Isaiah Burns has been selected as the Spring-Summer 2020 DAC Member Spotlight. Isaiah is the son of Dan and Ann Burns. He makes his home on Burns Farm in Grafton, WV with his parents, many farm animals, and dogs Max and Zoey. Isaiah also spends a lot of time with his extended family, especially Grandma Joan Burns.
Isaiah is 20 years old and is a 2019 graduate of Fairmont Senior High School. While in high school Isaiah received the Assist Award for Senior Recognition and went on to the DAC’s Mission Transition Program following graduation. While still a student FSHS, Isaiah completed work experiences at JAG Laundry and the school cafeteria.
Isaiah started his employment readiness and life skills training through the DAC in the summer of 2019 while also working as a farm trainee at the Homestead Farm Center, an amazing DAC partner and agricultural learning non-profit started by his family in 2014. Isaiah completed the Daniel Memorial Life Skills training and work experiences at the Arts and Antiques Marketplace, DAC Feel Good Laundry, and the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties. He did such a great job he was hired as a permanent employee with the DAC’s Feel Good Cleaning program where he remains doing janitorial work for the United Way.
Isaiah is a very busy and involved young man and his family encourages nothing less. In addition to his work on the farm and at the United Way, Isaiah volunteers at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church. He takes piano lessons from Mr. Greg Devito and participates in a variety of DAC programs including robotics, theatre, and creative arts. He is also a part of the DAC Bowling League each winter.
In addition to his busy work and volunteer life, Isaiah enjoys a variety of hobbies including watching Google, Thomas the Train DVD’s, YouTube, and collecting trains. Isaiah enjoys classical music and his favorite place to visit is Kennywood. He also loves a good cheese pizza, cheese sandwich, and elbow macaroni. He enjoys learning new things with his support staff Cheyann McQuain, Carolyn Thele, and Becky Devito.
It is hard to believe what Isaiah has accomplished in his first two decades of life, especially in the one year since graduating from high school. He continues to learn and grow each day; in his communication skills, learning of new tasks, and reaching each goal set before him. Isaiah’s smile can light up a room and his blue eyes twinkle with curiosity. He continues to rise to each challenge set before him and it seems as though he is just getting started. One thing is for sure, Isaiah will continue working hard, gaining independence, and being an active part of his community.