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Q&A With an Amazing TMI Supported Employment Job Coach of 15 Years

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Supported Employment Director Marcus Byrd, Andy Palasciano and Executive Director Rachel Harris
Supported Employment Director Marcus Byrd, Andy Palasciano and Executive Director Rachel Harris

With Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) for more than 15 years, Andrew “Andy” Palasciano is a stellar example of hard work and dedication to TMI and our clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He is always excited to share the success of his clients and truly cares about their future and well-being. We love what he had to say!

Q: What interested you about working at TMI?

A: The TMI core philosophy was better than any other agency I previously worked for. TMI treats clients with the fittingly high level of respect they deserve.

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at TMI?

A: The amazing clients, who are some of the finest people I know, and working for an agency where I am encouraged to just let them be the finest they can be.

Q: What challenges do you and your clients face?

A: I face my own fear that my clients and I are being pushed to a level that my clients and I won’t be able to handle. My clients meet those challenges and carry me along with them until I am confident and secure.

Q: Your hopes for the future of individuals with developmental disabilities?

A: TMI is a shining example to other agencies. I hope the world sees the level of respect we treat our clients with and follows suit. The world will see how people with developmental disabilities can do anything when they are encouraged the way we encourage them.

Andy with his client Felisha at the TMI annual picnic.
Andy with his client Felisha at the TMI annual picnic.

Q: How does making a difference in the lives of your clients make you feel?

A: I feel they make a difference in my own life as much as I make a difference in theirs. I would not be the man I am today without their inspiration and support. It makes me feel wonderful that I can encourage them to do the same for others in their lives. Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

A: I enjoy writing poetry. I co-host a poetry reading that meets once a month. I am also active in my church.

Q: Who do you admire and why? A. There are several people born with a disability that have inspired me to be who I am. One is Temple Grandin. The movie Temple Grandin has inspired me and the book Emergence: Labeled Autistic changed my life. Also, the book Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy about Rosemary Kennedy, whose life inspired the Special Olympics, also changed my life. And, of course, I admire all the TMI clients we support.

Q: Words to live by?

A: This song was sang by Temple Grandin at her college valedictorian speech. It is a song by Oscar Hammerstein from the play/movie Carousel, “When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark, at the end of a storm, there’s a golden sky, and the sweet silver song of a lark, walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain, though your dreams be tossed and blown, walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone, you’ll never walk alone.”

Q: Anything additional that you would like to add?

A: Just that I am honored to be a part of TMI.

And we are honored to have you as an employee! Thank you for all that you do to make a difference in the lives of our clients! Keep up the great work!


Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the deaf and hard of hearing since 2000. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.


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