NW Works Everyday Heroes: Mat

Image of a man in a black sweatshirt and an orange hat sitting in a wheelchair. The image is flanked on either side by a red brick wall.

Born with Cerebral Palsy, Mat uses a wheelchair and has limited use of his body. He is now 35 years old and always has headphones on, listening to current music or watching videos on YouTube.  He has friends, girlfriends, and co-workers. When he enters the room people flock to him, his smile is contagious and he always has jokes about life. He became good at drawing as a kid and now is learning graphic design.  Because he lives on his own, making money is important for paying bills.  “I know I have a disadvantage, but I’ll make it.”

Mat has been working at NW Works since 2014.  His first job was shredding paper, but after a year and half he wasn’t fulfilled anymore.

“I kept saying I wanted to try something else, different kinds of work, but no one would give me the chance.  All I’ve ever asked for is a chance.”  That’s when Melody joined the NW Works team and took over case management for Mat.  She placed in him various positions including the mail room and the HP Hood Line. Mat thrived, met new friends, and earned more money than he ever had in his entire life.  Most recently Mat joined a Mobile Workforce Crew and began a contract at Kohl’s distribution center.  “If it wasn’t for Melody, I’d be stuck in jobs that I didn’t like. She advocated for me. She’s my angel.”

If you see Mat around town, be sure to give him a fist bump or a recommendation on some new music.

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