helped connect him with Capabilities —a provider agency that offers driving school services — to practice for the in-car portion of his driving test.
Gabe enjoyed his instructor and passed his tests on the first try. After purchasing a car with the money he saved, he left Lee’s on good terms and applied for a new job as a cashier at Giant Eagle.
Since he started, he’s received many compliments for his bagging skills and his kind attitude. He said he enjoys the customers and coworkers.
“I’ve been able to meet a ton of people,” he said.
Gabe said he hopes his story will help others who are interested in driving and taking other steps toward independence.
“If you have the idea for something and work hard to achieve it, you can get it with assistance,” he said. “I asked LCBDD for help because I had an idea of what I wanted to complete and (LCBDD) helped me out.”