When Richard originally came to work in grounds, he cleared leaves. Mark Burns, Grounds Superintendent, said that although Rich was shy and reserved at first, he quickly became "one of the guys." He loved talking about his brother and skateboarding. Before long, he became known among the crew as "Skates." The guys even chipped in last year and bought him a new skateboard. After the fall semester, Skates went to work with Chip Toma, cleaning the playing fields, painting, and straightening up. Chip, who says Skates is conscientious and loves to make people laugh, thinks it's important to make the experience about more than just a job. "In the beginning Skates would come to work and do what I asked him to do. Now, there are times when I get into my office only to find that Skates is already out in the fields doing his job." According to Chip, Skates has become a much more independent thinker since the program began. He says, "Skates may have gotten a lot out of the program, but I've gotten more out of the experience than he has."
For more information, contact (570) 340-6051 or SOAR@marywood.edu