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More Than a Diagnosis: Watch Travis Tell His Inspirational Story

Updated: May 15, 2019

When Travis was first referred to Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) by the Department of Rehabilitation in August 2016, he struggled to maintain employment for more than a month at a time. With a diagnosis of schizophrenia, Travis was taking a multitude of medications to help him combat psychosis and mental complications. He was displaying unsafe behaviors and not properly taking care of himself. When TMI Supported Employment Division Manager, Marcus Byrd, first met Travis he saw a young man with so much potential who, with the right support, could turn his life around. Marcus started out by listening and believing in Travis in order to determine the best next steps to help Travis succeed, not only as an employee, but in life.

(Department of Rehabilitation Counselor Nathan Reiman, TMI Division Manager Marcus Bryd and Travis)

In April 2017, Travis stopped all of his medications and set forth to turn his life around on his own terms. With a clear head, Travis embarked on a new journey. On April 28, 2017, Travis began working at Staples and, in just a few short months, he is already preparing for Management Training. Travis enjoys organizing supplies, placing products and assisting the store Associates. He is taking care of himself, building friendships with co-workers and nurturing his relationship with his family.

“As I was working, I felt something start to grow inside of me. More determination, more eager, more responsibility that I wanted to accept, which I never knew was inside of me,” said Travis.

Travis is now determined to help others by becoming a Peer Support Specialist through the nonprofit RI International to assist others battling mental illness. His goal is to offer peer counseling to youth who are homeless or in Juvenile Hall to help them turn their lives around as he has done. Travis credits his transformation to his inner strength, the support of his family and the assistance of TMI. He also finds peace in volunteering at the Humane Society and believes in Pet Assisted Therapy.

Travis is now doing so well that he was discharged from the Department of Rehabilitation and no longer requires Job Coaching services from TMI. The transformation of Travis’ life has been remarkable to witness. We now see before us a happy young man with his whole life ahead of him. We are very proud of you, Travis, and we can’t wait to see where you go from here!


An estimated 1 in 6 people are born with a developmental disability. Just like you they are born with hopes, dreams and the drive to contribute to society. Since 1981 Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has transformed thousands of lives by providing assistance to children and adults with developmental disabilities, giving them the ability to realize their hopes and dreams.

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